Historically there was a recognition of the importance of agricultural advisory services as a means of enabling farmers to improve their productivity and adopt new techniques. However, as the state has retreated from agriculture, they have suffered in some countries. The picture across Europe is now highly variable: Project on advisory services
One lesson appears that they need political support to be successful. Innovation is of key importance to farming and, of course, it can be facilitated in a variety of different ways. However, in my view, reductions in state support for applied research have not helped in countries like the UK.