How Innovative is Agriculture?

When we read about innovation in business magazines we commonly see companies like Apple that produce cool gadgets and personal devices.  We frequently see car companies or advertising agencies with flashy designs or cool strategies getting recognized for innovation but why not agriculture?

What do you think? As a farmer do you consider yourself innovative?  I would hope so.  In order to grow crops or raise livestock you must always be innovative and creative to tackle issues on the farm or ranch.  You may not be creating the latest “app for that” but life on the farm or ranch requires tons of innovation to succeed anywhere in the world.

I asked Bob Treadway, Treadway & Associates if he thought agriculture was an innovative industry. If you cannot see the below video, Click Here

Syngenta was recently recognized in Fast Company Innovation 2010 awards for being one of the most innovative companies on the market.  But there are many companies and farmers in agriculture that are innovative every day and they are not recognized or probably don’t even stop to think about how innovative they really are.

In my opinion innovation can be a very mis-used word.  We get trapped into using phrases like, “you need to think outside of the box” and “blue ocean,” when some people and companies are not being innovative at all.  The other issue is the misuse of the innovation like in the cases of Enron and WorldComm.  Innovation is a term that many of us strive for but struggle to achieve in the highest sense.  My definition of innovation is probably different than yours and depending on where you live in the world, it will be different again.  For example, a Chilean farmer has different opinion on irrigation system innovation than a farmer in North dakota.

Some of the greatest innovation’s in agriculture were created by scientists like Norman Borlaug.  Other great innovations in agriculture are by farmers or rancher inside their own operations.  Just watch an episode of the prairie farm report and see that some farms are full of innovation.  Whether you look at breeders, equipment manufacturers, technology providers, or farmers, there is no shortage of innovation in this great industry.

John Klapwyk, Pride Seeds Discusses the new G8 corn hybrids and the advantages of 8 traits in one corn plant. If you cannot see the below video, Click Here

Let me know what you think.  How Innovative do you think agriculture is in comparison to other industries?  What are some of the greatest innovations in agriculture?  How could agriculture be more innovative so that the industry can prosper in the long term?

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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