December 13, 2018
In any ag data conversation I have, there’s always talk about privacy and information. And most everyone shares that you own the information. But there’s another phrase I hear — “trusted adviser” — which apparently is something everyone has?
The idea is that if you’re capturing agronomic information and you want to develop prescriptions, you’ll have to keep that trusted adviser up to date. This is the person you turn to for answers, be they agronomic or financial, in your farm business. And you are trusting this person with information that is designed to help you profit.
And perhaps the key word is trust. As you start lining up resources for a new crop year, perhaps making sure you have the right trusted advisers makes a difference, too. This list of advisers can be as small as one; but these days, as agriculture gets more complex, you may want to consider branching out. Here are some areas where considering a trusted adviser may be time, and money, well-spent.
Crop consultant. This is the go-to trusted adviser. This is the person who can take your combine yield monitor, shape files and interpret them to develop an application prescription for planting, preseason fertility and more. Of course, that means the trusted adviser knows his or her shape files from a spreadsheet, and that’s a rare talent these days. If you have a precision tech-savvy adviser, do what you can to keep this individual on your team.
Financial adviser. This adviser doesn’t have a place in every operation but can also help you better spend — and save — farm and personal cash. With increasing complexity, the financial insight can be of value. Add in that many of you may be diversifying to bring in another family member, and having a solid financial plan is very important.
However, the financial adviser may be a couple of people. Perhaps you have a good tax accountant, which can be valuable— but consider finding a solid succession planning consultant, even if you’re a younger farmer. Better to have some of that figured out now before something crazy happens.
Tech adviser. This is a relatively new role. It may be your dealer who sells the tech you rely on. It could be a third-party consultant with a background in making all these tools come together. But this last trusted adviser may be very important for the farm in the future.
Trust is a big deal in our rapidly advancing ag tech age. Giving access to your farm’s information for decision-making can help you boost profits and increase productivity. This winter, consider who is on your trusted list as you engage more with technology and reach out to them to discuss how best to work together. It’ll be time well-spent.
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