Making precision agriculture techniques and processes integration into their everyday farming affordable
Precision agriculture is a topic of interest to many farmers. One misperception about precision agriculture is that it involves large investments into new pieces of expensive equipment to get started. During the recent National Farm Machinery Show many of the offerings from exhibitors featured precision agriculture aftermarket products, which allow farmers to get involved without breaking the bank.
Jeff Pohlman with S.I. Distributing provided Farms.com an overview of several aftermarket Precision Ag Products. The first product was the Precision Plantings Flange Bushings Rebuild Kit that can be installed and will remove play out of your parallel linkage arm. The next option was a Keeton Seed Firmer which allows a farmer to obtain optimal seed to soil contact, pressing the seed down into the trench at the proper seed depth. This product helps farmers to make gains in bushels. Finally, Pohlman showcased the Precision Planting Clean Sweep System that makes row cleaner adjustments easy and reduces the amount of time required to adjust them.
Watch the S.I. Distributing Precision Ag Product Showcase video with Jeff Pohlman:
Doug Wiegand, Regional Sales Lead and 16-year veteran with Precision Planting advised farmers who are interested in adopting precision agriculture to begin by investing in a sensing system that tell them where they are weak and where they are strong, so that they can address these specific management issues. Wiegand says this allows farmers to determine their management priorities to drive a better return on investment. How to improve the return on investment for a fixed acres cost, such as seed, fertilizer, and equipment.
Precision Planting created the 20/20 Monitor which allows farmers to more accurately sense metrics such as singulation, spacing, downforce. Precision Planting 2020 works with SeedSense and SmartFirmer. SeedSense enables operators on farms to improve singulation, seed, downforce, etc. SmartFirmer measures in the furrow so the farmer can see what type of environment the seeds are being placed in, measuring furrow moisture, organic matter, CEC capacity, percentage of residue, temperature of furrow, etc.
Watch the Precision Planting video how to Improve Your R.O.I. with 20/20, SeedSense, and SmartFirmer:
Philip Burnham, Logistics Manager/Sales Engineer John Blue Precision Ag Pumps talked abou the well-know John Blue ag pumps. John Blue has made some improvements to their well-known pumps to incorporate hydraulic motors so that farmers can do variable rate, control flow from their cabin. Burnham says these PWMs cooperate with any type of system that reads a flow meter, and that any existing John Blue pump can be upgraded.
Watch the John Blue Precision Ag Pumps video:
Stuart Meacham, Territory Sales Manager with CapstanAG, said his emphasis was not on buying new farm machinery, but rather on making modest investments in technology so that farmers could reduce input costs. Meacham spoke with the Farms.com and about the SelectShot In-Furrow Fertilizer System. This product is designed to put a fertilizer “dose on the seed itself.”
The application, or shot, can be applied either directly on the seed, or beside the seed depending, on the farmer’s preference based on what the farmer is applying and what they may be trying to achieve. Meacham says the intended use of this product is to cut back on inputs and to reduce costs. Meacham indicates that a typical cut back rate for inputs is about 50%, while maintaining product efficacy.
Watch CapstanAG's In-Furrow Fertilizer System, SelectShot, video:
All the products featured above showcase the inexpensive ways for farmers to begin integrating precision agriculture techniques and processes into their everyday farming. Of course, if making major investments in new tractors and planting equipment is of interest, the recent National Farm Machinery Show had plenty of brand name farm equipment with new precision agriculture features.