Three Myths of Working with a Crop Consultant or Agronomist
February 19, 2019
There’s a reason why farmers of all sizes choose to work with crop consultants or agronomists. They are professional advisers skilled in field and crop management and identifying diseases and pests. However, there are three common myths that deter some farmers from working closely with consultants.
They charge money just to tell you general techniques
The pricing for a consultant varies from professional to professional, but investing in a crop consultant is a direct investment in your business. A certified crop consultant abides by a strict code of ethics, and will exercise due diligence in making recommendations that will have a tangible impact on your business. By utilizing someone that understands the latest technology and techniques, you can not only ensure that you are maximizing your outputs, but also get a leg-up on your competition.
Crop consultants can facilitate grid sampling and aerial views, but their job doesn’t stop there. Having a dedicated person to regularly check up on your field and sift through that data means someone is tracking disease pressure and staying ahead of pest or weed challenges. They can help you decide when to apply herbicides and pesticides based on climate and products in order to maximize each dollar you spend protecting your farm.
You already know what works best for your farm
It’s true that no one knows your business like you. However, your agronomist can evaluate your data from past years and help you develop a plan to ensure that you are efficiently using all of your resources. Almost twenty percent of farmers say they have no one to help them understand and apply data to their operations, and more than one-third of farmers rely on family members to help make decisions on their farms.
The outside perspective crop consultants offer, combined with industry expertise, can drastically change the effectiveness of your operations. For example, it can be the difference between applying pesticides in the same method as previous years for average yields and adapting to the development of resistant weeds to maximize your pesticide efficiency and overall outputs.
Sticking to what you know in this industry feels safer, but if you are looking to grow your business, collaborating with an expert that has the knowledge and experience to support you in trying something new can prove to be more effective, and safer in the long run.
Independent consultants can’t keep up with industry trends
Technology in agriculture is constantly transforming and advancing. It can be difficult for any one person to keep track of updates to seed varieties, computers on combines, or biochemistry discoveries. However, one of the key responsibilities for every agronomist is to stay up-to-date on cutting-edge developments and techniques that can advance your growing season.
Instead of sorting through news articles and journals yourself, your crop consultant can utilize their networks and resources to inform you on relevant updates and how they can impact your business.
If staying on top of industry developments is especially important to you, be sure to ask potential consultants about their skills in doing so when you are searching for your ideal partner. Each consultant has their own diverse skill set, and being honest about what you’re looking for will help you make the most out of your partnership.
Working with a crop consultant isn’t just about insights and experience, or just the technology and tools they have access to. It’s the combination of all of these things that make them a vital resource to your growing operation’s future. Learn more about how DTN solutions can support your work with crop consultants or agronomists.