Growing With Technology

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Over the years, agriculture has experienced a wide array of technology introduced to make the  job of growing and caretaking more efficient. From the introduction of the modern tractor, to development of genetically modified crops, to the innovation of precision agriculture, each component of technology has impacted agriculture as we know it today. And just like shopping for a new television, there are so many models, options, and price ranges to choose from that the process of picking the right product for your farm can be overwhelming.

In Everett Roger’s book, “Diffusion of Innovations,” he describes the technology adoption curve as a simple bell curve, with the relative speed of adoption from quickest to slowest illustrated as Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards.

In my job as an Extension Agricultural Agent, I get to work with growers across the county and region with varying levels of technology adoption. I have the pleasure of working with folks with high-tech planting, harvesting, and irrigation equipment to folks with 40-year-old equipment. For the most part, each unique situation is making it work – for now anyway. But with the ever-changing world we live in, what will our agricultural landscape look like in just even a decade? Will the adoption of technology be the tool that keeps farmers in the game or will the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach from the laggards minimize the financial risk to keep the game alive? It seems that is the question farmers are wrestling with when it comes to future investment on the farm. And some days, if they are like me, wonder if each is not the answer.

In an attempt to educate growers on the benefits of technology, North Carolina Cooperative Extension is hosting a regional field day focused on the latest technology available to growers related to corn and soybean. In addition to our standard agronomic research plots looking for ways to improve crop production, attention will be given to planter, sprayer, harvest, seed, and irrigation technology. There will be a combination of Extension Specialist from NC State University and industry partners to help deliver information at the field day. No matter where you may fall on the bell curve, this will be a MUST attend event to at least educate yourself about technology so you can gain knowledge to help you make better decisions that will impact your farm in the years to come. The field day will be held at the Roberts Family Farm located at 362 Dana Road, Lumberton on Wednesday, September 4, beginning with registration at 8:15 a.m. and ending around 1:15 p.m. More information can be found on our website. Check it out, and register by calling 910-671-3276. For more information, contact Mac Malloy, Extension Field Crops Agent, by telephone at 910-671-3276, by E-mail at, or visit our website.

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