New Precision Ag Products

Chuck Zimmerman

Kayla ReynoldsAt the John Deere product introduction Kayla Reynolds, John Deere Ag Management Solutions, gave a presentation to the media and a group of securities analysts. It was kind of a like a Precision 101 class since many of those attending have no background or experience with agriculture. The event provided them with some great information that will help them better cover the industry.

After her presentation I spoke to Kayla about the main points she wanted to get across to the group about the new things being offered by John Deere. She focused on 4 main topics related to precision ag. They are long range RTK, shading optimization, GS2 rate controller expansion and Swath Control Pro for planting. She explains each of them and what is new about them.

It appears that John Deere has made some significant strides in the area of precision ag. For example the new long range RTK allows a grower to operate their equipment with sub inch accuracy at up to 12 miles from the base station instead of the 6 miles previously possible.

You can listen to my interview with Kayla here: Listen to MP3 Kayla Reynolds Interview (4:00 min mp3)

Audio, Events

Hands-On Demos

Laura McNamara

Precision Ag Demo Farmers are getting a sneak peak trial of John Deere’s latest in desktop software, the beta version of the company’s Apex 2.0 program. The live demo is just one of four innovative products John Deere is displaying at its Ag Management Solutions booth. Consumers can also check out the company’s Autotrack Universal System Mobile Guidance Solution, GS2 Rate Controller, and its Starfire rTK technology.

AMS Regional Specialist Andrea Grube gave me a quick introduction to these products. You can listen to the interview here: Listen to MP3 Andrea Grube Interview (2:00 min mp3)

Audio, Displays, Software

Hands-Free Technology

Laura McNamara

Satellite Technology DemonstrationIt’s no magic trick. It’s a John Deere Precision Ag demonstration, showing just how much freedom satellite technology can offer a farmer in the field. Public Relations Manager Barry Nelson explained that operators need to program their routes just once and satellite operation will take care of the rest: distance, turns, no sweat. Barry also filled me in on the equipment and exhibits John Deere has on display at the 2007 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL.

You can listen to the interview here: Listen to MP3 Barry Nelson Interview (2:40 min mp3)

Audio, Displays, Events, Satellite

Precision Ag Updates From John Deere

Chuck Zimmerman

When it comes to sprayers John Deere is bringing a lot of new things to the market. At the product introduction I spoke with Brent Madden who not only works for John Deere but also farms with his family in Iowa. I asked him to put his farmer hat on first and tell us about some of the new sprayer options from John Deere as well as those related to precision ag. He points out how the GreenStar 2 (GS2) rate controller has been updated to handle applying anhydrous ammonia or certain liquid fertilizers.

Then when I asked him to put his farmer hat on he says the new Swath Control Pro for planters has him really excited. He says they’re looking forward to using it in the coming spring.

Events, Video

Precision Ag on Display at John Deere Product Launch

Chuck Zimmerman

Precision AgThere was plenty of precision ag on display at the John Deere product introduction and I’ll have posts here about that over the coming days. This display was part of one of the field demonstrations where dealers got to see what they can offer their customers this fall.

While I was at this field station I interviewed Mike Park, Factory Marketing Manager, Ag Management Solutions. Mike talks about John Deere’s precision ag products. He’s really excited about the new Swath Control Pro for planting that’s now going to save growers significantly on seed costs. He also says that APEX 2.0 software is now available. He says that although not every customer is ready to invest in some of these tools he highly recommends they talk about them with their local representative. When I asked him if a grower can stair step into the precision products he says they call it, “scalable accuracy,” meaning that there are different levels of investment that will all utilize similar components.

Equipment, Events

Dealers Welcomed to John Deere Product Launch

Chuck Zimmerman

Doug DeVriesThe Senior Vice President, Agricultural Marketing – North America, Australia & Asia, for John Deere is Doug DeVries. Doug came out on stage at the product launch in Cincinnati to thank the dealers who work directly with the customers.

In my interview with Doug he says this is the widest range of products they’ve ever brought to the market at once. He says it covers all areas and types of customers and is the culmination of a lot of R&D work. He comments on the growth in precision agriculture and says they see no change in the continued growth in this category of equipment.

You can listen to my interview with Doug here: Listen to MP3 Doug DeVries Interview (2:00 min mp3)

Audio, Dealers, Events

New 7330 Premium Cab Tractor With AMS and AutoTrac

Chuck Zimmerman

7330 TractorThe John Deere “Dedicated Leadership” product launch is in full swing and today the media, a number of securities analysts as well as dealers from around the country got to see the new products coming out from the company.

One of the first things my group got to do when we arrived at the John Deere product launch field site was drive a new 7330 premium cab tractor.

It was hot so the air conditioned cab was a welcome break. We had a John Deere representative in the cab with us just to keep us safe and of course we buckled up. The tractors were equipped with gps receivers and AMS and AutoTrac integrated.

Jen Clark was my co-pilot and she was very cooperative in allowing me to videotape my test drive.

I’ve recorded a number of interviews with other John Deere representatives here during the product launch which we’ll be featuring in the coming days.

Events, Video

John Deere StarFire iTC Receiver Software Enhancements

Chuck Zimmerman

Starfire ITC ReceiverThe John Deere product launch, “Leadership by Design,” is underway in Cincinnati, OH.

An example of the kind of announcements we’re seeing today includes improvements to precision software.

As more producers use precision guidance to lower input costs, save fuel and reduce passes in the field, John Deere continues to enhance software to bring more value and accuracy when using field equipment. Two new improvements include Long Range RTK, which expands the working distance of a vehicle from the base station, and Shading Optimization, which enhances AutoTrac™ performance in partially shaded conditions.

“Precision guidance technology continues to improve with better software to allow greater accuracy in variable field conditions,” says Kayla Reynolds, product marketing manager, John Deere Ag Management Solutions. “Our previous version of StarFire™ RTK had sub-inch accuracy but was limited to a six-mile radius from the base station. The new Long Range RTK software now maintains the accuracy but allows a twelve-mile radius from the base station.”


Satellite Citrus Research

Cindy Zimmerman

FDOCThe Florida citrus industry is being threatened by diseases such as canker and greening that could have a severe impact on production in the future.

The Florida Department of Citrus has been working with NASA for almost three years now to determine how satellite technology can help the state’s citrus industry track grove acreage and tree numbers, and eventually spot the early signs of diseases. In a recent interview with the Lakeland Ledger, FDOC director of scientific research Dan King talked about the possibilities and the progress so far.

FDOC KingKing says one of the goals is to provide a multi-level analytical tool. “Multi-level means from the individual grove up to the government agency level,” he said. “The areas of information are all based on satellite imagery and software interpretation that allows us to develop a database of information.”

“We are working on being able to find signatures on such things as citrus greening, and those signatures will be used to evaluate imagery,” said King. “The data we are currently gathering and the research being proposed and carried forward now suggests that within two to three years, we should have an answer as to whether this is truly a capability we can generate from aerial or satellite imagery.”

Read the Lakeland Ledger interview with King here.

Research, Satellite

May The Force Be With You

Chuck Zimmerman

Ron DeFauwThis week John Deere participated in the Syngenta Learning Centers program in Milford, IA. On display was the new John Deere Central Insecticide System.

Here’s Ron DeFauw, John Deere Seeding Group, talking about a the system’s brand new way to apply Force Insecticide. Think of the box version of wine that you put in your refrigerator and you’ll have a pretty good idea what the new box formulation of this corn rootworm control product looks like. Ron says the product will be available this fall and that you should see your John Deere dealer for more information. He says the system provides for very precise control of the application of the product.

He says benefits of Syngenta’s Force CS include the fact that there’s no worry over getting granulated product or dust on your hands and the boxes are lightweight and easy to load and move. Another benefit comes after you’ve applied the product. The boxes don’t have to be returned to the dealer. You can easily dispose of them.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this new product at next week’s John Deere product launch and I’ll be on hand to provide coverage here on

You can listen to my interview with Ron here: Listen to MP3 Ron DeFauw Interview (2 min MP3)