Seeing Ahead

Last week, our company went through its semi-annual Team Clean process. For one day, everyone in our offices cleaned out not only their individual areas, but their entire departments as well. Truth be told, the amount of stuff that accumulates in just one year’s time is amazing – particularly the paper!

Of course, some of the fun of this exercise is coming across some article from 10 to 15 years ago that tried to predict the future of ag retail. I found such a piece in one of our magazine’s fall 1999 issues. In this article, the writer tried to predict what the average ag retailer would look like come 2010. Now that we are past this mark, it was interesting to note that predictions about the daily use of wireless/real-time communications and the increasing importance of seed sales were right on the mark. Somewhat funnier were the images of completely robotic custom applicators in the fields without a human operator in sight.

– Poll: Which technology being used in your business operation today do you think will still be the most relevant in 2020? >> Take poll

Now, undoubtedly during the next few years, someone will write an article speculating on what ag retailers will be like come the Year 2020. But predicting the next 10 years might be infinitely harder than it was predicting the past 10. For one thing, the pace of technology advancement seems to be racing ahead at near light speed. Ten years ago, predicting that there would be more technology involved in daily life seemed an easy bet. But for me to foresee what new technology-driven devices might be on the horizon seems harder. And predicting which ones such as GPS tracking and automatic steering systems will enjoy widespread usage within the ag retail marketplace is harder still to get a handle on.

Not to date myself too badly, but I remember when compact discs (CDs) were first introduced some 30 years ago. There were more portable than long-play albums and could be played in your car. It wasn’t long before everyone I knew had replaced their album collection with CDs.

Today, most of my friends who enjoy music forego buying CDs and instead download music directly to their home computers, iPads or smartphones. Practically no one buys physical CDs anymore. (In fact, during our Team Clean, I found a few old CDs I had bought into the office several years ago when I first started at our magazine. Since I long ago downloaded these same songs to my computer, I tossed them in the bin.)

What will be really fascinating to see is what other technologies our industry relies on today that may end up in the dust bin of history once we get to 2020 and beyond ….

Leave a Reply

Eric Sfiligoj Stories

Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Eric SfiligojPrecision Ag Could Shine In Increased Spotlight On Agriculture
August 24, 2015
By any measure, 2015 is turning into one of the most challenging years agriculture has ever experienced. All throughout good Read More
Eric SfiligojAn Interesting Water Issue On The West Coast
August 17, 2015
A few weeks ago at the 2015 Environmental Respect Awards event in Wilmington, DE, one of the speakers talked about Read More
Green Roof
Eric SfiligojEnvironmental Respect: Going Green In The Middle Of Philadelphia
August 10, 2015
During the recent 2015 Environmental Respect Awards event, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection, winners were treated to a day-long tour Read More
Top 100 Articles
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
Latest News
StewardshipOgallala Aquifer At Risk
September 4, 2015
The Ogallala Aquifer, with total water storage capacity about equal to that of Lake Huron in the Midwest, is the Read More
Valley Irrigation variable rate irrigation
StewardshipNebraska Getting Water Conservation Right
September 4, 2015
A precipitation map of Nebraska looks startlingly like a rainbow, with each colored band marking a different level of rainfall. Read More
Crop InputsBayer CropScience: A Decade Of Innovation
September 3, 2015
BLAMS! It’s not a sound effect from the pages of a Superhero comic book. Instead this nifty acronym is used Read More
ManagementReviewing MAGIE 2015
September 2, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks what he saw at the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show. Read More
Melissa Olds Dow AgroSciences
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Highlighting The Past, Present & …
September 2, 2015
In general, media events held by large agricultural suppliers tend to focus primarily on what plans the company has in Read More
Mobile tablet
OpinionTaking Data Head On
September 2, 2015
As you read this column, I’m hoping that if you picked up the phone and gave me a call, you’d Read More
Young soybean field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Announces New Business Unit Head For…
September 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America announces the addition of Rico Christensen, Business Unit Head, North America. Christensen will have responsibility for Read More
Wilbur Ellis Pink Soybean Seed Treatment
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Goes Pink With Soybean Seed Treatments For…
September 1, 2015
This past year, proceeds of pink-dyed soybeans treated and sold to Wilbur-Ellis seed customers in Chester, SD, went to two Read More
SprayersNORAC Active Wing Roll Slated For More Sprayers
September 1, 2015
NORAC Systems, a member of the Topcon Positioning Group, announces the release of Active Wing Roll for RoGator, Apache, New Read More
Syngenta Sign
FungicidesSyngenta’s Newest Fungicide Receives EPA Approval
September 1, 2015
Syngenta announced today that its newest succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicide – Solatenol – has received registration from EPA and Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
Crop InputsDelaying The Fertilizer Decision
September 1, 2015
Comments gathered from several retailers recently evidenced a classic good-news-bad-news scenario. Good news is prices and supplies of nitrogen, phosphate, Read More
StewardshipBee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers
August 31, 2015
The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Read More
2015 ShowStopper Award, MAGIE
EquipmentA ShowStopper From Case IH: The Patriot 2250
August 31, 2015
For nine years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with not only Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, FMC Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Platform
August 31, 2015
FMC Corp. and Monsanto Co. announced today an expanded agreement to continue their participation in the Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Read More
Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
CPS Morenci receiving its 4R certification
StewardshipCPS Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified I…
August 31, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, MI, has been Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More