What will agronomy look like five or ten years from now? Will drones and automation have replaced agronomists and field walks?
There’s no denying that technology definitely plays a larger role in his job than it used to, says Shane Thomas, agronomist with Yara Canada. From field mapping software, to variable rate capabilities, NDVI readings, and UAVs (drones), the agronomist’s job has become as much about navigating new tech as it has about knowing your herbicide groups, weed identification, and soil chemistry interactions.
Thomas, a young agronomist with years of experience already, has spent a fair bit of time thinking about the future of his job and has written about the evolution of the agronomist on his site, shaneagronomy.com.
In this episode of Agronomy Geeks, Thomas talks about how the things automation and tech can’t replace, are intrinsically human — experience, critical thought, and instincts. To that end, he says he doesn’t see a time, even a decade or more from now when farmers won’t have a need for an agronomist, the role will simply evolve to use more of the technology available.
Listen below to hear more from Shane Thomas on his approach to agronomy, why he started blogging, and where how he sees his role as agronomist evolving in the coming years.