Drone-Based Application: Crop Protection Manufacturers Must Prepare for Disruption

Disruptive innovation is seldom taken seriously in its infancy, writes David Frabotta on PrecisionAg.com. Computer pioneers in the 1970s famously downplayed how much consumers would want microcomputers in their homes until Apple invented the personal computer.

Newspaper publishers scoffed at internet advertising as “trading dollars for dimes” in the 1990s. In the U.S., print newspaper revenue peaked at about $65 billion in 2000 and fell to about $11 billion in 2017. Meanwhile, Facebook and Google capture about 75% of all digital advertising, and Amazon is a distant but significant third. All other publishers are competing for the remaining digital market share.


Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975, but it suppressed the technology so the new product wouldn’t erode its film sales. Kodak reached almost $16 billion in sales in 1996 with two-thirds of the global market share but by 2012 had filed for bankruptcy and was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Agriculture markets and value chains have always been susceptible to disruption from innovative technologies and agronomy. New chemistries, improved seeds, and better practices supplant products and old ways of doing things if they solve problems and bring better value to farm operations.

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