There are about 100 agricultural reporters attending the 2007 Commodity Classic this week in Tampa who are busy writing, recording and photographing the events and products to bring back to those who are unable to attend. Many of those reporters were on hand Friday for the introduction of John Deere’s OptiGro System for corn and wheat growers.
John Mann, Vice President of Strategic Marketing for John Deere Agri-Services, told the press conference how the OptiGro system can help growers realize significant nitrogen savings at crucial times in the growing season. “It’s the ability to put the nutrients in the right place at the right time for the right cost,” he said.
The way it works is digital aerial photographs are taken of a field and the information is relayed back to an agronomic adviser online. Special software (the OptiGro Zone Maker program) translates the images into management zones with similar plant characteristics, based on reflected light.
“The advisor then checks the zones and scouts the fields to determine crop needs and writes a prescription for each zone,” Mann says.
Reporters had lots of good questions for Mann. For instance, how is this system being delivered to growers? “We want to give growers the ability to work with the person they are most familiar with,” said Mann. That can be a local John Deere dealer, an agronomic advisor or a certified staff crop advisor. “The only thing that we ask is that there be some type of precision ag expertise in the loop,” Mann said.
As for price, Mann says it varies, but is “somewhere in the 2 1/4 to 3 1/2 an acre range.”
Find out more at John Deere AgriServices online.
Listen to Mann’s full press conference, including answers to questions from the reporters – although the questions were not audible so have been edited out. John Mann Press Conference (15 min mp3)