Wheat Harvest Film Debuted at Ag Day Festivities

ag-day-14-barry-conradThe debut of The Great American Wheat Harvest was seen by many during Ag Day activities this year in Washington D.C. Chuck took time to chat with Barry Nelson, John Deere, who was a huge sponsor of the production. He also spoke with the director, Conrad Weaver. Both couldn’t have been more excited with how the film turned out and can’t wait to get it out for the whole world to see.

“It exceeded my expectations.” Barry said, “After being able to see the final cut of the film, seeing the reaction from the crowd, but also how Conrad Weaver the producer was able to tell the story of these different custom cutters going on the harvester trail and how difficult it is. Boy, I think it’s a great story and now we are excited to see where the film is going to be debuted and shown across the US.”

Barry believes this film sets itself apart from other documentaries because it really tells the story of the families involved in this and how hard it is to predict the weather, manage the equipment and make sure they are in the right place at the right time.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Barry here: Interview with Barry Nelson

Conrad said, “It’s kind of like giving birth. You have all the toil for years and now you have birthed this thing called a movie and it’s exciting, it’s thrilling and it’s a relief to be done. But now the real work begins of getting the message out to the people.”

For the next two years Conrad said he will be busy making sure the world sees this production. They are also still looking for sponsorships to help fund marketing dollars to help get this in theaters everywhere. In the future Conrad is toying with some other project ideas all relating to agriculture. We should expect to continue to see and hear his name mentioned as a true advocate for the agricultural community.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Conrad here: Interview with Conrad Weaver

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

GROWMARK, John Deere Data Collaboration

growmarklogoGROWMARK and John Deere are collaborating to make life easier and improve decision-making for producers and agronomists.

The two are collaborating to deliver near real-time field level data to producers and FS Crop Specialists by linking FS Advanced Information Services (FS AIS), a suite of precision agronomy software, with John Deere Wireless Data Transfer, JDLink™ and MyJohnDeere.

John DeereGROWMARK Agronomy Marketing executive director Ron Milby says they are among the first agricultural retailers to leverage the Wireless Data Transfer Application Programming Interface (API) for its precision agronomy decision support software, making data exchange faster and more useful for growers and its FS company staff. “The open platform John Deere provides enables farmers and FS company staff to use the FS AIS software to make decisions in near real time – that’s a win-win,” Milby said.

Ron says they chose to work with Deere because they believe they are a leader in this field. “I think they’re going to be a viable leader in the future,” he said. “We were headed to this base, they were headed to this base, and we were able to work with them.

Producers will utilize an efficient and secure interface between FS AIS and MyJohnDeere, taking advantage of both companies’ commitment to supporting better decisions through improved data integration at the field level. This includes the ability to easily transfer work instructions, prescriptions, and product lists to the GreenStar™ 3 2630 display. Yield data, as-applied maps and work records can be transferred back to the FS AIS software.

Find out more in this interview with Ron: Interview with Ron Milby, GROWMARK

See the New John Deere Planter at Classic

nfms14-exactemergeThe new John Deere ExactEmerge Planter is likely to be the big attraction at the Commodity Classic trade show next week, just like it was at the National Farm Machinery Show.

At NFMS, I talked with John Deere Seeding Group product specialist Kelby Krueger who worked on the ExactEmerge project from start to finish. He says the new row units are a perfect fit for producers who want to plant more acres in less time due to narrow planting windows, or to increase the size of their operations without adding equipment. “It’s hard for planters to get wider, so we had to make it more productive,” Kelby said. “This planter here with 24 rows, at ten miles an hour, will be doing something close to 75-80 acres an hour.”

If you haven’t seen the unveiling of the new planter at NFMS, click here.

Listen to Kelby explain more about ExactEmerge and see it for yourself at Commodity Classic in San Antonio: Interview with Kelby Krueger, John Deere

John Deere Planter at NFMS photos

John Deere ExactEmerge Planter Reveal at NFMS

nfms14-john-deere-aaronIn the ICYMI category from the National Farm Machinery Show last week was the big reveal of the new John Deere ExactEmerge™ planter.

“We’ve been able to design from the ground up a whole new technology,” said Aaron Wetzel, John Deere VP Global Crop Care. “Being able to provide to our customers unparalleled accuracy in the trench with great opportunity to enhance yield.”

Watch the video of the unveiling below and listen to an interview with Aaron here: Interview with Aaron Wetzel, John Deere

John Deere Planter at NFMS photos

EcoEngineer’s Jim Baker Wins John Deere FFV Mower

irfasummit-E85 John Deere riding mowerIf there was one item that was coveted above all others at the 8th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, it was the E85, flex fuel riding lawn mower donated by John Deere. Attendees who submitted comments to the EPA in regards to their proposed 2014 renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) were registered to win.

As soon as the show floor opened at 8:00 am, people began jockeying for position to run up to the podium when their number was announced….and the winner is…Jim Baker with EcoEngineers. He noted that he is going to have to buy a new house with a bigger yard to get the full value out of his new toy.

Jim was so excited he was hoping to drive it home but, well, it was a tad cold out. EcoEngineers, who is based in Des Moines, is a company specializing in biofuel compliance issues such as RIN management, plant registrations and more. EcoEngineers also hosts webinars for the industry as well as workshops. It is anticipated that when the weather gets warmers Jim will ride to work on his E85 John EcoEngineers Jim Bakers ticket to FFV John Deere mowerDeere riding mower and as a gal about town, I will be sure to get a photo and tweet it out.

Want to get a peek at this bad boy? Jim is taking applications for lawn mowing jobs. I suspect there will be a lot of people lining up to mow his lawn this summer.

Monte Shaw, the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (Iowa RFA) whose association was the host of the event, said that he wanted to give special thanks to John Deere for their support of the event and the industry. John Deere has been selling agricultural equipment designed to use biodiesel for years as well as other biofuel compatible products.

Listen to my interview with Jim Baker here: EcoEngineer's Jim Baker Wins Coveted FFV Mower

View the 2014 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit photo album.

iCropTrak MyJohnDeere.com Integration

1982B982-64B5-4C27-88CC405995D3C050The MyJohnDeere.com platform has now become integrated with iCropTrak. This even includes the use of Dropbox.

Mobile Field and Farm App iCropTrak just announced their integration of the new John Deere wireless connection technology MyJohnDeere.com and DropBox in iCropTrak Version 4.0 for 2014. These technologies will allow for seamless movement of data between your Deere tractor, your iCropTrak enabled iPad and DropBox enabled clients, labs and consultants like never before.

iCropTrak is a mobile farm data management system that combines a customizable collaborative iOS mobile app, a private cloud database and 3rd party connections like MyJohnDeere.com and DropBox. It is designed to effortlessly collect soil samples, scout and document farm efforts including tracking people and equipment.

iCropTrak was the first to have a soil sampling iOS app, first to have a farm management app on iPad, and now we’re innovating to make farming easier, smarter, and more informative by interfacing MyJohnDeere.com, Dropbox, and a number of 3rd party web systems in 2014.

I spoke with Aaron Hutchinson, Cogent3D, Inc., to learn more about what this will mean to farmers: Interview with iCropTrak's Aaron Hutchinson

BASF Announces Plans for 2014

nevin mcdougallBASF recently announced plans to expand its services and initiatives for growers and agricultural professionals worldwide in 2014 through a significant investment in the development of new IT tools.

“The initiatives that were announced reflect the very strong commitment by BASF to the agricultural industry to provide modern tools to help growers get the most out of every acre,” said Nevin McDougall, BASF Senior Vice President Crop Protection North America.

BASFBASF has also announced a partnership with John Deere to jointly develop a suite of integrated precision farming and farm management solutions for farmers. “We see the partnership allowing us to integrate BASF’s expertise in agronomics and crop protection and biotechnology with John Deere’s strengths in agricultural machinery, equipment, precision ag, and data management,” Nevin said. As part of the agreement, BASF will offer a new service for field scouting and agronomic decision support. John Deere will provide a new application for sprayer setup as well as integration of field data via its collaborative farm management portal ‘MyJohnDeere.com’, which will enable growers to better manage their farm operations.

Nevin says BASF says the goal is to launch the first joint integrated tools by the end of 2014 in key agricultural markets with additional markets to follow.

Listen to or download my interview with Nevin here. Interview with Nevin McDougall, BASF

Dow AgroSciences and John Deere Form Collaboration

John Deere and Dow AgroSciencesHere’s a development that comes right out of the John Deere Developer’s Conference this year in which the company opened up it’s MyJohnDeere platform to other companies to develop applications that would integrate with all the data that the platform creates.

Helping farmers get more value per acre through the expert analysis of production data is the goal of a collaboration announced between Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) and John Deere. The companies announced today that they will work together to develop approaches and technology that will deliver data and provide information to farmers that will assist in the execution of site-specific applications to improve yields and manage costs. Specifically, Dow AgroSciences has signed on to leverage the MyJohnDeere platform and new cloud-based technologies for future delivery of customized prescriptions tailored to the grower’s environments.

This agreement will help Dow AgroSciences’ customers take full advantage of the company’s products through optimal placement of technology into specific environments based on a farmer’s field conditions. Bringing together production information with analysis from company experts and channel partners will enable specific product recommendations from a broad portfolio of corn hybrids. This precision enables effective management of inputs and the ability to monitor crop development which ultimately can drive increased yields.

“This collaboration is part of our strategy to deliver innovative Dow AgroSciences solutions tailored to each farmer’s specific environment,” says Larry Robertson, global corn project leader, Dow AgroSciences. “Exploring the promise of precision product placement is important to our customers and we are pleased to work with John Deere on approaches that ensure the best product and management tools are put to use on each acre.”

I spoke with Larry about what this collaboration means to Dow and its customers: Interview with Larry Robertson

Getting Ready for New John Deere 2014 Tractors

With the new year will come newly redesigned John Deere tractors for 2014 that offer updates that farmers will really appreciate.

_DSC2637Jarrod McGinnis, division manager of the 7 and 8 series tractors with John Deere, was talking about the new tractors during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) meeting in Kansas City. You might recall that Jarrod gave us a preview of the new rides back in August.

McGinnis says the tractors meet the final tier 4 emissions standards, but farmers are likely to most appreciate the creature comforts such as a new command center. To help eliminate fatigue in the cab, refrigerators are available as an option, extra swivel in the seat to take a look behind and see how things are tracking, and the new laminated glass makes for a quieter ride. The new 8R line has much bigger tires, Jarrod tells me that this is so there is more power to the ground.

You can listen to Leah’s interview with Jarrod here Interview with Jarrod McGinnis, John Deere

2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album

John Deere Opens MyJohnDeere Platform

nafb13-jd-batdrofAt today’s NAFB Trade Talk, John Deere’s had a big announcement about their MyJohnDeere platform collaborating software developers and companies. Cindy spoke with Product Marketing Manager for John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, Chris Batdorf, during the fast-paced event.

“Last summer we introduced a product called Wireless Data Transfer and that helped to do away with the USB stick and seamlessly transfer production data on and off the machine to MyJohnDeere platform. What this new announcement means is now we are working with the software companies out there. Then with their customers permission, tap in to this information and serve it up on their applications.”

Customers are able to view and manage this information from smart phones, tablets, and computers when and where they need it. Chris went on to share how this new technology will increase efficiency and make the job of the farmer easier overall.

“Their able to use applications that make sense to them, but we are doing a lot of things through the MyJohnDeere platform that customers are going to see in the coming year around showing the information actually on that platform. Making it a one-stop shop, helping them to not only see their John Deere equipment but other equipment as well.”

Earlier this year we had a preview of this announcement when Chuck attended John Deere API Integrator Conference. Here a link to that post.

For companies or developers interested in connecting their applications to MyJohnDeere platform visit Developer.deere.com. More information on MyJohnDeere, Wireless Data Transfer, and JDLink, check out MyJohnDeere.com or contact your local John Deere dealer.

Listen to Cindy’s complete interview with Chris here: Interview with Chris Batdorf

Checkout photos from NAFB Convention: 2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Hand-Held Grain Moisture Tester

GT 30300 Box_Case_UnitTo help producers more accurately monitor the condition of their grain during harvest and in storage, John Deere introduces the GT-30300 Grain Moisture Tester. This new hand-held device provides direct readout of moisture and test weight for 20 different grains in seconds, without pre-weighing the samples, at the touch of a button.

According to Barry Deiters, product manager with John Deere Merchandise, the new GT-30300 Grain Moisture Tester is the most accurate and advanced hand-held tester available. “The tester measures the moisture of harvested or stored grain from 5 percent to 45 percent with repeatable accuracy to plus or minus 0.2 percent and test weights with repeatable accuracy of 0.5 lb. per bushel, without having to pre-weigh the samples.”

The tester also measures the temperature of stored grains from 40 to 120 degrees F with repeatable accuracy to within 1.0 degree. Other features include a backlit LCD display for easy viewing of data, automatic temperature compensation and USB port and cord to make software updates and downloading data easy and convenient. Each unit comes with an attached swiper for grain leveling and heavy-duty carrying case.

John Deere Supports Global Harvest Initiative

wfp13-jd-coryOne of the many agricultural companies represented at the World Food Prize symposium last week in Des Moines was John Deere, which is a member of the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) along with companies such as Elanco, DuPont Pioneer, and Monsanto.

I spoke with Cory Reed, Senior VP of John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group, about the release of GHI’s 4th annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report®). “The primary metric we use to look at productivity is total factor productivity – how much are you growing outputs versus the inputs you are putting into it,” he said, adding that technology is a great way to enhance that which is why John Deere is focused on being able to make it easier for farmers to grow the productivity of their operations.

Cory talks more about increasing productivity in this interview: Interview with John Deere's Cory Reed

2013 World Food Prize photos

Howard Buffett Foundation Initiatives Announced

wfp-13-buffett-blairFormer UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and philanthropist/farmer Howard G. Buffett were the stars at the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogues today in Des Moines, launching new initiatives to address conservation, hunger and poverty issues in Africa.

For one, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation has formed a partnership with John Deere and DuPont Pioneer to promote conservation agriculture adoption and support smallholders and sustainable farming in Africa. The effort will be piloted in Ghana and include a conservation-based, mechanized product suite developed by John Deere; a system of cover crops and improved inputs from DuPont Pioneer; and support for adoption and training on conservation-based practices by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

Additionally, Blair announced a collaboration between his Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and the World Food Prize Foundation to launch the 40 Chances Fellows program.

40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World a new book written by Howard G. Buffett, inspired the program, which will encourage innovation in developing market‐based approaches that address food insecurity. Fellowship funds will support social entrepreneurs who are addressing issues of hunger, conflict, or poverty in Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, four of the countries where AGI has strong government partnerships.

Blair and Buffett participated in a panel and then met the press at the World Food Prize. You can listen to or download both audio files below.

40 Chances Panel discussion
Blair and Buffett Press Conference

2013 World Food Prize photos

Will We Farm with Glass?

ZimmCast 415Hello and welcome to the ZimmCast. In this week’s program we’re going to talk about Glass, as in Google Glass.

Bruce RasaWill this new technology be coming to a farm near you? It has actually been used on farms as part of a Google Explorers project being conducted by Bruce Rasa, Inventive Branding. Bruce was one of a select few chosen my Google to receive and use Google Glass prior to the actual public launch of the product in 2014.

Google Glass (styled “GLΛSS”) is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that is being developed by Google in the Project Glass research and development project, with a mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format, that can communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands.

Bruce spoke to a group of software developers during last week’s John Deere API Integrator Conference. He gave us a “what if” scenario for how you might use a device like this on the farm that included several videos with farmers who used Glass on their farm. He’s got some great ideas that I think you’ll enjoy by listening to this week’s program.

Listen to this week’s program here: Google Glass on the Farm

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsors, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong and Monsanto, Roundup Ready Plus, for their support.

John Deere Dealer Perspective

Jeff BarnesJeff Barnes, Greenway Equipment, a John Deere dealership, is their manager of farm technology. He says yesterday’s announcements from John Deere of their new Developer.Deere.com portal and the MyJohnDeere Data API is a big step for the company. I talked with him to get his perspective on what the company is doing.

He says their dealership has been actively involved with John Deere as the new data transfer system has been developed. “Now it’s time when we really need these tools to come together to build out things so our customers can take that data and use it in their operations.” He says this is making precision ag easier and helping more growers make use of the data they create during the season.

You can listen to my interview with Jeff here: Interview with Jeff Barnes

John Deere API Integrators Conference Photo Album

MyJohnDeere.com Changing the Skyscape

Chuck SchleusnerWe were welcomed to the John Deere API Integrator Conference today in the beautiful World Food Prize building which will be very busy next week for the annual WFP event. To get a preview of what John Deere is doing here by bringing in representatives from 50 companies from 8 countries and 3 continents I spoke with Chuck Schleusner.

Chuck basically set the stage for how MyJohnDeere.com is “changing the skyscape.” I visited with him before we started. He says, “We’re here today to bring together the best minds in ag technology to participate in a platform we call MyJohnDeere with the goal to help improve the productivity of the farmer, specifically those who use John Deere machines. To do that we believe we need to partner with those who can create the plans, the insights that lead to executable instructions back on our equipment . . . We believe by being open with our platform and working with these parties we can do the best for the farmer, the ag industry and ultimately our goal of feeding the world.”

So during the day we’ve got breakout sessions on both technical and business tracks to learn in more detail how the MyJohnDeere system works and how companies can create a developer account where they can “play in the sandbox” to test new applications that integrate with the system and John Deere data.

John Deere announced today a new web portal for developers – Developer.Deere.com – where you can create an account and see their public API’s. They also announced MyJohnDeere Data API. More on these later.

You can listen to my interview with Chuck here: Interview with Chuck Schleusner

John Deere API Integrators Conference Photo Album

Opening up at MyJohnDeere.com

John DeereHello from Des Moines and the John Deere API Integrators Conference. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Well, to an agnerd it is. Today I’ll be learning about how John Deere is working with software and app developers as they continue to develop their MyJohnDeere.com system that includes allowing companies to integrate their applications with the system.

So, during the day I’ll be visiting with both Deere representatives and some of the developers attending the conference and sharing with you when I can. This agnerd is looking forward to it!

Of course you can find photos from the event: John Deere API Integrators Conference Photo Album

BASF and John Deere are German Neighbors

basf-germany-13-4Global agribusiness giants John Deere and BASF are friendly neighbors in Germany, located just over a mile away from each other on opposite sides of the Rhine River.

John Deere’s Christoph Wigger, pictured here on the right with BASF’s Markus Heldt, crossed the river to speak at the opening dinner of BASF’s global media event, a literal “United Nations” of agricultural journalists from ten countries. “You as ag media play a very key role in communications,” Christoph said. “It’s extremely important that we get your support to explain to all the stakeholders what’s going on.”

As always, the key message is producing enough food to feed a rapidly growing population and Christoph says there are three key pillars to succeeding in that goal. “How do you increase yields?,” he asked. “One third comes from pesticides, one third comes from seeds and one third will be driven by machinery.” Very true!

Listen to Christoph’s remarks here: Christoph Wigger, John Deere

2013 BASF Germany Photos

John Deere Applicator Makes Sidedressing Easier

_DSC2085On display at the Farm Progress Show in the John Deere exhibit was the new 2014 2510L Liquid Fertilizer Applicator, designed for more precise liquid fertilizer placement into the soil to make sidedressing easier.  

“The 2510L enables customers to maximize crop yields through more accurate and timely liquid fertilizer placement,” says Travis Harrison, product specialist from John Deere. This latest model is available in two different models with vertical folds that are 30- and 40-foot with a side fold widths up to 66 feet. There are 18 spacing and control options and Deere is offering one of the largest tank options, up to 2,400 gallons.

John Deere offered the media a look at all the new equipment a few weeks ago and farmers got their first look at the Farm Progress Show.  Orders have already started rolling into dealers all over the world as fertilizer application just got a bit easier with in sync sidedresser capabilities.

Listen to Travis explain more here: Interview with Travis Harrison

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Teen Restores John Deere Tractor for Charity

Image 3About seven years ago, 16-year-old Austin Rhoda of Chenoa, Illinois was a leukemia patient at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. After several years of successful treatment, he decided to give back to that organization that helped him and his family so much by doing something he loves – restoring old tractors, selling raffle tickets and donating the proceeds back to St. Jude’s.

Austin had his latest project on display at the Farm Progress Show in the John Deere exhibit – a restored 1951 John Deere A Tractor that is being raffled off this month with all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Interview with Austin Rhoda on restoring John Deere for charity

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album