Dramatic changes require growers to reassess strategies and tools

FEBRUARY 4, 2023

Welcome to Episode 1 of the Conservis Farm Management Webinar! This is the first of a series of segments where we speak with the prominent voices of the agricultural industry. If you’re here, you care about agriculture, and we’re happy to have you!

In this segment, Patrick Christie, Co-founder and President of Conservis, leads an important conversation on the technological aspects of the agricultural industry, and the role of technology in strategic planning. 

How do you increase workplace efficiency at the farmer’s level, and how do you help adapt the agricultural industry to today’s digital landscape? 

Let’s talk about it!

Profitability & Regulatory Challenges

  • Modern Day Industrialists face the threat of “Technical Debt,” or the gap between where technology needs to be, and where we are. Currently, agriculture sits LAST in industry digitalization, with a shocking 60% of producers not utilizing agtech. Spreadsheets and/or a pen and paper just aren't what they used to be.
  • The number of programs in the agricultural field is growing. Between supply chain mandates, production quality standards, the value of carbon and more, industry specialists have to organize the information and use data as a crucial tool for future production.

Farm Data Surge

  • What’s clear about data is that data isn’t often so clear — confusing, we know. Too often, farm data is isolated into silos, making it hard to connect the dots.
  • Over the last few years, over $5 billion has been invested in food & agtech companies, with thousands of companies emerging into the market. That said, many of these companies are narrow and deep, and the flooding of the market has led to difficulties interpreting the benefit of any one company.

Maneuvering the Agtech Tipping Point

  • The “Tipping Point” refers to the consequences of an influx of technology in the industry. As companies emerge, agricultural specialists have a better chance of accessing products with ease of use, a better buyer mindset, and better connectivity to the industry as a whole.
  • Agricultural specialists are best served by companies that can sift through the noise and yield the best partnerships. 
  • Consider this: Sustainability starts with profits, but we all know that the intricacies of profitability can become hard to follow. On top of that, regulations and sustainability are not only here to stay, but are a growing concern. 
  • The problems for the industry are stacking up with more and more technology companies making their way into the agricultural industry.

Defining Solutions

  • Turning data into insights plays a crucial role in how growers meet the demand for their businesses and their investors. Addressing questions like where, how, and what you pull information from for insights could come from scratching down notes in a notepad. A different approach for many farmers is morphing info maintaining a thorough, organized digital footprint of information for reports, forecasting, or general operations. 
  • While every operation is unique, metrics like economic value, production, environmental impact, traceability, and benchmarking could and should be scaled as your business scales. 
  • By digitizing your data, you expose yourself and your shareholders to a real-time view of your business. These reports will not only tell you what you’ve done — they can offer insight on what you need to do next. 

Key Takeaways

  • With so many agtech companies to choose from, workflow and integrations are key platforms for consideration in any business.
  • Take the time to assess the needs and priorities of your business.
  • A proactive approach now will prevent a reactive approach as this technology advances.

About Patrick Christie:

Patrick is the true definition of an entrepreneur. Starting his first company at the young age of 20, Patrick has operated at full capacity for his entire career — one that includes leading the largest federal IT program to date at $20 billion. 

Patrick launched Conservis to tackle the issue of enterprise sustainability and to solve meaningful problems for farmers.


Conservis' Purpose:

To be a farmer’s advantage for making decisions, simplifying operations, and maximizing profit. We deliver better insights by centralizing and reporting planning operations and financial data.

Conservis LLC was founded in 2009 and is relied upon by row, specialty, and permanent crop farmers across North America and Australia.

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