The Average Year

For many of us, 2019 will go down as one of the toughest growing seasons we’ve faced. With early-season storms followed by mid-season drought, this year was anything but average. I asked a grower if he thought 2019 would go down as the worst of the worst, and he replied, “Eh…it’s something every year.”

He’s absolutely right. Every year has its unique challenges that capture the media’s attention and threaten hard-earned yields. In the AgTech sector, how can we possibly be prepared to face the unknown challenges that come up when it’s not the average year?

Account Manager Caleb Wieber scouting a southern Illinois field affected by the massive amounts of rainfall early this season.

“It’s Something Every Year”

Whether its drought, disease, or Dicamba, every year has its headline issue that spells doom and gloom for the growing season. #AgTwitter erupts in a panic, and the USDA somehow ignores it when they publish their estimates. Catastrophe, it seems, really may be part of the average year.

Tech companies jump into a frenzy, as team after team of engineers is tasked with solving the problem of the year. Unfortunately, these developments often take time and testing to get them just right. By the time tech comes to save the day, a new something-of-the-year has already emerged.


Average Versus Extraordinary

A tool that could have saved us from “No Plant ‘19” would have been extraordinary. Being able to predict the 2012 droughts or the 1993 flooding would have saved a lot of pain and suffering across Illinois. Realistically, by the time tools are developed, it is too late, and the damage is done. When the catastrophe is different every year, a solution too focused on one extraordinary problem winds up next-to-worthless in the average year.

In this way, a truly extraordinary tool prepares you not for the extraordinary, but for the average. Each year sees familiar challenges like poor emergence, weed pressure, and fertility issues. The genuinely extraordinary products are the ones that look at the challenges faced in an average year and provides consistent value.


Expecting the Expected

AgMRI is built on years of aggregate data, focusing on the problems that plague farmers year after year. We’re not trying to scramble to find this year’s big breakthrough solution before anyone else. The tools in AgMRI come directly from listening to customers about what their consistent issues have been.

AgMRI features badges that highlight specific issues, going beyond oversimplified ratings to tell you what is happening and where. AgMRI works on the principle that no one knows how to manage your farm better than you. Everyone likes to do things differently, so we don’t craft complex models and prescriptions to tell you how to do your job. We keep the power of decision making on the farm through targeted intelligence.

The technology industry is full of smart people ready to make the next headline or the next big breakthrough. Sometimes, though, they miss the fact that the most valuable contributions don’t come from tackling the unknown and instead come about from solving what we know. 


AgMRI helps you find your consistent issues year after year. The most successful growers are also our repeat customers, who use AgMRI to stay on top of annual practices and focus their time and attention on where it’s really needed. After all, there’s something every year. Do you have the tools and the time ready for next year?


AgMRI. Helping Farmers Prosper.



by Ivan “Alex” Dozier, MS, Agronomist

A native of Southern Illinois, farming and agronomy are in Ivan’s genes. Inspired by his father’s work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of Illinois, Ivan earned his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and Crop Science and Masters in Crop Science from the University of Illinois.

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