How Can Technology Help Ag Retailers?

Innovative technologies have revolutionized some of the oldest farming practices, including scouting and pest management, and are reshaping the future of agriculture. Peyton Merriam, Syngenta Digital Ag Solutions Marketing Lead, said drone technology can empower retailers to better support their customers by helping them save time in the field and make more precise decisions.

“Lots of hours are spent throughout the season, doing scouting initiatives. Walking the rows of the fields. What we’re trying to do is trying to simplify that process and make it more efficient in a way that our retailers are spending more time going to the problem areas, and not spending all their time scouting the whole entire field.”

Growers face difficult circumstances each year, and 2020 has been no different. However, drone technology has allowed retailers and growers to shift and adapt to unexpected challenges.

“COVID presents quite a few challenges. And, you know, we want to respect the desires of our customers in terms of interaction, and we’ve kind of leaned on our digital tools to help provide those digital touch points where we normally would have face-to-face touch points.”

Merriam added retailers can support their customers by collecting drone imagery and using that to develop prescriptive recommendations.

“The retailer will fly the field – their customers fields or their own fields. The amount of time it takes to scout the whole field, let’s say it’s 120 acres or so, is somewhere around 10 to 15 minutes to fly the field. And then once it comes back, it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to process all the imagery. Through our imagery platforms, you can put notes on fields where you see issues you can send reports to your customers and so forth,” Merriam noted. “And so it creates a way of you being able to still be able to monitor what’s going on and still be able to have dialogue digitally, with your customers through this platform to help them know that you’re still paying attention, you’re still there, even though I can’t be in front of you to personally have this conversation.”

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]

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