Ag Consultants Drive Precision

Laura McNamara

Enid News and Eagle OklahomaEncyclocentral.com states agricultural consultants are “consultants who work with farmers to determine productive and profitable competitive farming techniques.” But, EnidNews.com goes further, and reports that ag consultants are all about precision.

Precision farming can probably best sum up what an agriculture consultant tries to teach farmers to do. Agronomy, entomology and plant pathology are all used by consultants to better a farmer’s chances of producing a productive crop. The individual issue for most farmers and the consultants they work with is determining what method the farmers should use that is ideal for their location and weather conditions. Brannan’s experience has shown him this is not an exact science.

Click here to read the full article.

Precision Ag in the News

Farmers Can Now Upgrade AutoTrac Universal with ATU 200

Laura McNamara

John Deere ATU200John-Deere just released its latest design in its AutoTrac Universal system. The ATU 200 was shipped out to dealers in March and should now be available to consumers nationwide.

Chuck spoke with John Deere’s Kayla Reynolds about the new ATU upgrade. You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Kayla here, where she talks about the improvements John Deere made with this latest version. Kayla also confirms that ATU 200 is compatible with any AutoTrac system including GreenStar, GreenStar II, StarFire, StarFire 2 or StarFire RTK: Listen to MP3 Kayla Reynolds Interview (4 min. MP3)

Audio, Dealers, Equipment, Software

Community Precision in Iowa

Laura McNamara

isa-office-08-blackmer.jpg The On-Farm Network of the Iowa Soybean Association is just that… a network meant to give farmers around the state tried and true information about precision farming technology and tools.

Chuck interviewed Tracy Blackmer, the Director of Research for the Iowa Soybean Association about how On-Farm Network makes maximizing precision ag on the individual farm a community effort. In the picture Tracy is standing next to an Iowa state map showing locations where they’ve conducted projects for the program.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Tracy here:Listen to MP3 Tracy Blackmer (10 min. MP3)

Dealers, Research

Swath Control Pro for Planters

Laura McNamara

Kirk SwihartFarmers are always looking for new ways to increase yield gains. John Deere’s Swath Control Pro for planters is a tool farmers looking for those extra gains might want to consider.

Chuck interviewed Kirk Swihart, John Deere’s Dealer Technical Assistant Supervisor, to see just what this ag toy can do. He also dug up info on what is and what isn’t compatible with the planter aid.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Kirk here: Listen to MP3 Kirk Swihart Interview (4 min. MP3)

Dealers, Equipment

Getting a John Deere RTK Update

Chuck Zimmerman

John Deere AMS OfficesToday I had the opportunity and pleasure to visit the John Deere Ag Management Solutions offices in Urbandale, IA. This is the first post in a series that I’ll be doing over the next couple weeks about what’s going on in John Deere precision ag products.

I hope you’ll find that these interviews will provide a current inside look at some of the new products, some of which are just now hitting the market, and help you understand them, especially if you haven’t had the opportunity to incorporate them into your farming operation.

Marketing ManagerTo get things started I’ve got an interview today with Mark Theuerkauf, Marketing Manager. Mark and I talked about RTK. Our conversation helped me better understand how the tower or base station network functions to provide a growing coverage area where you can take advantage of the extreme accuracy that RTK offers. As Mark says, John Deere offers three levels of accuracy with RTK being at the top of the list.

You can learn more about RTK on the John Deere StellarSupport website. Mark says that there are considerations when using the network since it is contingent on line of sight with the local towers. He suggests working with your local dealer to find out how you can incorporate RTK in your system.

You can listen to my interview with Mark here: Listen to MP3 Mark Theuerkauf Interview (4 min. MP3)

Audio, Equipment

Iowa Soybean On-Farm Network Info

Cindy Zimmerman

On Farm Network The Iowa Soybean Association’s On-Farm Network now counts more than 300 Iowa farmers who conduct on-farm studies to evaluate nitrogen management and other corn and soybean production practices and inputs on their own farms.

One of the things they do is a monthly On-Farm Update, which is being inserted in issues of Wallaces Farmer. Here’s a link to a pdf of the April issue.

On-Farm Network held its annual meeting at the end of February. Some audio interviews done by WHO at the conference are posted there for your listening pleasure.

General

Working on Precision Ag Standards

Chuck Zimmerman

ASABESetting standards for precision ag equipment and software seems to be getting some momentum from the ASABE according to Paul Schrimpf, PrecisionAg Institute in his latest post.

Well, a release just came across my inbox from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, a standards developing organization for food, agricultural, and biological systems. One of the many new standardization projects now in play, according to the release, is the development of “a standard for geospatial mapping of crop yield, moisture content, and quality data, including defined data formats and uniform map presentation methods.”

Here’s an excerpt from that release:

The purpose of this standard is to improve the processing and utilization of data files containing geospatial yield, moisture content (MC), and quality data with respect to information content, units, and interoperability between different software products and measurement systems. The standard will cover data acquisition, data processing, and data representation in map form and will provide a defined format for data collected with sensors that measure yield, MC, quality, and geographic position on various crop harvesting machines.

The ASABE Annual International Meeting will take place in late June.

Standards

Precision Agriculture in the News

Chuck Zimmerman

With the recent upturn in commodity prices, now sure seems to be a good time to look at equipment upgrading. That’s evidenced by the kind of story recently published in the Bismarck Tribune. In it one John Deere dealer is quoted.

In Elgin – the other edge of western wheat country – Dakota Farm Equipment manager Russ Rebel said sales are “really good” after several tough years.

He leafs through the neatly stacked paperwork on his desk and figures he’s got more than two dozen tractors on order for delivery from now through July. The phone rings and rings.

“In 30 years with John Deere, I’ve never seen this pace of sales,” he said, using that finger-up gesture to indicate “wait a sec while I take this call.”

He said he’s had situations where he’s selling the fourth trade-in generated from the first sale.

With many new tractors and combines coming with precision equipment standard it looks like we’ll see a real growth in the number of farmers using it and in the amount of precision applications being used.

Precision Ag in the News

Precision Agriculture in the News

Chuck Zimmerman

India’s national newspaper, The Hindu, has a front page article in their online edition titled “What precision farming is and is not.” It shows how other countries are working to develop the technologies we have here in the United States.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

One other great advantage of the GPS system of farming involves the ability of the farmer to achieve greater efficiency in time control of his farm operations. This is because the GPS system enables him to operate his equipment round the clock irrespective of factors restricting visibility such as fog, darkness, or even showers. The sub-inch accuracy of GPS-based operations provides the farmer maximum efficiency with equipment operations.

Precision Ag in the News