Collaboration is something that most university students hate, but in real world scenarios it can be extremely powerful.

In the business world, competition is great for keeping operations lean, engaged and innovative.

Competition helps craft the idea of ‘best practices’, as we can look over the fence and see if their way is better than ours.

The idea of best practice is ok, so long as it’s used correctly. It should mean “based on everything the industry knows now, from the combined experiences of us and previous generations, this is the best way to do things today”. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best way to do it tomorrow.

I was reading a GRDC article this morning about best practice nitrogen rates, where they concluded that general best practice is 40 to 45kgN/t of wheat produced. I wondered what percentage of farmers are doing this. 5, 10, 20% tops is my guess.

But what’s also important to consider is what will best practice be in 5 years’ time?

In the nitrogen example, will 30kg be more efficient, or will it be 50 if grain prices are higher?

Collaborative learning is a great way to use the past to make god decisions today, while trying to be better for tomorrow.