Precision Sprays

Cindy Zimmerman

Lee MaddenLee Madden is product manager in the sprayer marketing group with John Deere and he was busy at the 2008 Commodity Classic trade show in Nashville this week telling growers about the new 30 series line up.

Among the changes in the new series is standard precision features, like the GS2 monitor. “That’s the color touch screen display for the GPS products that we have to offer from AMS John Deere,” Lee says. “That comes with new software for the sprayer side and also allows you to run the AMS components all at the same time.”

Lee says precision features on sprayers have really taken hold in recent years. “You have products like AutoTrac and Swath Control Pro that automatically turns the solution sections on and off for you using GPS. That really makes the operator comfortable and they see the payback really quick.”

You can listen to my interview with Lee here: Listen to MP3 file Lee Madden Interview (3:00 min. mp3)

Audio, Commodity Classic, Equipment

One Year Anniversary

Cindy Zimmerman

RobsonIt’s the first anniversary for, which was launched last year at the Commodity Classic in Tampa.

One of the first interviews we had on the site was with Laura Robson, senior marketing rep for John Deere. We caught up with her again at this year’s Classic, being held this week in Nashville. I asked Laura about the state of precision technology and how farmers are adapting to precision becoming standard on new equipment. We also talked about how last year’s ASA/John Deere Reach for the Stars contest winners used their precision package in 2007, what they thought about it and how it is helping John Deere make precision pay even more!

You can listen to my interview with Laura at Commodity Classic here: Listen to MP3 file Laura Robson Interview (4:30 min. mp3)

Commodity Classic, Equipment, Reach for the Stars

Getting The AMS Overview

Chuck Zimmerman

National Farm Machinery ShowOne of the people I spoke with at the National Farm Machinery Show was Kayla Reynolds, John Deere AMS. I asked her to give us an overview of the Ag Management Solutions division at John Deere. It’s a bigger operation than I thought. For example she says they’ve got about 250 people working in AMS in Des Moines. That includes engineering, testing, supply management, marketing, customer support and accounting.

Kayla says that AMS is all about creating solutions that help farmers better manage their business. It’s all about efficiency in the field. She says that their main focus is on agriculture but that they’re looking at some new opportunity areas like construction, forestry and even lawn and garden. Mowing straight lines on a golf course would be one good example of a precision application. I think it’s interesting how often new technology is developed for an agricultural purpose but is then used in other industries and precision is no different.

One of the main new products that Kayla talked to growers about is the Intelligent Total Equipment Control (ITEC) system they have for 8030 wheeled tractors which takes auto guidance to the next level by adding functions like auto turning at the end of a pass.

You can listen to my interview with Kayla here: Listen to MP3 file Kayla Reynolds Interview (5 min. mp3)

Audio, National Farm Machinery Show

Precision Agriculture in the News

Chuck Zimmerman

In a story showing up on North Texas e-News, Randall Reeder, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer, offers some advice for ways that farmers can save money and that includes precision agriculture. Here’s a sample:

• Practice controlled traffic, especially if precision technology is already in place on the farm.

“As RTK (real-time kinetic) auto-steering becomes more affordable, it makes controlled traffic a much easier decision for farmers,” said Reeder. “The accuracy of auto-steering makes it easier for farmers to drive in the same path year after year.”

Controlled traffic saves money on fuel, labor, crop inputs and equipment costs. It can virtually eliminate yield loss from compaction, and makes continuous no-till more economical, said Reeder.

Precision Ag in the News

Get Precision Ag Support 24/7 at John Deere Call Center

Chuck Zimmerman

Kim FletcherService after the sale is something you hear a lot about and at the National Farm Machinery Show, John Deere Ag Management Solutions Representative, Kim Fletcher (left), says it’s something that she’s been talking to growers about.

Kim says that she thinks of support on two levels. The first one is with the local dealer who will have one or two AMS consultants available. The other is a customer call center which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by toll free line that can be called to get questions answered from anywhere in the world.

**Note: Kim just called here to clarify that they do take a couple of days off – like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years – so its actually 362 days a year, or 363 in Leap Year!

You can listen to my interview with Kim here: Listen to MP3 file Kim Fletcher Interview (3 min. mp3)

Audio, National Farm Machinery Show

Growers Excited About Swath Control Pro For Planters

Chuck Zimmerman

Kyle CollinsAt this year’s National Farm Machinery Show farmers were asking lots of questions about the new Swath Control Pro for planters according to Kyle Collins, seen here with Tommy Johnson, a grower from Hopkinsville, KY. Kyle works in John Deere’s Ag Management Solutions division. He says that what growers are really interested in is how they can save on seed costs by using a precision planting system that reduces overlap just like it has with sprayers.

You can listen to my interview with Kyle here: Listen to MP3 file Kyle Collins Interview (3 min. mp3)

I also spoke with Tommy Johnson who says he’s using precision equipment with both sprayers and planters. He says it works terrific.

You can listen to my interview with Tommy here: Listen to MP3 file Tommy Johnson Interview (1 min. mp3)

Audio, Equipment, National Farm Machinery Show

More Tinkering with Precision Technology

Laura McNamara

“Don’t be afraid to tinker.” Scott Gabbard’s philosophy on precision farming seems to fall right in line with fellow precision pro Roger Hadley. Scott is an extension educator from Shelby County, Indiana. He too offered some precision ag pointers during a presentation at the Indianapolis Precision Agriculture Conference earlier this month. Scott says the benefits of precision technology amount to more than just farmers increasing their yield. He says precision farming offers a lot of information and it’s up to the farmer to discover new ways to apply that information to something useful.

Scott adds that the time is ripe for precision agriculture: the price of the technology is falling, while input costs are rising.

You can listen to Gary Truitt’s interview with Scott here:Listen to MP3 file Scott Gabbard Interview (7 minute MP3)

Don’t forget that this interview is part of our Podcast. Subscribe on your computer and get them automatically using these instructions.

Audio, Education, Events, Satellite, Software

Hoosier Tinkers with Precision

Laura McNamara

Roger Hadley at the Indianapolis Precision Agriculture ContestGary Truitt calls him a “tinkerer with new technology.” That’s because Roger Hadley of Woodburn, IN has been using precision farming technology, such as GPS field mapping, for about ten years. Roger was a presenter at the Indianapolis Precision Agriculture Conference earlier this month. Hoosier Ag Network broadcaster Gary Truitt caught up with Roger at the conference and spoke with him about how precision technology applied ten years ago and how it applies today.

Roger has kept up with the cutting edge of precision soy practices and says precision technology can help mitigate yield pressure, save on fertilizer, make farming more environmentally-friendly and more.

You can listen to Gary’s interview with Roger here:Listen to MP3 file Roger Hadley Interview (5 minute MP3)

Don’t forget that this interview is part of our Podcast. Subscribe on your computer and get them automatically using these instructions.

Audio, Education, Events, Reach for the Stars, Satellite

John Deere Credit to Assist Precision Ag Purchases

Chuck Zimmerman

John Deere CreditFor farmers who need a little assistance when making equipment purchases John Deere Credit is there to help. I spoke with Scotty Shipp, pictured on the right, at the National Farm Machinery Show about what the company offers to assist producers.

He says that John Deere Credit’s primary responsibility is to help dealers facilitate the sale of John Deere equipment. When it comes to precision ag equipment they can either include it in an original purchase or if after the fact, many dealers offer Farm Plan, a revolving credit plan that can be used to make purchases when needed like adding a new component to a precision system.

You can listen to my interview with Scotty here: Listen to MP3 file Scotty Shipp Interview (3 min. mp3)

Audio, Financing, National Farm Machinery Show

Customers Expressing Satisfaction at Farm Machinery Show

Chuck Zimmerman

Jeff TopelOne of the new team members at John Deere Ag Management Solutions is Jeff Topel, seen here answering customer questions in their National Farm Machinery Show booth. This is Jeff’s first show where he’s not the farmer asking the questions and he says he’s really enjoying the interaction with people who are visiting.

Jeff says they’re trying to improve efficiency for farmers and provide solutions to their needs. Most of the people he’s spoken to seem to be very happy with their precision equipment. I asked him what he thought about the adoption rate in young vs. older farmers. He says young people are very excited about what precision offers and that once tentative more “seasoned” farmers try using these systems they find that it’s easier than they thought.

You can my interview with Jeff here: Listen to MP3 file Jeff Topel Interview (3 min. mp3)

Audio, National Farm Machinery Show