John Deere iSolutions Make Precision Technology Easy to Understand

Laura McNamara

Information desk at the John Deere Agritechnica ExhibitOne of the biggest client-customer programs offered at the John Deere Agritechnica exhibit is the iSolutions program. Paul Leathem, the manager of John Deere Advertising in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, explains that AMS technology is well known in both North America and Europe, but the technology is less understood in Europe. He says iSolutions is meant to explain the different packages of AMS solutions John Deere can offer to farmers.

You can listen to Paul give a detailed explanation of iSolutions and several packages offered for different types of farmers here:

Listen to MP3 Paul Leathem, Manager for John Deere Advertising(4:00 min mp3)

Audio, Displays, Equipment, Events, International

Night Sprayer

Laura McNamara

John Deere Display at Agritechnica 2007The technology behind the 730i series sprayers is child’s play for Paul Leathem, the manager of John Deere Advertising in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The sprayers are also equipped with intelligent applications such as the AutoTrac assisted steering system, BoomPRO and SprayPRO. Paul says these sprayers can retract to dimensions suitable for road travel at the push of a button. The 730i series sprayers can also travel up to a speed of about 12 mph in the field.

You can listen to Paul elaborate further on the 730i series sprayers here:

Listen to MP3Paul Leathem, Manager for John Deere Advertising(6:00 min mp3)

Agritechnica 2007 Photo Album

Audio, Displays, Equipment, Events, International

Intelligent Self-Propelled Sprayer Debuts at Agritechnica

Laura McNamara

John Deere Exhibit at Agritechnica 2007Agritechnica 2007 officially marked the launch of John Deere‘s first ever self-propelled sprayer in Europe. The 5430i is an intelligent sprayer that offers almost a complete automation of the entire sprayer application procedure. The sprayer integrates ten innovative AMS (Ag Management Solutions) features, including SprayPRO technology. The SprayPRO system uses GPS technology to offer more precision on sprayer functions such as steering the tractor, recording application rates, monitoring overlaps and skips, switching boom sections on and off, or any other GPS-based function. The Manager of John Deere advertising in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, Paul Leathem, says European business is moving away from mounted sprayers and is demanding more self-propelled technology.

Paul gave our group of reporters who traveled to Agritechnica with John Deere a detailed overview of the 5430i sprayer. You can listen to Paul here:

Listen to MP3 Paul Leathem, Manager for John Deere Advertising(2:30 min mp3)

Audio, Displays, Equipment, Events, International, Software

Precision Technology a Big Draw for John Deere Consumers in Europe

Laura McNamara

Dr. Oliver Neumann, Manager of Public Relations, European Market for John DeereJohn Deere has already attracted a large, steady crowd to it’s revamped exhibit at Agritechnica… and the event hasn’t even “officially” begun. The preview days, or the days typically reserved for media, honored guests and participants who don’t mind paying triple the normal entrance fee, got a sneak peek at Agritechnica 2007 for two days before the farm machinery show’s official opening. Both John Deere’s high-tech demonstration, complete with a tractor that drives and moving hi-definition plasma tv screens, and the company’s iSolutions were a big part of the “new John Deere look” that was attracting such a sizable “preview days” crowd.

I spoke with Dr. Oliver Neumann, the manager of public relations in John Deere’s European market, about the new John Deere exhibit, the company’s new approach to consumer education on precision technology and, of course, it’s gold medal winning E Premium series 7430 and 7530 tractors.

You can listen to my interview here:
Listen to MP3 Neumann (5:00 min mp3)

I’ll be posting more information on the technology behind John Deere’s iSolutions and precision agriculture campaign soon.

Audio, Displays, Equipment, Events, International

Prowling Deutschland For Precision Ag

Laura McNamara

2007 Agritechnica in Hanover GermanyThe dates for Agritechnica 2007 are fast approaching. This year’s event is being held next week, November 13 through 17. Agritechnica is one of the world’s biggest showcases for farm equipment. The German Agriculture Society hosts the event once every two years. Thanks to John Deere, I have the opportunity to travel to Germany and check out the latest in farm machinery innovation. In fact, I’ll be in the air today making my way to Frankfurt. You’ll be able to find most of my coverage of the week-long trip on I will be on the prowl for precision ag technology though, so check back here often to catch up on the tools and software I unearth in Germany.

The trip will also feature an inside look at the John Deere identity in Europe. John Deere will be taking our group of reporters on a factory tour of the John Deere Werke Mannheim Plant, where we’ll get to learn about and witness John Deere Product Verification and Validation. The John Deere European Parts Distribution Centre is also scheduled stop, along with a tour of both a German arable farm and vegetable farm. Of course, we’ll also get a warm welcome from the German Agriculture Society.

It won’t be all work with no play though. John Deere will be taking good care to ensure we get a good look at some Deutschland landmarks, including the old German town of Heidelberg and it’s historic castle. And, the trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at an authentic German winery.

Equipment, International

Kansas Students Get Their Hands on Precision Ag Sprayers

Laura McNamara

Deere Trail Implement Inc. The ease of precision agriculture has given a couple agriculture instructors the opportunity to offer their students some hands-on education. Well, an article in the Emporia Gazette said both precision ag and access to the Deer Trail Implement complex located just west of Emporia made the hands-on lesson a reality.

Thirty-five K-State students trekked form Manhattan, KS to Emporia, KS to try out John Deere’s 4830 and 4930 self-propelled sprayers first-hand. Both sprayers are equipped with precision agriculture hardware and software. The 4830 Sprayer uses a GreenStar 2 monitor with precision guidance mapping and variable-rate software in it’s cab, while ag enthusiasts can find a SpreadStar Controller in the cab of the 4930 Sprayer. A SpreadStar™ Controller offers operators precision dual-product rate control from the cab. The technology can apply single or dual product or fertilizer at 20 mph with a spread pattern up to 105 feet. The Emporia Gazette article reports that the Deer Trail Implement complex was meant to foster a learning atmosphere:

When Deer Trail Implement was building its $2.3 million complex west of Emporia on U.S. Highway 50, one feature Deer Trail Manager Richard Garber was excited about was having a smart classroom.

Garber envisioned the room being used by the community and students as a place to learn about agriculture.

Last week, the classroom fulfilled that vision when 35 K-State students traveled from Manhattan to Emporia. The students were juniors and seniors enrolled in a chemical applications systems course taught by John Slocombe and precision ag technologies class taught by Dr. Randy Price.

The students spent more than an hour in the classroom learning about the latest in agriculture spray technology. They then spent time outside driving John Deere’s 4830 and 4930 agriculture sprayers.

Displays, Education, Equipment, Precision Ag in the News, Precision in Practice, Software

Precision Agriculture in the News

Chuck Zimmerman

Precision farming equipment has changed the way that Mike and Annie Dee Rivers (brother and sister) farm in Aliceville, AL according to a story in the Opelika-Auburn News.

For example they can farm at night now.

The guidance technology “sees” for the farmer when they can’t see for themselves, like at night or when the wind creates a dust bowl. Annie’s still in control, but John Fulton, an assistant professor of biosystems engineering and precision agriculture at Auburn University, said she doesn’t have to concentrate as hard to operate the 375-horsepower machine anymore.

Instead, all she has to do is keep it on the straight line provided for her on the GPS monitor in the cab, turn when it says to and unload when it says to.

The equipment they’re using is showing significant gains in productivity already and in some ways you may not at first think.

The GPS system in Mike’s John Deere sprayer remembers where the center of the plant bed was from last season so the tires cause compaction only on the same spot year after year. The delicate root zone remains untouched so plants can develop season after season, he said.

“We are asked to do more with every acre, every year,” Mike said. “With precision agriculture, we are trying to get the most out of every acre.”

With a better market and the advancements at the Dee River Ranch, Mike said they are seeing more profit this year. Their production goals are higher than ever.

Precision Ag in the News

Precision for Specialty Crops

Cindy Zimmerman

Precision HorticultureUSDA’s Cooperative Extension Service has a good summary of a workshop held earlier this year on “Engineering Solutions for Specialty Crop Challenges.”

The workshop provided a forum for special crop industries to engage the science and technology community. Industry representatives voiced their concerns with regard to productivity, production efficiency, post-harvest processing, and environmental quality. In response, the research community offered some engineering science and technology capabilities that could form key components of eventual solutions.

The forum included representatives from citrus, horticulture, tree fruit, almonds and grape producers. There is some pretty interesting information here for specialty crop producers on how new technology might be able help them be more efficient.

The workshop noted that labor costs and availability, product quality, and environmental concerns are some of the primary issues facing these industries. The labor situation was a common issue expressed by nearly all attendees, primarily as it relates to the shortage of labor and the prospects for automation using robotics.

General, Research

Iowa Farmer Gets Precision Ag Experience

Cindy Zimmerman

John DeereBefore becoming a Reach for the Stars winner this year, Curtis Claeys of Delmar, Iowa had pretty limited experience with precision farming.

“I’m not real technologically advanced,” Curtis says. “Thankfully, my son is in college so when I get stuck I can give him a call and he can walk me through it. Otherwise, our local tech guy was very supportive and very good as far as taking care of us and getting us set up.”

Curtis was very pleased with the way precision farming helped him save money with nitrogen and fertilizer application by avoiding overlap. “And I think as they get this advanced, it will really save us a lot of money.”

Listen to some of my interview with Curtis here.
Listen to MP3 Curtis Claeys (4:30 min mp3)

Audio, Reach for the Stars

Precision Agriculture in the News

Chuck Zimmerman

We think of precision farming equipment as something to help with productivity but according to a recent story on California Farm Bureau’s Ag Alert publication it can mean a lot more. In fact, if it wasn’t for some GPS equipment on a John Deere tractor one farmer would be out his tractor.

On Sept. 17 the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department dispatch center sent Bray and his team of rural crime detectives to northwestern Fresno County near Firebaugh to a John Deere tractor that had been reported stolen from San Benito County.

“The owner of the tractor, which was equipped with a factory-installed GPS system, had tracked it to the location. When one of our patrol deputies and two of my detectives went out to investigate, they found a row of eight tractors lined up next to each other,” Bray said. “It was such an isolated area that if that farmer didn’t have the GPS system on this tractor, it would have been real hard for us to find.”

Now that is an interesting example of how precision ag can make a difference!

Precision Ag in the News