Precision Point Blog

Ag Leader

Apr, 07 2010 - by Paul Rose

40,000 ha Croatian company adopts precision ag

Croatia - not a country that immediately comes to mind when talking about precision farming.  However, in this country of 4.5 million people there is one company that is now adopting this new technology.  Agrokor Group is the largest farming company in Croatia and farms approximately 40,000 ha with a variety of crops from wheat to vineyards.  Agrokor Group was formed in 1995 but one of its companies dates back to 1697!

Testing VRA using InSight display and Bogballe trailed spreader

Agrokor has always been ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and management practices; one example of this is the wheat crop. Average yield for Croatia is approximately 4t/ha (metric tons/hectare) but Agrokor have managed to double this yield to 8t/ha by using modern farming practices and management.

Recently, they have started exploring the world of precision farming.  The main driving factors behind this are to improve productivity and efficiencies whilst maintaining a high quality product.  It wasn't long before they discovered Ag Leader.  Within the space of a couple of months, I visited the farm for the first time with Ag Leader distributor Findri. Our mission was to test variable rate application (VRA) of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) based on a prescription map using the Ag Leader InSight™ display and Bogballe fertilizer spreader.  Testing was a resounding success and has since been followed up with a second visit by me and Ag Leader staff.

Ag Leader staff training user on OptRx system

OptRx™ (Ag Leader's new crop sensor) was also of great interest to Agrokor, not only because of the benefits of real-time VRA nitrogen (N), but also because it seamlessly integrates with their existing equipment.  Initial testing was a success and further trials are to be carried out this year.  The main focus of the trials is to see what real world benefits this technology can bring to Agrokor.  What they are hoping for is more efficient use of N, not necessarily larger yields.

It is a common misconception that VRA N will increase yields when this is not necessarily always the case.  The main goal of this technology is to put product where it is needed and not waste it where it is not needed.  In some cases this many mean higher average yields, in other cases it may mean less N use, but maintaining average yield.

For 2010, trials will be conducted in various locations withing the Agrokor Company and will compare standard practise of applying a flat rate of N versus VRA N using the sensors.  Both practices will rely on local agronomic input to make sure the best results are achieved.  As with the initial trails for VRA P and K, the University of J.J. Strossmayer in Osijek, Faculty of Agriculture will be involved to validate the results and carry out any statistical analysis.

University of J.J. Strossmayer, Faculty of Agriculture called in to carry out testing of VRA

Ag Leader

Apr, 06 2010 - by Michael Vos

A Report Card for Your Farm

Precision ag tools can improve efficiency in the field.  These tools also provide information from the field to be viewed with computer software.  With so much technology and ways to improve your operation, the difficulty is deciding which solutions are right for you.  I've heard it said, "there are a lot of rabbits to chase and you can't chase them all". Software that reads the information from your precision ag displays gives you the ability to quantify the changes you made and see which ones profited.  The largest value from precision ag data is that it is truly your information!  Only your information gives you data from your unique fields.  Only your information gives you a report about your final yields, combined with your management practices.  And only your information can help make you the most informed decision to improve on next year's crop.  Similar to getting a report card in school, your information is a "report card" for all your fields. One way to see your report card is to create maps and reports.  Most precision ag software programs create maps and reports using your information.  View this video to see it done in SMS™  Software.

If you would like to know more details about specific areas in your field, you can also use the query tools.  These tools are very powerful; we give you a brief overview of how they work here.

Ag Leader

Apr, 01 2010 - by Ag Leader

Happy Easter! Is Tech Support open?

Happy Easter - bunny & eggs

As preparations for Easter egg hunts and family dinners with some sort of ham involved are going on all over the country, so is spring field work.  If you're not in the field yet, you are preparing to be there soon.  Ag Leader's business office is closed tomorrow, April 2, 2010; that might put a kink in some of your plans...maybe you're thinking "what happens if I have a question or issue in the field, does that mean I have to wait until Monday to get an answer?" Before you panic, Ag Leader's business office is closed, but Tech Support will be open Friday, April 2 from 7am-8pm and Saturday, April 3 from 8am-4pm.  Tech Support will be closed Sunday, April 4. We wish you an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend!  Happy Easter! PS - This is not an April Fool's joke! smile

Ag Leader

Mar, 31 2010 - by Dave King

International Perspective

agleader-worldmap

While Ag Leader is usually thought of as a North American company, we have been selling into the international market for 16 years and currently have distribution in over 30 countries.  We are fortunate to work with a great group of distributors who represent the Ag Leader brand across the globe.  Some of our distributors have been with us from the beginning and others are new to the Ag Leader family.  Our distributors have helped us bring the benefits of precision ag products to growers around the world, and for this we thank them. The international market for precision agriculture is complex with different farming practices and equipment for each country and region of the world.  It can be a challenge to adapt our products to meet the needs of the farmers in different parts of the world, from fertilizing sugar cane in Brazil to harvesting corn with six-foot row spacing in South Africa.  Needless to say, the challenges keep things interesting for us as we continue to expand our international operations.

Rows of corn are six feet apart.

Through the course of this blog, myself and other staff who work with our overseas customers, will highlight some of the ways growers from around the world are using precision farming equipment and learn a little more about how their farming operations work.  We will also showcase some of our foreign distributors and find out what precision ag practices are relevant to their region. For more information regarding Ag Leader distributors throughout the world, here's a link to our Dealer Locator.  If you have a question about global precision farming practices, drop us a line.

Ag Leader

Mar, 30 2010 - by Ag Leader

Getting Started: What makes a good precision ag dealer?

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Starting out in precision farming can seem easier when a knowledgeable dealer is on your side. What makes a good precision ag dealer? What questions should you ask when talking with dealers about adopting new technologies?

It’s important to feel comfortable with a precision ag dealer. A good precision ag dealer gives you all the choices and provides information that would better your operation. Your operation is different than anyone else’s. First, you should explain your operation to a precision ag dealer. You want to make sure the dealer knows what your goals are, specifically in terms of precision technology. What do you want to be able to do? Your precision farming dealer can then give you options to choose from.

Second, ask your dealer what kind of service is provided after the product is purchased. How can you reach them if something goes wrong during planting or harvest seasons? What do they have to offer when it comes to technical support? Do they have specific employees designated to providing technical service? This is important to know because the dealer relationship is not finished after the sale. Chances are there will be times you have a question about your equipment. Make sure you have someone there when you need an answer.

Third, how can you learn to best use the precision equipment that you purchase? Some dealerships offer trainings on specific products or put on seminars for general precision ag information. Others can point you in the right direction to find those resources. It is important that you have a way to learn more about your precision technologies so you can advance your operation.

A well-rounded dealer can help you make informed decisions. They may not always know the right answer, but they know where the answer can be found. Use the above points to create your own questions for a precision dealer and think through the answers they provide. These questions are by no means comprehensive, but a great place to start when considering precision technology.

Ag Leader

Mar, 29 2010 - by Nick Ohrtman

Nights & Weekends - We're here to help!

This time of year it is more important than ever to have top notch precision ag support available to you.  Support can come in the form of your local dealer or by calling Technical Support at Ag Leader.  We understand the questions and problems you run into during the spring do not fall within the typical 8am-5pm business hours.  For that reason, Ag Leader Tech Support has now switched to an extended hours schedule for the spring.  As of Wednesday, March 24, Technical Support is now open from 7am-8pm CST Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm CST Saturday and 12pm-4pm CST Sunday.

Don't forget your Ag Leader Dealer is a great source of knowledge and support for your precision ag products.  They can provide you in-person assistance with installation and operation of your equipment.  For the times when your dealer is not available, feel free to contact Ag Leader Technical Support (515-232-5363 or support@agleader.com) for assistance. We can better help you understand the operation of your system as well as troubleshoot any problems that you are seeing in the field. We wish everyone luck and safety as we head into planting season!

Ag Leader

Mar, 25 2010 - by Ag Leader

Ag Leader Expands Precision Ag Communications Using Social Media

March 25, 2010, AMES, Iowa – To enhance their “closest to the farmer” reputation, Ag Leader Technology, Inc., a leader in the development of precision farming solutions, officially launched social media efforts today with the inaugural post to the new blog Precision Point. Not only can Ag Leader fans interact with the company on their blog, but also on various platforms including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. “The reality is social media is the way people are communicating today. These platforms allow us not only to inform and educate, but to have a conversation with those interested in precision farming technology,” says Dave King, Marketing Manager. “We can connect with Ag Leader customers around the globe, but also others in the ag industry as well as those who know nothing about precision agriculture.” Precision Point, found at http://www.agleader.com/blog will ,offer readers a wide variety of topics and precision ag information. The company will share insights into popular questions on getting started in precision technology, trends in the industry as well as international precision ag use. “Social media adoption can be compared to the adoption of automated steering technology – warp speed. We felt this step was necessary to stay close to our customers as well as continue the precision ag education and innovation process,” continues King. “Not only will the precision ag user benefit from this, but so will Ag Leader. We hope to learn from social media interaction, ultimately furthering the precision ag industry.” Interactions can take place on Twitter using @agleadertech, Facebook on the “Ag Leader Technology Fan Page” and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/AgLeaderTechnology About Ag Leader Ag Leader Technology, Inc. is a pioneer and recognized technology innovator of precision agriculture hardware and software. Located in Ames, Iowa the company manufactures and markets industry leading precision farming technology designed to help growers make smart, profitable business decisions. Founded in 1992 the company has achieved consistent growth and expansion by providing value-based products that help growers and ag professionals achieve and maintain a successful operation.

For more information visit: http://www.agleader.com

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Ag Leader

Mar, 23 2010 - by Ag Leader

Welcome to Precision Point!

I think Ag Leader's Marketing and International Business Manager (as well as fellow blogger) Dave King said it best in a recent Ag Leader press release:

"The reality is social media is the way people are communicating today.  These platforms allow us not only to inform and educate, but to have a conversation with those interested in precision farming technology."

The proof is in the pudding, right?  Welcome to Precision Point - Ag Leader's blog for all things precision ag!

Ag Leader Facebook Fan Page

In this first post I want to outline where you can find Ag Leader online and what we will be talking about in Precision Point.  You can follow Ag Leader on Twitter (@agleadertech), become a fan on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube channel. What will we blog about?

Getting Started: Now what? One of the most popular questions on message boards, at farm shows, call to Ag Leader - how do I get started?  We'll address this and many other popular questions.

Did you know? The folks who provide customer support and guide training efforts will help get you prepared to go to the field and detail popular trouble-shooting info.

Taking the next step. What do I do with all the data I've collected?  How do I manage it and what can it tell me?  Our SMS Software group explains what to do with all the data you've collected.  Their mantra: turning data into useful information.

International Perspective Dave King and Paul Rose will discuss the impacts of precision ag globally, how practices differ, as well as highlight Ag Leader distributors from around the world.

Trends and New Techology Ag Leader's product management team will provide insights into the ever-changing precision ag industry. Come back and visit us often, or for extreme convenience add us to your news feed or aggregator.  Become a fan on Facebook or drop us a line on Twitter.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Ag Leader

Feb, 15 2010 - by Ag Leader

SureVac Electric Row Shutoff

See the new SureVac electric row shutoff device in action! This row-by-row control device provides you an easily-installed, zero-maintenance solution to reduce seed costs and increase yield potential.

 

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