What is the value of precision ag?

Over the last few years we bought a lot of trinkets. Some paid for themselves and some did not. I had a recent question from a group of farmers about the value of precision ag and I didn’t have a ready answer. Since then I did some checking on what was of value from the precision ag offerings.

First, here a results from Nebraska in a 2015 survey with 125 respondents on: what are they willing to pay for?

  • GIS based soil sampling.
  • Yield monitor and yield mapping.
  • Guidance based steering, mostly autosteer.

Next was from a grower survey by USDA/ERS in 2010 and 2012.

  • Who uses precision ag? Corn and soybean growers, mostly.
  • For what purpose? Yield mapping and guidance systems.

Next I found a survey of farmers in the EU in 2014. They asked some interesting questions and from my experience farmers think alike, so I’ll include it.

  • Why use?
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Planter in-cab display terminology

The planting operation is arguably the most important field operation since it establishes maximum yield potential of a seed when placed in the soil. In terms of planting performance, four factors of focus to maximize yield potential and are at the control of the planter operator are 1) population, 2) uniform spacing, 3) uniform emergence, and 4) planting timing and field capacity. Three of these four important factors, population, seed spacing uniformity, and field capacity (ac/ar) can be directly monitored during the planting operation from the in-cab display.

This and other information is provided by new in-cab displays providing the operator real-time feedback. Precision planter technology can help monitor and ensure population and spacing expectations are being met during field operations. This real-time feedback also provides opportunity to the operator to make timely adjustments or most importantly make sure seed is being placed properly to maximize yield potential. Many planter displays today provide additional meter, planter and tractor parameters that can be valuable feedback to the operator along with data (e.g.… Continue reading

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This is a big year for spray nozzles and replacement decisions

This is the time of the year you must complete shopping for nozzles because the spraying season is just around the corner. Although nozzles are some of the least expensive components of a sprayer, they hold a high value in their ability to influence sprayer performance. First, nozzles meter the desired amount of liquid sprayed per acre. Second, nozzles help us spray the liquid uniformly over the width of the sprayer boom. Third, nozzles influence droplet size, affecting both target coverage and spray drift risk. For these key reasons, you need to make sure your sprayer is equipped with the right kind and size of nozzles, and they are still performing within the acceptable range of performance they delivered when they were new.

If you were happy with your nozzles last year, and if you are not switching to a new pesticide, all you need to do this spring before the spraying season is to check the flow rate of each nozzle to make sure the nozzles are not worn out.… Continue reading

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JD Equipment Open House and Drive Green Event April 7

JD Equipment will have an Open House and Drive Green Event April 7, 2017 and April 8, 2017 at all eight of their Ohio locations.

The Open House and Drive Green Event is open to the public and will run from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Friday April 7 and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday April 8. JD Equipment will offer special “Open House Only” promotions on popular riding lawn mower brands like John Deere, Hustler Turf Equipment, SCAG and Grasshopper.

Other “Open House Only” promotions include 17% Off lawn and garden parts, attachments, accessories, apparel and toys as well as 7% Off handheld equipment, generators and push mowers. Lunch will be provided and there will be demo courses set up at each JD Equipment location so Open House attendees can test drive riding lawn equipment and compact tractors.

All attendees that register for the Open House and Drive Green Event on April 7 and April 8 will be automatically entered into a drawing for a John Deere 3E Series Tractor Package and will also receive instant coupons for $250 Off compact and utility tractors (1-6 Family) and $150 Off select lawn tractors when you take a test drive.… Continue reading

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Spraying with precision

The last several months we have talked about whether or not precision ag pays, how to get started with precision ag and precision ag for your planter. This month we are going to move beyond the planter and talk about precision ag technology for your sprayer.

Are you struggling with your weed control? Are weeds becoming resistant to your herbicides? The key to good weed control is a systematic approach. Not only do you have to choose the right herbicides for the weed populations you have, but you also have to apply them properly. When you think about the challenge we take on when we spray a herbicide, it is amazing in my mind that we do as good a job as we do. Look at four ounces of product and think about spreading it evenly over an acre of ground. It blows my mind when I think of it that way.… Continue reading

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JD Equipment Spring Expo classes

JD Equipment is proud to announce their 2017 Spring Expo
events happening Feb. 27 through March 3 at the John Deere
Training Facility in Plain City and a one-day event at JD
Equipment’s Washington Court House location on March 7.

JD Equipment will offer four Spring Expo classes that will focus on
improving singulation, depth control, narrow planting windows, residue
management, seeding rates and nutrient management.

Register at any JD Equipment location for any of the sessions we have
available at either location. Lunch will be provided every day and it
is free to attend! Classes are limited so RSVP soon!

For more information, please contact JD Equipment via email
( or call any of our locations. Please visit for location information.… Continue reading

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John Deere introduces new 5R Series Tractors and 540R Loader

John Deere introduces its new 5R Series Tractors that leverage existing technologies normally found in large tractors, to provide customers with unrivaled maneuverability, an easy-to-use transmission, increased visibility, loader integration, and operator comfort.

A 7.4-foot wheelbase paired with a 60-degree steering angle, provides a tight turning radius of 12.1 feet. Customers working in confined areas such as barns, will be able to easily maneuver in tight areas increasing their productivity.

Shifting is virtually effortless with two fully electronic transmission options, CommandQuad Manual and Command8. Using a multi-range selection, the operator can toggle from B range through D range without stopping. “Base equipment also includes AutoClutch, leveraged from our larger row-crop tractors. That means no clutching is necessary, ever. Step on the brake and the clutch automatically disengages,” says Chris Lammie, global product line planner for John Deere.

Upward visibility has been improved 80 percent through the Premium Panorama cab roof, compared to a John Deere 5M Tractor with the Premium Cab.… Continue reading

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Taking precision ag to your planter!

The last two months we talked about common questions about precision ag. What is precision ag? How large does a farm need to be to use precision ag? Does precision ag pay? What should I do first to get started with Precision ag? In case you missed it, the short answers to those questions are as follows. Precision ag is using the tools we have available to manage each and every acre to reach its highest economic potential. No farm is too small to utilize some form of precision agriculture. It pays to invest in precision ag. Grid soil sampling and collecting yield data from a yield monitor are a great place to start. This month we are going to look at some technologies you can use on your planting operation.


Auto steer

Most of the precision ag Displays you could utilize to collect data can also be used as the interface to control your auto steer on your tractor pulling the planter.… Continue reading

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May Wes recognizes 45 years of manufacturing

May Wes Manufacturing was founded in 1972 by Wesley Bruns and wife Mavis on their farm site near Gibbon Minnesota. Wesley was a farmer and an innovator. The initial farm products he developed were made of aluminum and galvanized steel and were the “Crop De-Viders” to guide grain into headers and the “Gravity Flow Hoppers” that folded out for unloading.


The age of plastics

Several years passed when Wesley discovered poly material and used it in his product solutions. His employees recalled him making trips with the pickup truck to the Twin Cities to purchase four-foot by 10-foot sheets of Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) poly. On one occasion, his load of poly sheets took to the air on a busy interstate freeway, creating traffic havoc.

Wesley used shearing, cutting and bending processes with the poly material to produce poly skid shoes for grain headers. To this day, the poly skid shoes remain May Wes’s cornerstone product line.… Continue reading

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Open house to feature the Condor ClearancePlus sprayer

Evolution Ag in Plain City has announced that it will be holding its annual Open House and Customer Appreciation event on Wednesday Feb. 22, 2017 and those in attendance will be some of the first to see the revolutionary Condor ClearancePlus sprayer from Europe.

Evolution Ag Principal, Doug Loudenslager said that Agrifac’s Condor ClearancePlus sprayer can be adjusted to spray crops over 6.5 feet without damage and provides adjustable width to facilitate road travel as well as a stable platform for in-field use. It also boasts some of the latest technology available in the world today.

As previously announced the event will also be providing producers the opportunity to be recertified for pesticide application as well as being able to complete the new course required of all producers to be able to apply nutrients.

Loudenslager said that current and future customers are invited to the dealership on Feb. 22 to enjoy lunch as well as discounts on parts, filters and fluids as well as specials on products throughout the store.… Continue reading

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Unverferth announces larger models of Perfecta cultivator

nr-perfecta-largerUnverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc. announces larger 30’ to 40’ working-width models of its rugged and reliable Perfecta field cultivator.  The Perfecta implement combines a tillage, leveling and finishing action all in one tool for one-pass row-crop planting.

The new larger-width models feature 6” x 4” front frame tubing with a trussed mainframe design for added durability. The new sizes also feature a floating wing design that automatically raises 15 degrees and lowers by 5 degrees for easily following field contours.

Three rows of staggered, high-clearance S-tines provide the main tillage action up to 6” deep with three S-tine choices of models 10, 12 and 14.  The Perfecta model 10 features standard 1¼-inch by ½-inch S-tines with 2¾-inch goosefoot shovels for effective soil finishing in previously worked soils. The model 12 is equipped with 1¾ inch by ½ -inch heavy-duty S-tines with 4-inch sweeps for effective penetration in heavier, unworked soils and rocky conditions.… Continue reading

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Preparing your irrigation system for the growing season: Part I

A good time to think about your irrigation system is before the spring growing season when heavy water demands arise. An irrigation system working at peak efficiency should deliver the right amount of water, at the right time, and with the lowest possible inputs of labor and energy. Unfortunately, peak efficiency is not always the case. Irrigation equipment such as pumps, pipes, valves, and nozzles are subject to ageing and degradation. Slow degradation such as a worn nozzle, clogged filter, or mineral deposits in pipes is not easy to detect. Degraded water delivery equipment can cause insufficient watering that result in non-uniform plant growth, increased pest pressure, waste of water, and pumping energy. Prior to the spring season, it is a good idea to inspect the irrigation system’s components. Make sure the system is clean of debris, mineral buildup and biological contaminants. Also take time to research and consider technology improvements to further conserve resources such as labor, energy, water and fertilizer chemicals.… Continue reading

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Mower maintenance tips to take care of this off season

Be it out in the country or in the city, a well-cared-for yard is something everybody can take pride in. And with lawn care taking a break this time of year, and equipment taking up residence in shops and garages, the professionals of Koenig Equipment tell us it’s an exceptional time to be thinking about mower maintenance for the year ahead. Dave Oakley, lawn and turf specialist for Koenig’s Urbana location, takes a look at some of the commonly overlooked maintenance items, as well as professional service options.… Continue reading

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General Motors announces 20 for B20 in its diesel vehicle lineup

General Motors is taking bold steps to expand the U.S. diesel vehicle market beyond its traditional stronghold in full-size pickups, and providing more options than ever before for customers to reap the additional benefits of fueling up with B20 biodiesel blends, America’s Advanced Biofuel. With eight new diesel vehicle options hitting the roadways in 2017–2018, General Motors now offers a full line-up of 20 different diesel models, from passenger cars, to pickups and SUVs, to commercial vans and low cab forward trucks — all of which are approved for use with B20.

John Schwegman, Director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty Product for General Motors, delivered the welcome news to an enthusiastic crowd at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in San Diego.

“Diesel propulsion deserves wider consideration by fleet managers across the country,” Schwegman said.  “With biodiesel production and retail distribution expanding, and so many proven benefits, we believe more fleets will embrace the technology as part of their sustainability plans.… Continue reading

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Worksaver releases new products

Worksaver has released a number of new items in recent weeks. Here are some of the highlights.


New adapters for loaders on bidirectional tractors

Worksaver, Inc. is now offering adapters for loaders used on Versatile, Ford and New Holland bidirectional tractors.  Four adapter models are available to convert loaders to either the “Universal” skid steer mount or the Euro/Global mount, allowing more versatility in attachment options.

Adapters are designed for loaders used on Versatile 160, 256, 276 and Ford 9030 bidirectional tractors and for New Holland loader models 82LB, 84LB and 7614 that are used on TV140, TV145 and TV6070 tractors.


Bale squeeze for large rectangular bales

Worksaver, Inc. offers two new large rectangular bale squeeze models for handling large wrapped or unwrapped rectangular bales, the SSBS-48D and GLBS-48D. The bale squeeze arms open to handle bales from 48” to 96” in width and up to 3,400 lbs. Both models can also handle round bales.… Continue reading

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A deeper look at intensive soil sampling and precision ag data collection

I get common questions from growers about Precision Ag. One of those questions was “What should I do first to get started with Precision Ag?” As a generic suggestion, my recommendation was to start with grid soil sampling and collecting yield and planter information. So this month I would like to discuss both of these technologies with you.


Grid soil sampling

At Ag Info Tech we like to call it intensive soil sampling. Intensive soil sampling is a service that can be used by any sized grower. Several co-ops, national chains and independent fertilizer outlets offer this service for a per-acre fee to their customers. There are also several independent companies, like ours, that perform the service for a per-acre fee as well. Since the fee is charged per acre, it is just as affordable for the 50-acre grower as it is for the 5,000 acre grower.

Intensive soil sampling involves pulling several soil samples on a 2.5- or even one-acre basis, depending on what the grower determines to be most economically viable.… Continue reading

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Planter prep for spring

Winter is a great time to get ready for spring planting, which will be here before we know it. One of the most important parts of the growing season is planting. It’s crucial that your crops get off to a good start and it’s important to make sure that your planter is field-ready when the time comes. Planting seed into the best possible growing conditions is a one of the most important tasks of spring field work. A planter in need of some adjustment can result in varied seed placement, uneven emergence, and ultimately a reduction in yield potential.

Check for and replace any parts of your planter that are excessively worn. No-till coulters or disk openers that are worn out will not create the proper seed furrow and may cause poor seed placement. Good seed-to-soil contact is critical in ensuring seed germination and uniform emergence. Emergence that is uneven can cause a loss in yield potential.… Continue reading

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Bane-Welker Equipment celebrates 50 years

Bane-Welker Equipment, LLC is turning a half a century old this August. To mark the occasion, the company is planning many events, sales and offers, as well as introducing a special 50th anniversary commemorative logo which customers will see beginning later this month.

“It is hard to believe we are turning 50 years old,” stated Phil Bane, CEO of Bane-Welker Equipment. “I can’t believe it was 50 years ago that my dad, Kenneth Bane, signed a contract that started this journey.”

Kenneth Bane started Bane Equipment in 1967 when he answered the local newspaper ad from a representative for the JI Case Co., which was looking for a dealer in Montgomery County. By August of 1967, Kenneth and wife Patricia Bane, had signed the Case contract and the family business was born along with a commitment to superior products and service.

“At that time, no one could have imagined that 50 years later, three generations of our family would still be going strong and growing the business like never before,” Bane said.… Continue reading

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Evolution Ag open houses

Evolution Ag in Plain City has announced that it will be holding its annual Open House and Customer Appreciation event on Wednesday Feb. 22, 2017 and producers will have the opportunity to be recertified for pesticide application as well as being able to complete the new course required of all producers to be able to apply nutrients.

Doug Loudenslager, Principal and General Manager said that current and future customers are invited to the dealership on Feb. 22 to enjoy lunch as well as discounts on parts, filters and fluids as well as specials on products throughout the store. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.  Classes will be run in conjunction with the open house. The dealership is located on US 42 North, eight miles south of Delaware and eight miles  north of Plain City.

Product specialists from Case IH and the other companies that Evolution Ag represents will be in attendance to answer questions and review new product offerings.… Continue reading

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Manitou MLT “RED TOUR” coming to Apple Farm Service

Manitou Americas “Red Tour” is coming to Apple Farm Service’s Covington location on Thursday January 12th from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. This event allows attendees to demo the newest and versatile Manitou MLT Multi-Purpose Telescopic Loaders with a variety of attachments; including hay handling, grapple buckets, construction buckets, silage facer, snow removal and more.

“Apple Farm Service has been a long-time partner of ours and we are happy to have them as a stop on our MLT Red Tour,” said Rick Laws, Ohio District Development Manager for Manitou Americas. “This event invites all customers and equipment owners to stop on out to demo our MLT telescopic loaders and see how these “multi-tasker” machines can increase productivity on the jobsite, handling larger capacities at extended lift heights.”

Apple Farm Service will be the sixth stop for the Manitou MLT “Red Tour”. The BIG demo event will take place in Covington on January 12th, but some of the MLT equipment will stay on site at Apples for the next couple of weeks for those interested to check out a versatile, multipurpose, telescopic loader, or curious on how they operate.… Continue reading

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