Before you get started trying to choose the agtech that’s right for you, start by identifying the problems that you're trying to solve.
For example, one of your everyday problems might be driving 30 minutes to check if a water tank is full.
Or, one of your specific goals that you’re trying to achieve – for example, might be being able to check if a water tank is full using your mobile phone while sitting at your kitchen table. You may also want to put a time-limit on your goal so you have a finish line to sprint towards. E.g. "within 3-weeks from today"
To get you thinking about some of the problems or goals that agtech can help with, ask yourself;
“What are my biggest costs in time or money?”
“Are there any specific places on my farm or in my process that could be improved?”
“Are there any problems or goals that other people on my farm have that can be improved?”
Once you decide what one of your specific problems or goals are, the next step is to identify the things that might prevent you from solving or achieving them.
You might find that before you can solve some of your specific problems you need to address things like better connectivity, or getting a solar power unit for one of your sheds, or an irrigation point that is within line-of sight of where you can install a base-station. Some problems can be solved by first looking at the bigger picture and making a few adjustments in other areas to make solving the problem you’re about to address easier.
When you're at the stage of being happy with the specific problem that you’re trying to solve, stop and think about how your new solution or a product that you’re looking at implementing will fit with your existing tech, any workflows that you’ve created, or any of your other on-farm systems.
For example, it’s important to consider who else on your team might need to be updated or receive new training, (e.g. staff, agronomists, service provider, maintenance people, accountant, etc.) Who else do you think might benefit from the solution and what do they need to know about it?
"Will it require a change in how they do things now?"
"Will that change be hard or easy?"
Asking these types of questions before you get started will make sure you can put management plans in place to get everyone up to speed.
Approaching the world of agtech with a specific goal or problem will help you take the first steps in the right direction when using technology in your farming operations.
There are plenty of options and gadgets, widgets and sensor technologies out there so be focussed on fixing something that is currently a problem and saving costs (time, fuel, water, livestock), or have a goal that you think is achievable, measurable and will help you have a happier or more profitable day.
Good luck! Be sure to let the community know what you learn along the way.
By the way... have you already read our Practical Tips for Getting Started with AgTech article?