Producer Profile: Delbert Armstrong, Jr.

Melissa Sandfort

Precision in Practice column brings you the latest reports from producers across North America who have put precision farming into practice in their own operations. Visit this column regularly to see what your neighbors are saying about precision farming and how they use it on their farms.

315a.jpg Delbert Armstrong, Jr.
Winterville, NC
6,000 acres
John Deere components used: Starfire RTK, John Deere 4720 Sprayer with Swath Control Pro

Q: You’re planting corn. What are some benefits you’re experiencing with the RTK system?
A: I spend 12 to 14 hours a day in the tractor with a 36-row planter. Once I get turned into the rows, I can hit the AutoTrac button, let it go, then watch the row units to make sure everything is adjusted as it should be. This allows me to keep my mind on what the planter is doing instead of turning my knuckles white having to watch the row markers in front of the tractor. It’s easy on me, and my hands aren’t tired from holding the steering wheel all day.

Q: What cost savings have you seen?
A: Seed corn was $75 per bag in 1982. Now it’s $220 per bag. With new planters and the RTK system, I’m more accurate, which in turn, saves money. One of the most cost-effective operations is swath control by saving on nitrogen, and it helps improve yields in the long run. Most people just don’t know what the system is capable of doing. But It all pencils out.

Q: What are you telling your neighbors?
A: More farmers need to invest in precision agriculture. They don’t have to do it all at once, all in one year, but it will quickly pay for itself time and time again.

You can listen to the interview with Delbert here: Listen to MP3 Delbert Armstrong (4:00 min mp3)

Audio, Precision in Practice

Guidance made easy.

Melissa Sandfort

AutoTrac Thinking about GPS? Wanting hands-free ease of operations? Check out AutoTrac – the mobile solution that functions on many different vehicles, with all levels of accuracy, and year-round. What’s more, youhave the opportunity to increase the productivity of your older equipment and even non-“green” equipment by incorporating AutoTrac into your operation. It’s both accurate and reliable, with unsurpassed quality and performance.

“Depending on the crop, the return on the investment in a guidance package can be much greater and the payback much faster,” says Kayla Reynolds, product marketing manager for John Deere Ag Management Solutions. “The scalability and affordability of these newer systems give producers who farm from 500 to 50,000 acres a chance to the technology and expand it to include mapping and variable-rate applications.”

Equipment, General

InfoAg 2007

Cindy Zimmerman

InfoAg Midwestern farmers who want to know more about precision agriculture first-hand should register now for InfoAg 2007 in Springfield, Illinois. The conference is scheduled for July 10-12, 2007, at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, Illinois.

Since the first conference in 1995, InfoAg has been a leading event in precision agriculture. InfoAg 2007 will present a wide range of educational and networking opportunities for manufacturers, practitioners, producers, and anyone interested in site-specific techniques and information management.

Registration and more information is available on-line.

Events, General

Precision.AgWired.com Podcasting

Cindy Zimmerman

Introducing the Precision.AgWired.com Podcast

i-Pod It’s now possible to use the power of one of the coolest online tools to subscribe to the “PPP” and automatically receive all the audio files we post right on to your computer and even into your iPod or other MP3 audio player. Then you can listen to Precision.AgWired.com audio whenever and wherever you want. You can find instructions on our How To Subscribe page. It will tell you how to subscribe to our news feed as well as our podcast.

In addition to offering you this subscription mechanism you can also find all the interviews and audio files we post archived onto a special Audio Archives page which you will always find a link to in the right sidebar of the website.

We hope this makes it easier for you to use the latest communications technology to update yourself on the latest agricultural technology!

Audio, Farm Broadcast Reports, General

The Precision Ag Minute

Cindy Zimmerman

Precision MinuteThis Precision Ag Minute is about the simplicity and efficiency of John Deere’s Green Star 2 AutoTrac System.

Peter Shinn with Brownfield Network talked to Greg Hannay of Saskatewan about how the GreenStar 2 System really helps him fight fatigue in the field. “I don’t know how I ever sprayed without it,” he says.

You can listen to the latest Precision Ag Minute here: Listen to MP3 Precision Ag Minute 7 (1 min mp3)

Audio, Equipment, General, Precision Ag Minute

Brownfield Precision Ag Reports

Cindy Zimmerman

Brownfield NetworkBrownfield Network has been airing some good reports lately on precision agriculture. Veteran farm broadcaster Dave Russell with Brownfield’s Indiana headquarters shared these reports with us.

Dave RussellDave did an in-depth interview with Jeff Kaiser of John Deere Agri Services about OptiGro at the recent National Farm Machinery Show.
Listen to MP3 Russell interview with Jeff (4:30 min mp3)

Dave also talked with Ron Moron of John Deere Harvester Works about John Deere’s STS Combines, available with AutoTrac(TM).
Listen to MP3 Russell interview with Ron (5:30 min mp3)

Audio, Equipment, Farm Broadcast Reports, General

Producer Profile: Greg Hannay

Melissa Sandfort

The Precision in Practice column brings you the latest reports from producers across North America who have put precision farming into practice in their own operations. Visit this column regularly to see what your neighbors are saying about precision farming and how they use it on their farms.

Short broadcast interviews with these and other producers can be found in the Precision Ag Minute archives.

John Deere 4720 Sprayer Greg Hannay
Rosetown, SK
John Deere components used: GreenStar 2, John Deere 4720 Sprayer with Swath Control Pro

Q: How do you use precision ag?
A: I don’t know how I ever sprayed without it (the GreenStar 2 System). The major advantage with AutoTrac is parallel tracking as well as the curve track option. I now have the ability to follow a straight path time after time, or strike my own A/B line with degree capabilities.

Every path is deadly accurate. The active screen map paints you a picture of the whole field as to what you have and have not done; there is no confusion as to what and where you’ve done it. Then we have a printable document for customer use and custom applications.

Q: What are the advantages of using precision ag products?
A: When you consider chemical and fuel costs, when you spray something that’s as high as $25 to $30 an application per acre, it doesn’t take long on an overlap to lose money. You can set your course and hold that path which saves a lot of money in a short amount of time.

My neighbors say they can shoot a bullet down the furrows – it’s that straight. And, my 73-year-old father has the freedom to still be actively involved. We can work a 14 to16 hour day without being fatigued.

Q: Have you ever had a question about your GreenStar system?
A: Yes. But the John Deere support and dealer network is very strong. We’ve never had any major issues, and the minor ones we’ve had were solved quickly. John Deere product support is available 24 hours a day.

You can listen to the full interview with Greg here: Listen to MP3 Greg Hannay (5 min mp3)

Audio, Precision in Practice

Purpose of Precision.AgWired.com

Cindy Zimmerman

Barry Using new media technology to get information out to farmers about new precision agriculture technology is really the ultimate goal of precision.agwired.com, according to John Deere Public Relations Manager Barry Nelson.

“Farmers in general are pretty anxious to embrace new technology if it is giving them an advantage or making them more profitable in their operation,” says Nelson. And new technology includes internet-based communications tools like this website and podcasts.

“We’re looking at all of that new technology to communicate with the farmers,” he said.

Nelson says John Deere chose this type of website to help get more information to farmers about precision agriculture because it can be easily updated on a daily basis and it is “multi-media, so if we have audio interviews, or video, or good editorial, you can put all media you have about precision agriculture on one site. So, people can use that as a really good resource.”

Nelson also likes being able to post interviews done by various farm broadcasters around the country on the site. “That’s one of the advantages of this new site. It’s kind of a win-win for everybody.”

Listen to MP3 Barry Nelson (4 min mp3)

Audio, General

Producer Profile: Russ Lanphair

Melissa Sandfort

The Precision in Practice column brings you the latest reports from producers across North America who have put precision farming into practice in their own operations. Visit this column regularly to see what your neighbors are saying about precision farming and how they use it on their farms.

Short broadcast interviews with these and other producers can be found in the Precision Ag Minute archives.

GreenStar 2 System Russ Lanphair
Sikeston, Mo.
John Deere components used: AutoTrac

Q: What motivated you to use a John Deere AutoTrac precision ag system?
A: We had been using lightbars, and they worked, but they really didn’t make it any easier. It seemed as though we spent more time watching the lightbar than we did anything else.

Now we use the GreenStar 2 system during planting – we know we’re getting the Nitrogen rate that we want, where we want it.

Q: On what other applications do you use AutoTrac?
A: We’ve used it to change Nitrogen rates and now we’re doing prescription work with anhydrous and seed rates.

We more than justify the cost of the system. We were doing everything manually, but now we’ve eliminated the human error.

You can listen to the interview with Russ here: Listen to MP3 Russ Lanphair (2 min mp3)

Audio, Precision in Practice

Guidance Turns 10

Melissa Sandfort

Guidance Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Back in 1997, manual and automated steering systems were introduced for use in agriculture. These first guidance systems were used in Australia and have improved greatly in accuracy, ease-of-use and functionality since then.

Kayla Reynolds, product marketing manager for John Deere Ag Management Systems, says the scalability and affordability of these newer systems give producers who farm from 500 to 50,000 acres a chance to use and benefit from this technology and expand it to include mapping and variable-rate applications.

General