Whether you’re a novice at collecting harvest data or an old pro who could wallpaper his office with yield maps and more—you understand that more data layers beyond yield are necessary to add management decision value.
I talked to Bruce West this week, who helps growers adopt just about every precision farming solution imaginable through his independent company West Enterprises in Geneseo, Ill. Bruce, who was finishing a yield monitor install for a grower who was going to collect his first yield data, works with a wide variety of customers. “I help customers grow their precision technology capabilities at the speed they desire—which ranges from this basic first installation I’m doing today, to the other extreme of helping a customer develop variable rate applications of seed, nitrogen and starter in one pass at planting, with all rates being independent of the other,” he says.
When we discussed how growers are managing their data being collecting right now at harvest, he says there are basically two groups of growers. “There are cutting edge guys who want to learn to do it all themselves, and then there is the larger group who want someone else to manage their data—and I work with both groups.”
Finding Solutions. For growers looking into software to help manage data, Bruce says a lot of growers are not sure where to start. “What we need to know from growers usually starts from the bigger picture of what agronomic principles they want to accomplish. Is it fertility based on soil types or management zones? Is it plant populations based on soil types or fertility levels? And we discuss their technology feelings as well—toward auto steer, planter row and spray boom shutoff and more. The great thing about Ag Leader is that it has the products—from a software and hardware perspective—that can do basically anything and everything.”
Value of Training. Bruce usually holds his software training classes in January for customers. “We conduct very informal sessions, because growers often find great value in learning how other growers are using the software, addressing issues, learning specific tasks. They truly come away from these meetings with a greater understanding of just how powerful this Ag Leader SMS software really is, when it comes to managing many layers of data and helping them make intelligent management decisions.”
If you’d like to talk to Bruce, you’ll find West Enterprises (309-944-5736) listed as a Master Service Dealer for Ag Leader Technology—along with other professional precision farming sources from more than 20 states.