John Deere App for Apps

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

classic15-deere-lauraJohn Deere recently announced their new John Deere App Center that allows their equipment users to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations.

We learned more about the app during Commodity Classic from Laura Donaldson with Deere. “With more and more apps out there we wanted to make sure our customers had a central place to go and look at all the apps that they have access to.”

“The app we have in the app store is where you go to access our GoSeries apps and any of the other mobile apps that we have. Whether it is GoHarvest or GoSpray we have those apps in that App Center helping you prepare for that part of the season. Planting is right around the corner. So, if farmers are out there getting their planter ready, they can go to the GoPlant app within our App Center and see some of the information they may need to set up and get ready for planting in 2015.”

Laura said you can access the John Deere App Center in the Apple and/or Android app stores.

Listen to Taylor’s complete interview with Laura here: Interview with Laura Donaldson, John Deere

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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TekWear Places 3rd in Ag Tech Accelerator Program

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

tekwearInnovative wearable technology company TekWear, LLC, finished third among 10 finalists at VilCap USA: Agriculture 2014, an entrepreneurial funding program. TekWear was chosen from more than 60 other start-up companies to take part in the three-month program devoted to finding, developing or marketing innovative products and services that provide solutions to agricultural and food production challenges.

rasa-headshot“We were thrilled to participate in the VilCap program where we received top-level business consulting and mentorship,” says Bruce Rasa, CEO and founder of TekWear. “We’re very pleased with the entire program and the long-term benefits it will provide our business.”

TekWear is a leading developer of apps for wireless wearable devices for use in production agriculture and the food industry, providing tools that allow the capture of insights on-the-go, thereby improving safety and efficiency in the field. The company has a patent-pending wearable dashboard system that allows users to remotely monitor animals, scout for multiple crops in fields, obtain machinery support and complete a range of other essential food production tasks.

Gold star intern Taylor Truckey caught up with Bruce at the Commodity Classic last week where she talked with him about what is new with TekWear. Interview with Bruce Rasa, TekWear

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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Precision Ag Helps Save Soils, Makes Them Work Better

John Davis Leave a Comment

soilsocietyPrecision agriculture techniques are helping farmers get the most out of their soils, while preserving them for the future. In that same vein and in honor of the 2015 International Year of Soil (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities to educate the public about the importance of soil, with March’s theme of “Soils Support Agriculture” and how precision ag supports that concept.

A better name for precision ag might be “site-specific ag”. Growers are able to take large fields and manage them as though they are a group of small fields. This reduces the misapplication of products and increases crop and farm efficiency.

It has been said farmers were the first land stewards. They use research about weather patterns, soil temperature and humidity, growth, and other factors. They rotate crops to improve diversity, and monitor irrigation rates so that salts do not accumulate. They also use precision agriculture practices to apply nutrients, water, seed, and other agricultural inputs to grow more crops in a wide range of soil environments. Precision ag can help farmers know how much and when to apply these inputs.

There is a lot of technology used to make modern agriculture more efficient. For example, some farmers use global positioning systems (GPS) and GPS-computer guided tractors and harvestors. Other geo-referenced site-specific practices may include:

– electromagnetic soil mapping
– soil sample collection
– crop yield data collection
– aerial imagery
– crop or soil color index maps
– soil types
– soil characteristics
– drainage level
– potential yields

Each of these geo-referenced data layers helps subdivide a large field area into smaller management zones. Using small management zones reduces waste while increasing production potential.

By studying the factors that affect soil quality and using precision agriculture, farmers are able to produce more food at a fraction of the cost.

You can check out SSSA’s series of educational videos on soils here.

Ag Group, Soil

FarmLink Highlights TrueHarvest at #Classic15

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

classic15-farmlinkProducers nationwide could have banked an extra $9.5 billion in revenues if they had gotten the full potential out of their ground. That was the message Brian Howard, Director of Program Development for FarmLink told attendees of this year’s Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. He said his company’s new product, TrueHarvest, is a first-of-its-kind benchmarking tool that identifies significant opportunities in bushels and revenues that farmers could have gotten from their land using what he calls “actionable data.”

“We deliver at a 150-square-foot, micro-field level information that’s never been available to [producers] before,” he said. “It allows them to understand the opportunity of that ground so they can better allocate their resources and inputs to maximize profitability of each individual field.”

Brian said the value to producers TrueHarvest brings is two-fold: 1. It shows the possibilities in improving crop yields, and 2. It shows producers how to do it in a sustainable way for their operations, minimizing inputs while maintaining the integrity of the ground.

He said the feedback they heard from farmers at Commodity Classic confirms that this a tool growers want to have.

Listen to all of Brian’s remarks here: Interview with Brian Howard, FarmLink

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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Increase Uptime with Deere Operations Center

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

classic15-deere-uptimeGrowers got to learn more about what the MyJohnDeere Operations Center has to offer during a What’s New session at Commodity Classic last week.

Deere Product Manager Tyler Hogrefe says the center provides customized tools to improve machine uptime, logistics management, and agronomic analysis in a secure, accessible way. “You can scale the program to meet your operation’s individual needs,” he said. “It’s one place growers can go to interact with all the data they are capturing and share that with trusted advisers.”

classic15-deere-tylerHogrefe says Deere is looking to expand their compatibility with other suppliers. “We understand that growers may use more than just John Deere displays and we want to enable that as well,” said Hogrefe. “We want to build a platform where other companies can contribute their tools.”

Listen to Taylor Truckey’s interview with Tyler here: Interview with Tyler Hogrefe, John Deere

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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New Cert in Sustainability for Certified Crop Advisers

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

There is a new certification focused on sustainable agricultural practices developed by the United Soybean Board (USB), American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA). The certification will ensure best management practices are used by the industry.

“The majority of U.S. soybean farmers are using sustainable practices, but we want to continue to improve our operations,” said Bill Beam, USB farmer-leader and soybean farmer from Elverson, PA. “Programs such as this will help to create credible resources for farmers who are looking to implement more of these practices on their farms.”

CCC logosMany farmers are turning to professionals to advise them about how to more sustainably manage their land. Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) and Certified Professional Agronomists (CPAgs) are trained in the field of agronomy. To become certified, CCAs and CPAgs have undergone rigorous training and testing, and must continue with professional development to keep their certification. Additional training will be required for the new Sustainability Specialization Certification.

“CCAs are the single best influencers to work with local producers,” said Luther Smith, Director of Certification. “They can help growers adopt more sustainable crop production practices that will satisfy the future demands of the food industry and consumer.”

There are currently 13,000 CCA/CPAgs certified by the American Society of Agronomy/International Certified Crop Adviser program.

The program will define sustainable crop production, best CCA practices, and develop standards for CCA certification in sustainability. USB is providing financial support to ASA and the ICCA Program as well as recommendations for content expertise. ASA and ICCA will manage the project and provide technical support through their staff and members.

Agribusiness, ASA, environment, Farm Management, Soybeans, USB

DuPont Pioneer at #Classic15

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

DuPont Pioneer showcased new tools and services available to growers at the 2015 Commodity Classic last week in Phoenix, Ariz.

classic15-pioneer-reno“For nearly 90 years, Pioneer has excelled in providing growers with access to an expert field team that provides tailored advice and whole-farm solutions to position the right products on the right acres and improve their productivity and profitability,” said DuPont Pioneer vice president, U.S. and Canada, Steve Reno during a press conference at Classic.

Pioneer unveiled a new, free Pioneer® GrowingPoint® agronomy App at Classic to enable growers, Pioneer sales professionals and Pioneer agronomists to easily access and search the Pioneer Agronomy Information Service library on any mobile device. “With that we allow growers to have virtually at their fingertips the information that we normally provide via our sales reps,” said Iowa Field Agronomist Chris Dowd.

Pioneer also continues to build on its Encirca℠ services, including the recent release of Encirca℠ Yield Stand to give growers the insight to help them maximize plant stands and yield potential on every acre.

Learn more in this press conference. DuPont Pioneer Press Conference at #Classic15

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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FarmLogs Advantage Unveiled

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.39.22 AMFarmLogs, the leading data science company that helps over 20 percent of U.S. farms maximize productivity and field profitability, unveiled FarmLogs Advantage at Commodity Classic last week. The suite of breakthrough innovations will make precision farming possible for every farmer in America. The new version of FarmLogs will offer powerful automated data collection and analysis features focused on helping farmers make their fields even more profitable.

The current version of FarmLogs will remain completely free with no restrictions and will now be called FarmLogs Standard. FarmLogs Advantage will give users all the great features and benefits of FarmLogs Standard, but will also include a variety of even more valuable functionality to simplify and enhance the way farmers collect and utilize more data from their fields to increase their profitability.

The FarmLogs Advantage features: automatic activity recording, field performance maps, in-season crop health monitoring and growth stage analysis.

“For the past two years, we’ve been working hard on building the best tool to make precision farming effortless for all farmers. Now with FarmLogs Advantage, we have created a whole new category of data that will fundamentally transform the way we farm and the future of agriculture,” said Jesse Vollmar, CEO and co-founder of FarmLogs. “We are thrilled to introduce automated data collection and to provide unprecedented field-level intelligence that cannot be found elsewhere.”

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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Agribusiness, Commodity Classic, Data, technology

Wheat Yield Contest Announced

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

classic15-wheat-tallmanBASF Crop Protection and the National Wheat Foundation had a big announcement at the 2015 Commodity Classic – the creation and implementation of a National Wheat Yield Contest.

“We appreciate the generous support of our primary industry partner, BASF, to assist in the creation of this program,” said NWF Chairman Dusty Tallman of Colorado. “We are looking forward to this contest increasing grower productivity, helping build a stronger U.S. wheat industry and increasing knowledge transfer between growers.”

Listen to the announcement at Classic here: NWF and BASF announce Wheat Yield Contest

classic15-basf-wheat-scholaThe objective of the contest is ultimately to increase U.S. wheat grower productivity by driving innovation, enabling knowledge transfer between growers, experimenting with new technologies, and identifying top wheat producers in each state.

“Our goal is to help growers get the most out of every acre,” said Neil Bentley, Director of Marketing for BASF, pictured here on the left awarding this year’s wheat scholarships. “Initiatives such as the National Wheat Yield Contest give growers an opportunity to work with innovations that help them break yield barriers, and allows farmers to grow and learn from one another.”

Yield contest rules are still being developed but the competition is expected to be separated by wheat class, by dryland or irrigated and by state and region with parameters including class, geography, quality and yield.

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

2015 BASF Science Behind Photos

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2014 Nebraska On-Farm Research Results

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.31.58 PMThe Nebraska On-Farm Research Network continues to grow and this year the program expanded to include three update meetings with over 250 in attendance. Growers and educators discussed results from over 75 on-farm research studies. A number of topics were covered: cover crops, foliar fungicides, growth promoters, harvest methods, seed treatments, foliar micro-nutrients, planting operations, corn and soybean planting populations, variable rate seeding and more.

Results from the 2014 growing season have been published and can be downloaded online.

Planning for 2015 projects are already underway. If you are interested in conducting an on-farm research study contact the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network.

Nebraska On-Farm Research Network has been working with Nebraska’s producers for 26 years to address critical production, profitability, and natural resources questions.

Ag Group, Research