Friday, May 05, 2017
Silicon Valley technologists are trying to help California's farmers save water. Eighty percent of the liquid goes to farming, so more efficient use is essential. Already, more than 500,000 acres have gone fallow in Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley because of a lack of irrigation. With an inevitable return of drought conditions, the problem of keeping plants and trees alive and growing will once again be critical. But, farmers aren't welcoming technologists with open arms. Agriculture is a conservative business. It is hard to change routines and processes that work for something unproven. This is why technologists have to go to farms and listen to farmers first. It is ground-pounding PR one farmer at a time until thinking changes and everyone starts to use a new way of producing food. And that is as it should be. One bad crop can wipe a farmer out. There is a fundamental need to test technologies thoroughly before introducing them.