Producer Profile: Gerald Thompson

Melissa SandfortAudio, Precision in Practice

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.

Gerald Thompson
Colfax, Illinois

John Deere components used: AutoTrac

Q: What value does your precision ag system deliver?
A: Until you use it, you don’t realize how much time you spend steering the tractor through the field. AutoTrac allows you to work longer, avoid overlapping by 5 feet (over doing it by hand), eliminates skips, and allows you to work in inclement weather conditions.

Your last trip is as good as the first one, day in and day out. My father is 77 years old and his attitude is: “Leave me alone – I don’t want to get out of this nice, controlled environment!”

We also chose to buy a smaller combine with AutoTrac because we’re still more efficient. And it’s easy to switch from planting to spraying to harvest.

Q: What would you tell other growers thinking about investing in precision ag?
A: When you buy a new tractor, I wouldn’t buy it without it. It’s like buying a tractor without air conditioning! I just wouldn’t do it. Give it a try – I know you’ll like it.

You can listen to the interview with Gerald here: Listen to MP3 Gerald Thompson (3:30 min mp3)