Ag Tech Progress and Challenges

At the recent Ag Tech and Business Forum in Columbia, a panel discuss the state of current ag tech and where it might be headed. One member of that group was Drake Perrow, partner in Perrow Farms and owner of several ag support firms. Perrow told SFN technology has had an impact in his operations in two major ways.

“We’re definitely more precise on what we do. And we have cut down on labor tremendously. And you talk about the farm, gin, everything has gotten so automated. You don’t have to have as much labor, but the labor that you do have, they’re pretty intelligent. You just can’t take anybody off the street anymore and put them on a million-dollar piece of equipment and let them go.”

Perrow says technology has cut his workforce and specialized it.

“We farm about 2500 acres row crops. My son, my nephew, and one other guy, they run the whole farm, Fifteen years ago it would have taken seven, eight people. Now, things are faster. But that old crew couldn’t handle what is going on now.”

And as the technology continues to improve, Perrow says ag will have to keep up.

“I mean, I see down the road, a tractor is gonna drive itself and do what it needs to do. But you’re gonna need communication to do that. Broadband is going to be a tremendous part of that. And it’s just like you buy a computer today. It’s out of date tomorrow. And I think all this technology, it’s gonna be the same thing. It’s improving every day.”