'Annual Report Archives – Noble Research Institute' Category

A Fork in the Road

Roads rarely remain straight and smooth forever. Traffic beats wear into the pavement. Rains wash gravel away. Dead ends leave us backtracking, and crossroads beg timely decisions. In agriculture, some practices feel tried and true — until they don’t. Plateaued yields, failing forage stands and economic uncertainty compound the already challenging task of making ends meet during times of drought, floods, diseases and pests.

Finding a Guide

Preparing to turn off the familiar road and onto one unknown can bring many questions: “How do I get started? What happens if …?” But when someone who knows the way walks alongside you on the path, ready to signal the next turn or to offer wisdom for avoiding trouble, the journey becomes less uncertain.

Charting the Course

With a guide at their side, travelers are able to plan their best route before they set out. They can evaluate where they want to go and how to get there. They can mark places to avoid and the routes that lead to the best outcomes. Then, once the journey has begun, they must build in moments along the way to stop, recalibrate and refuel for the next part of the road.