Raven Industries is always working on something. During the recent NAFB Convention’s Trade Talk, I met up with Raven’s Marketing and Business Development Manager, Ryan Molitor. He expressed Raven’s desire to continue to add new technologies to the precision marketplace as well as improve on their existing products.
“One of the things we really invest a lot in is training our dealers on not just supporting and servicing our equipment but helping them better educate growers on the benefits of precision ag technology. It’s pretty diverse from a technology standpoint. There is a lot of different technology out there. Growers and producers have a lot of diverse needs also. It is important to talk to them and understand their individual operations and where the technology can fit for them.”
Raven introduced many different technologies earlier this year. Ryan said the feedback they have received from their beta testers has been great. In my interview he discusses their direct injection technology, data management for ag retailers and producers and their multiple hybrid planter control. Their newest precision equipment to hit the marketplace is their yield monitoring system and Ryan shares what growers have said about it’s acute accuracy.
At 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.
To 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.
Cogent3D, makers of iCropTrak, have taken soil sampling to a whole new level for farmers this fall.
Aaron Hutchinson, Cogent3D president and co-founder, says they took the best practices from their dedicated soil sampling apps and feedback from soil sampling customers to upgrade iCropTrak Soil Sampling capabilities. “iCropTrak is the third generation of our farming technologies that we’ve built,” he said.
With the recent App store updates, Aaron says soil sampling has been refined to make it significantly faster to operate and easier to create and collect grid and zone sampling. “So that somebody who might be a seasonal worker or a full-fledged professional can get the most from our tools,” he said.
Aaron tells me that they are working on another release for Spring will increase the performance of the technology by a factor of ten. “So we’re ready for the new MyJohnDeere.com data connections that everybody’s been hearing about, as well as being able to deal with some of the very large amounts of data that people are starting to collect on their farms,” he added.
iCropTrak is sold in over 50 countries and Aaron says they recently spent a month in Africa, where six of the ten fastest growing countries in the world are located, and next week they will be at Agritechnica in Germany.
iCropTrak is an iPad/iPhone mobile app and personal cloud combination that lets you customize the features of the application including its sampling and scouting forms. iCropTrak mobile app can be found in the Apple iTunes store and the custom cloud can be purchased directly from iCropTrak sales team. You can also check them out on Facebook or through their ad on the AgWired mobile app.
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.
Pam had a seat at the global roundtable in 2010 and she was pleased to reconnect with some of her fellow alumni during the symposium. “There were 20 of us from all over the world,” she said. “We’re all still working and engaged in agriculture in some way to be a leader and to explain why it is biotechnology is so important as a tool for food security.”
Pam was also very pleased with the focus on agricultural biotechnology at World Food Prize this year with the winners all being scientists who have pioneered its development. “Biotechnology is size neutral, it’s good for everyone,” she said, adding that World Food Prize is a great place “for the personal stories and the truth to get out.” Interview with NCGA Chair Pam Johnson
On the farm in Victoria, Andrew tells me that over the last decade or so they have really started to see advances in their own technologies and how the land is responding. He was one of the first to begin using technology in his production.
Truth About Trade and Technology (TATT) is a non-profit advocacy group led by farmers who support freer trade and a farmers freedom to choose the tools, technologies and strategies they need to maximize productivity and profitability in a sustainable manner. Since 2006, TATT has brought farmers from different countries together during World Food Prize week in Des Moines to attend the event and share their knowledge and experiences with each other. This year there were 16 farmers from 14 countries at the Roundtable, all with different backgrounds and experiences but common challenges and aspirations.
Mary Boote, Chief Executive Officer for TATT, is the one who organizes and brings these farmers together and hosts them while they are in Des Moines for the World Food Prize. Mary says since they started the roundtable, they have hosted 98 farmers from 63 different countries and she takes great pride in the fact that alumni want to stay in touch and work together as they go back to their countries. Listen to my interview with Mary here: Interview with Mary Boote
TATT chairman and Iowa farmer Bill Horan says the farmers sitting around the table have such similar stories to tell, yet they have so much to learn from one another. “Farmers, large and small, around the world seem to be dealing with some of the same issues – access to technology, credit, trade barriers,” said Horan, adding that the farmers from other countries bring lots of new information back home. “When these folks go back to their own country, they’re treated like rock stars.” Interview with Bill Horan
During the Truth About Trade and Technology (TATT) Global Farmer Roundtable, we learned that Kemin is the largest grower of marigolds (yes, that not so fragrant flower you often plant in your flower beds) to extract the Lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid – which happens to help prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration. So, Kemin Industries grows the marigolds to extract the lutein to your vitamins and nutrients so that the largest growing section of the population can keep their sight longer.
Another crop that Kemin cultivates for its molecular benefits is rosemary, which is full of antioxidants. It’s weeded by hand and due to the high concentration of essential oils, bacteria and insects generally stay away. Oregano and spearmint are also grown by Kemin for research in the MidWest and around the world. They have fascinating ways of doing cross pollination and with their rosemary production they have just been recognized for sustainability.
“I’m always reminded by what Dr. Borlaug used to say, that hunger never sleeps, and that means we can’t sleep either,” said Dr. Robert T. (Robb) Fraley, Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto.
Dr. Fraley recalled a visit with Norman Borlaug towards the end of his life just a few years ago and how excited the “Father of the Green Revolution” was to hear about molecular breeding and gene sequencing. “And Norm says ‘I can see how the Green and Gene Revolutions are going to come together,’” said Fraley. “From a science perspective, that’s exactly what has happened.”
Fraley says explaining the importance and safety of biotech crops to the general public is a big challenge for the industry. “This is important to all consumers,” he said. “We’ve got to talk to consumers in the context of food security, food prices, the benefits of an affordable food system, the urgency of these tools for the rest of the world and the fact that by farming more efficiently and using less inputs, we dramatically reduce the impact that agriculture could have on the environment.” He also advocates the use of social media to communicate with the public and recently started his own Twitter account.
Dr. Fraley will be honored this week with the 2013 World Food Prize along with fellow biotechnology scientists Marc Van Montagu of the Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach at Ghent University in Belgium, and Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta Biotechnology.
Kemin Industries Worldwide hosted the 2013 Truth About Trade and Technology (TATT) Global Farmer Roundtable just ahead of the start of the World Food Prize in Des Moines today. Kemin is changing the world by taking their molecular technology and using it in different products around the world. You probably don’t even know that you’ve even consumed one of their products.
R.W. and Mary Nelson started the company in 1961 with a mere $10,000 investment. Today the company has nearly 2,000 employees with revenues exceeding $500 million. They have operations in more the 90 countries and about 200 patents.
Hello and welcome to the ZimmCast. In this week’s program we’re going to talk about Glass, as in Google Glass.
Will 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.
Grower engagement on both the people and services level is important for BASF Crop Protection to ensure they are doing all they can to help farmers grow smarter, market smarter and live smarter.
During one of the breakout sessions at the BASF Global Press conference in Germany this week, we heard from (left to right) Hannes Lutz – vice president of business development; Kaleb Hellwig – U.S. innovation specialist; and Elmar Groiss – global head of information technology.
Hannes explained that they have found four main fundamentals that farmers have in common. “First, farmers feel they are in a competition … with their neighbors and on the world market,” he said. “Second, they are part of a community. They want to be connected with their neighbors, other farmers, and experts.” They also believe they are food providers and stewards of the land. Interview with Hannes Lutz, BASF Crop Protection VP of business development
Among the ways BASF is engaging with growers is through a new position called the Innovation Specialist, which Kaleb says is the best job he has ever had in 17 years with BASF. “I travel every day, meet customers, help identify some of the challenges and problems they have, and then put plans together to help them solve that,” said Kaleb, who is based on the western side of Missouri. Interview with Kaleb Hellwig, BASF Innovation Specialist
When it comes to services, BASF has a couple of new technological developments in the works, according to Elmar. One is DigiLab, which offers a microscope quality digital camera combined with a tablet application that helps identify plant diseases. “Farmers in the field can take a high quality picture of the disease, have an on-tablet comparison with a library, but they can also send it back to BASF experts to get detailed analysis,” he said. DigiLab is now being used in Brazil and is expected to be available in the United States soon. Interview with Elmar Groiss, BASF Global Head of Information Technology
You know times have changed when a smartphone has become a “farm tool!” Of course not every farmer will use one and not every farmer with a smartphone will use an iPhone. But a lot do and this week we got the announcement of the next generation of iPhones like this iPhone 5S in the image.
This post is not meant to be a complete review of a device I have not even held in my hands yet. I just want to alert you to next week’s opportunity to order the new 5S or 5C. Which one is right for you? It probably depends on what your budget and needs are. As I understand it the 5C is much like the current iPhone 5 but with improvements to the camera, comes in several colors and will have the new iOS on it. The 5S has a faster processor and the new fingerprint identity sensor. I’ve always believed that the iPhone has had the best camera of any smartphone. It has now become even better!
BTW. I have a Galaxy Note II and like it and use it on a different carrier than my iPhone. Nothing wrong with Android really but I like the apps on the iOS side better.
So, if you’re in a gadget upgrading mood you can not go wrong with a new iPhone in my opinion. Watch the video to see why I’m excited about this camera, I mean, phone.
A problem exists today – individuals finish a day of work with sore backs, wrists, and arms from twisting and tweaking in unnatural positions. This results in lost labor, time, and capital. Luckily, a 24-year old entrepreneur combined his business degree with an epiphany, and as a result, Stephen Walden has reinvented the shovel. He says, “Our shovels provide an ergonomic benefit by returning the body to a more natural position, ultimately allowing the user to get more done in less time.”
These shovels improve posture to reduce back strain and relieve wrist pain by taking the wrist out of a pronated position. With worker’s compensation claims surpassing $200 billion in 2012, Walden decided that the workplace needs innovation. Thus, he began with a tool that has not changed for thousands of years.
The genius behind the tool is the double-handle design, which allows the body to work in a more natural position – improving posture, decreasing wrist pronation, and increasing range of motion. Additionally, the center handle rotates 360 degrees, allowing complete customization of the hand’s position. Walden is currently developing a U-shaped foothold as well, which is touted as “an ingenious change to the old design”.
Learn more about the new ergonomic shovel and Bosse Tools is currently live on Kickstarter.com where you can place an order for one of their tools. If you have questions for the inventor, drop him a line at Stephen Walden, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ayrstone Productivity has brought it’s customers faster, longer, easier outdoor WiFi coverage. The next generation AyrMesh Hub2n will include 802.11n connectivity, expanded network security and outdoor range extension of up to 7.5 miles.
This new technology puts farmers into the next phase of productivity improvement via wireless signals and hands-free data capture. With long-range wireless networks farmers can quickly and easily use monitoring and industrial control equipment to streamline operations. All devices are connected to a home router, making them accessible via any Internet-connected device, and without cell phone data expenses.
Visit Ayrstone’s website for more information or if interested in purchasing. Get 20% off the new Hub2n through October 15 when you enter code 913HUB2N.
Users can simply connect the Ag Leader Wi-Fi Adapter to the Ag Leader® Integra or Versa™ display to access a wireless internet network in the cab through any mobile hotspot of their choice, such as a smartphone, dedicated hotspot or a tablet.
Watch below as Ag Leader’s David Wilson demonstrates just how simple it is to get to AgFiniti and beyond!
Most people can relate to having tons of data that is hard to manage, such as digital photos, for example. You may have photos in various places – like on your desk top, your lap top, smartphone, or server – but not organized in one place so you can easily catalog, view or share them.
That is a dilemma facing modern farmers collecting and using increasing amounts of digital data to run their operations and precision agriculture extension specialist Dr. John Fulton with Auburn University says addressing data management is a key issue for production agriculture. “Getting data off the machine automatically is the number one barrier that farmers say is keeping them from moving forward in data management,” said Dr. Fulton during a session at last week’s John Deere Product Intro for the media.
Fulton says bigger machines have led to more data. “There’s more to it than guidance systems, it’s rate control, variable rate, section control – all that technology’s built-in,” he said. “But how big is not really the question, it’s the processing that’s really limiting us” and that will need to be addressed on the software level. “Getting it down to where it’s organized, where I can view it, simply bring it up when I’m on the road,” he said. “The key to success is being able to visualize the data.
Dr. Fulton says farmers have told them in surveys that they need wireless data transfer that is automatic, simple and web-based, and they need local support to make it happen and he thinks the introduction of wireless data transfer for MyJohnDeere.com is an example of what is coming.
As more farmer are using new technology in precision agriculture, they are gathering increasing amounts of machine and production data. With that comes the need for moving, storing, and utilizing that data more efficiently between people and devices.
Kathy Michael, product manager, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, says with the introduction of Wireless Data Transfer and data sharing on MyJohnDeere.com, overall data collection, transfer, and management will be much easier. “Wireless Data Transfer is really exciting for our growers. They’re eliminating the use of USB sticks to get that information to their machines and get that documentation data back from the field.”
Kathy says full introduction of the wireless data system will be coming in 2014 but farmers can get a preview at the fall farm shows, starting with Farm Progress Show next week. Interview with John Deere's Kathy Michael
Kathy gave a demo for dealers at the product intro event in Columbus this week, which you can watch here:
Hello and welcome to the ZimmCast. In this week’s program I’m sharing a conversation with Brian Arnall, Oklahoma State University. Brian was one of the presenters at the 2013 InfoAg Conference on precision agriculture.
Brian’s presentation topic was “Ag Apps for Smart Phones and Tablets.” That certainly got my attention.
Brian is keeping a list of apps he finds that are focused on agriculture and it’s growing fast. When he was asked to do this presentation in January his list (narrowed by topics he’s concerned with) had about 20 apps on it. By last week’s conference he was at 50 and added 4 the morning of his presentation! I hope you’ll enjoy hearing some of his thoughts.