Innovation alive and well in High Plains

Dave Bergmeier

Regardless of the economic times innovation always spurs interest of farmers and ranchers. In High Plains Journal’s coverage area there are many opportunities, in just about any rural community, to see ideas being tested.

Most ideas, of course, may not have caught on because of any number of challenges. We often hear the phrase, “he was ahead of his time,” and today we should have greater appreciation for those designs, process and concepts that did make it.

The past couple of years we have seen topsy-turvy price swings for commodities and inputs. It is never easy to predict trends when one is operating in that environment. Today’s farmers and ranchers show their moxie to navigate through uncertain times.

Agricultural manufacturers also understand those pressures and realize they have to stay on message of helping producers to stay profitable and efficient so they can do their part to feed a hungry and insecure world.

Many years ago I marveled at the four-wheel drive tractors being introduced that could pull large disks over many acres in a day’s time and combines that could cut more than 100 acres of wheat in a day. In the past 40 years we have seen those numbers jump leaps and bounds.

I once asked an expert why in tougher times the manufacturers did not delay releasing new equipment as a way to save money. The expert’s answer remains timeless: Because the farmers who operate those machines need to have the state-of-the-art equipment to stay efficient in good and bad times.

The producers of today continue to have that mindset, and manufacturers and suppliers are providing drought-resistant corn and soybeans that expand the options of growers. Fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides allow for precise application. Irrigators are able to use satellite technology and sensors to preserve water supplies. Precision application opportunities are oftentimes the most sought after seminars at farm and ranch shows. Manufacturers look for ways to add functions that can be dialed in at a fingertip.

The future of farming and ranching depends upon many partners, and the High Plains is fortunate to have many manufacturers and entrepreneurs who have staked their livelihood to the industry they proudly serve.

In this week’s edition, readers will find a sampling of innovation with our annual Ag Solutions edition. We hope you will continue to reach out to all companies that are investing heavily to provide products and services to help improve the bottom line of farmers and ranchers. These agricultural companies share the same values of farmers and ranchers—treating their employees right and taking positions of leaderships in local communities.

The spirit of innovation remains a constant on the High Plains and we are forever thankful it is alive and well.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].