Dr. Terry Kastens is an Emeritus Professor from Kansas State University. He’s back to farming now and spoke during a Learning Center Session at Commodity Classic sponsored by John Deere. The session topic was “Better Data, Better Decisions: the ROI of Smart Machine Technology.
One of the first points Dr. Karstens makes is that every new technology requires an investment. That provides an opportunity for larger farms who can spread their investment out over more acres, or units of production. This is why you would expect larger farms to adopt new technology quicker than smaller farms. He says that we can expect to see more consolidation in row crop farms analogous to what we’ve seen in the livestock industry.
Another point made in the presentation was that some technologies are adopted at a rapid rate and others at a much slower rate. In the precision ag sector an example of quick adoption is the use of yield monitors. But he says that making sense out of yield monitor data and actually varying rates of fertilizer as one example are being adopted much slower.
Everyone knows the famous slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere” which has been used by the company for decades. But with more John Deere equipment approved for biodiesel, well that slogan needs to be updated a little!
In addition to security benefits for Americans, biodiesel also improves lubricity, reduces sulfur emissions, and reduces aromatics. Biodiesel has a high cetane content for faster ignition. These are just a few of the reasons Deere’s Don Borgman cites for the company approving the use of up to 20% biodiesel (B20) blends in all its equipment.
According to Borgman, when new equipment is ready to leave the factory, it’s filled with a biodiesel blend. Deere has coined this the “biodiesel factory fill.”
“Machine & Agronomic Data Management: Maximizing Your Productivity” is the title of a Commodity Classic WIN session sponsored by John Deere. One of the presenters was Kathy Michael, Senior Product Manager, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group.
The way that John Deere is helping farmers maximize their machine and agronomic data is with JD Link, their telematic platform, which is based on wireless communications available on mobile devices as well as table top computers. “Our goal is to make it easier for our customers to collect the data in the field, to see their machines in the field, to see their operators in the field and bring it in to one spot.” Kathy says feedback from customers includes “the more we know about what’s going on, the less phone calls, the less CB radio connections and running out to the field that they need to do.”
The 2013 Commodity Classic is taking place in Kissimmee, FL. We’re on the scene and will be sharing some stories and interviews with you starting with our coverage sponsor John Deere. John Deere held a press conference this morning. Patrick Sikora updated ag media on what is going on with the John Deere FarmSight system that was announced at Commodity Classic two years ago. All of the many components of FarmSight will be tied into a farmers MyJohnDeere.com account. Those include: JDLink™; John Deere Financial; My Equipment; Field Connect; JDParts; AgLogic™; and StellarSupport™.
In addition to updates on FarmSight John Deere has also announced new in-cab mounts for mobile devices.
The proliferation of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices has made them popular and essential communications and information resources for today’s farmers and ranchers. As a result, John Deere is introducing mounting brackets and attachments to make it easier and more convenient for producers to have hands-free access and improved viewing of their mobile devices while operating equipment.
These new brackets include a cell phone mount bracket kit, a tablet mount kit, and accessory mounting bracket kit. They are all cross-compatible with current John Deere monitor kits and are customizable to fit each operator’s specific requirements in the cab.
Deere also announced an expansion of their Field Connect soil moisture monitoring system. Thes new environmental sensors include: Weather Station; Rain Gauge; Temperature Sensor; Pyranometer and Leaf Wetness Sensor.
In addition to the soil moisture data provided by the Field Connect system, the new sensors provide data on temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, solar radiation, leaf wetness and rainfall. The sensors are installed in customer fields as part of the Field Connect Gateway.
We’ve already heard about a couple of the more leading-edge technologies our friends at John Deere displayed at this year’s AG CONNECT, including their JDLink technology. Another product that caught attendees’ attentions was Field Connect, John Deere’s soil moisture monitoring tool.
“It’s pulling soil moisture information from your field, very specific to that location, and providing that to you to make decisions about how you want to manage that field moisture,” explained Nick Shafer, John Deere’s product manager for the company’s ISG group, focusing on Field Connect. The technology consists of three components with a sensing probe that gathers the information every 30 minutes, a gateway that collects and evaluates the information every two hours and a website where producers can collect the evaluated information. And since it operates on either a cell or satellite modem, there’s no worry about not getting a signal no matter where you are.
Nick said there’s also no worries about the security of the information, a hot topic at AG CONNECT. “We want to be transparent. The control of that data will be with the customer.”
Our friends at John Deere made good use of their time at the premier show for technology, innovation and education, AG CONNECT Expo, showing off some of their latest equipment. Swarupa Bakre, Associate Brand Manager for John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group talked to Chuck about their JDLink technology, a telematics solution to communicate important information gathered by the equipment and send it back to the user.
“It captures all your machine health, field data, performance and any number of variables,” and transfers the data by cellular network to a website. Swarupa said that producers can then go to the website and look at what they need to know about their machines to make their operation more efficient. “They have a ton of information at their fingertips.”
Swarupa added the whole system helps to do things like simplifying and scheduling maintenance and even setting up anti-theft tools.
Soybean growers who purchase $300 or more of Priaxor™ fungicide from BASF before March 15, 2013, may qualify to purchase John Deere spray nozzles between April 1 and May 31, 2013 with no payments and no-interest financing for 150 days. (See offer details here)
Priaxor fungicide provides continuous protection against a broad spectrum of plant diseases. More than 75 trials conducted by BASF in 2010 and 2011, in the U.S., reveal that soybean acres treated with Priaxor fungicide out-yielded untreated land 87 percent of the time.
John Deere nozzles offer precision sprayer performance and accuracy. With a variety of specialized sprayers, there is a solution for every grower and every soybean acre, including the Twin-Air nozzle for high-coverage applications with on-target spraying, providing uniform coverage – perfect for low crops with complex canopies.
This enhanced and targeted coverage maximizes applications of Priaxor fungicide by distributing it evenly on soybean leaves. Once applied, Priaxor fungicide continuously delivers its chemistry throughout each leaf. This brings more consistent disease protection and post-infection disease controls, providing Plant Health benefits that can result in greater yields.
“With our hydraulic system we can fully adjust pressure from zero to full down force in one second or less,” said Will Cannon, product specialist for Ag Leader. “Airbag systems, because of some of the limitations with airbags themselves, it takes much longer – upwards of 20 or 30 seconds.”
With a 24 row planter at 5 mph that could mean as much as a quarter of an acre goes by before the system adjusts. “That one second is a big deal out in the field,” Cannon said.
Ag Leader’s Hydraulic Down Force System is available for this planting season for all John Deere planters and Kinze 3000 series row units. “We’ve got plans already for testing on White and Case IH planters and expect to have them available for spring of 2014,” added Cannon.
John Deere is ready for AG CONNECT Expo. So says Barry Nelson who I spoke with at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention.
Barry says one of the great features of AG CONNECT Expo is that John Deere is bringing a lot of their executives. He says customers will be able to talk directly to them. He says this is true of all the exhibitors at this industry show. Barry says that if you visit the John Deere exhibit, “You’re going to see higher tech displays than you’ve ever seen?” It can’t be a more convenient location for the company since the John Deere marketing center is in Olathe, KS, right next door!
This year we got an update from Janae (formally Althouse) Tapper on this precision harvest technology and grower adoption of it.
“John Deere harvest identification is really important to the cotton growers so they can understand how many modules are being built with in a field. We are really looking at continuing to reduce labor requirements that are needed in cotton production especially around 7760. We understand that with the introduction of that machine we are building four modules for every one traditional module. So, it increases labor to go out and tag each of those individual modules.”
“In our technology division we saw a use to utilize the RF ID reading technology that we have in the round module wrap to enable them to reduce that manuel labor going out and tagging the modules. We are automatically reading those RF ID tags in the modules and sending that information to the display in the cab of the machine.”
Janae shared that cotton producers are continuing to be on board with the adoption of precision agriculture. And since the launch of time & money saving technology, John Deere’s growers are sending in very positive feedback.
To help give producers easier access to important farm and field information through their mobile device, John Deere introduces John Deere Mobile Farm Manager. The application, which can be downloaded free from the Apple Store, is compatible with iPad and iPhone mobile devices and connects to customers’ Apex farm management software.
Mobile Farm Manger has several functions that producers will find useful including field maps, historical reports, GPS tracking, field navigation and soil sampling grids.
In addition, customers with Mobile Farm Manager can share agronomic information with ag service providers, farm managers and other advisors as needed. This streamlines the communications process and helps ensure the accuracy of various applications and production practices.
To activate Mobile Farm Manager, customers should contact their John Deere dealer to purchase and receive their activation code, which they can enter into Apex. The activation allows the transfer of data stored in Apex to the devices with Mobile Farm Manager.
With water management becoming an increasingly important factor in crop production, John Deere introduces John Deere Field Connect to provide site specific water management data to facilitate the decision making process surrounding irrigation practices. With site specific information, producers are able to more efficiently utilize irrigation inputs resulting in fuel savings and additional yield potential. The Field Connect system continuously logs soil moisture data from probes installed in customer fields and transmits the data to a website that customers can access remotely.
John Deere Field Connect is a fully integrated system that includes three different probe options, solar panel, as well as both a satellite and cellular data connection. Field specific soil moisture data is transmitted to a secure website for viewing, and customers can program the system to receive alerts based on set parameters.
Field Connect graphs soil moisture readings at the individual sensor level (soil depth) and over the entire monitored soil profile, and shows water movement within the profile over time. The system can be customized to each field depending on the type of crops grown, soil type and water management objectives of each customer. Producers will be able to integrate the data from John Deere Field Connect with yield, soil type, fertility and other agronomic information to more effectively optimize the productivity of each field.
About 40% of corn and nearly a quarter of the soybean crop have already been harvested nationwide which is well ahead of normal for this time of year and record setting in some areas. The five year average for corn harvest by this date is less than 15%, soybeans less than 10%.
The reason for the advanced progress is the hot, dry summer which led to rapid development of crops, much of which ended in mostly poor condition across a wide section of the corn belt. The early harvest was just getting underway at Farm Progress Show this year, first time that has happened since the show moved up to the end of August dates from the previous end of September. Kim Cramer with John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois was talking with farmers at the show about adjusting combine settings to deal with some of the variability caused by the usually harsh weather this summer.
“Typically in these type of conditions, the combine needs to stay full as possible,” said Cramer. “Specifically, you try to minimize the amount of trash coming in so you need to be aware of adjustments on the corn head – speed, deck plate spacings – obviously need to have parts in good working order.”
Cramer recommends paying more attention to tailings and make appropriate adjustments. “In a year like this, you’re probably going to have to run a little bit faster in rotor or cylinder, maybe a little bit tighter with concave, those would be adjustments you would want to make,” he said.
“John Deere Remote Display Access gives customers and dealers the ability, with the customer’s permission, to actually view and see the 2630 display right from any internet-connected computer, or laptop or mobile devices – smartphone or tablet,” explained senior product manager Dave Mulder at the 2012 Farm Progress Show.
As part of the growing suite of JDLink™ telematic products, Mulder says Remote Display Access improves communication and offers faster resolution of problems to increase equipment uptime and operational performance in the field. “It enables (the farmer) to see exactly what’s going on with any piece of equipment at any point in time,” he said. “This new telematics and wireless capability just enables us a whole new realm to go into and I think it’s just the next evolution of productivity and management.”
The Remote Display Access was just introduced in June, so Farm Progress Show was the first time many farmers got to see it. Mulder says soon they will be introducing Mobile Farm Manager, another mobile app where customers can manage agronomic data and what’s going on in their fields at their fingertips.
“We have 6D tractors which is our value spec tractor, we have a 6M which is our mid spec tractor – which replaces our 6030-7030 standard tractors, and then we have a full line of 6R tractors which is our premium spec model in the 6 family,” said Jeff Ostermann, senior marketing rep with John Deere Waterloo Works, who previewed the new tractors for those at the show.
The whole family offers new features including a redesigned cab on the 6D, increased horsepower on the 6M, and new direct drive transmission on the 6R. The new 6D Series include 4 models – 6105D, 6115D, 6130D, and 6140D – ranging from 105 to 140 engine horsepower. The all-new John Deere 6M Series Tractors features six models, including the 6140M is pictured here, from 105 to 170 engine horsepower. And the expanded 6R tractors for the row-crop market includes two mid-horsepower model, 6140R and 6150R.