Growers were “Reaching for the Stars”

Melissa SandfortEducation, Events, Reach for the Stars

DSC00337 (Small).JPGThe American Soybean Association (ASA) and John Deere held one of three “Reach for the Stars” summer grower meetings in Bettendorf, Iowa, on July 20th at Scott Community College. At least 25 growers were in attendance despite heavy, damaging rains received in the state earlier that week.

To begin the classroom presentation, Ray Gaesser, Iowa Soybean Association President, gave a short welcome and spoke to growers about the benefits of precision farming. Ray farms 6,000 acres of corn and soybeans near Urbandale, Iowa, and has witnessed precision at work in his own operation.

“We bought our first yield monitor in 1996. Technology has come a long way in the last 10 years and it’s really benefited our farm. We plant and harvest with auto steer; we took on Swath Control Pro in our sprayer this year, we’ll have Swath Control on our planter next year, and it’s a big savings. It will easily save us 3 to 4 percent on chemical costs this year.”

The morning session was then followed by a panel discussion and a ride-and-drive where John Deere Ag Management Solutions (AMS) representatives were able to give growers a hands-on (or rather hands-off!) demonstration of the GreenStar 2 auto guidance system as well as the newly launched iTEC Pro system.