• Rich Bradbury

Cracking Some Soil

Data in agriculture. We have arrived at a transect in society. The creeping notion that technology is better somehow than human observation.

This isn't an anti-technology post. I drive fellow ranchers crazy pushing tech—just an un-data-driven observation.

As my business partner, Jason spent years learning irrigation water and how it flows, how it interacts in the extensive system shared with our neighbors. We all share a water system. Once a large ranch, it has been divided amongst multiple ranchers.

Two weeks ago, he saw an opportunity to make improvements in one of our fields. He used data, but it was data based on a decade of observation. There was no app, no consultant brought in, just local knowledge and experience.

The result was a massive improvement in our operation. Could AI or MI predict the same outcome, maybe? How much would it have cost?

As we evolve we often defer our animal instincts to technical solutions, I wonder if that is good when dealing with the natural world? Will a computer ever be as accurate at accumulating and weighting data as we are with our senses?

As we embrace tech, are we precipitating our separation from the animal kingdom, the environment around us?

Are we severing ourselves from nature?


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