Over 700 people gathered in Tremont, Illinois, for Precision Planting’s 2018 Winter Conference on Tuesday. “This is the biggest and baddest winter conference we’ve ever had,” says Brad Arnold, general manager at Precision Planting.
Many farmers in attendance are early adopters of ag tech and avid social media users. As new products were announced, they took their reactions to Twitter.
North American Sales Lead Justin Kauffman set the stage for a full day of announcements and product introductions. Citing a Successful Farming article, he explained that farmers who have adopted ag technology are turning an operating profit and seeing higher yields than their less technical peers. Although SmartFirmer was announced as a beta product at a previous event, Kauffman reviewed its features noting it is now for sale.
SmartFirmer technology from @precision_plant. I’ve been fortunate to run them the past 2 years. Provides a great look into the V trench, but still trying to figure out how to truly capture the value from the good #data. #agtech #sensors #learning #ppwinterconference2018 pic.twitter.com/ddVYe1HVhf— Sean Arians (@ag_guy04) January 16, 2018
New Vision for the Field
Kauffman also announced the release of a new 20|20 monitor. Other Precision Planting team members from the R&D and sales teams took the stage breaking down the science of the technology. Tech-savvy farmers took to Twitter to express their reactions.
Eastern RM Sales Lead Doug Wiegand reviewed how far the 20|20 technology has come since he started with Precision Planting in 2003. At that time the company only had 15 full-time employees. Now the engineering staff alone totals 50.
Getting a 20/20 history lesson from Doug Wiegand! Learning where we’ve been is important to show how far we’ve come and the capabilities of where we can go!#ppwinterconference2018 pic.twitter.com/yOYQjKhzlR— Clint Endress (@clintendress) January 16, 2018
Dale Koch, an engineer in the R&D department at Precision Planting, took the stage next. He emphasized the need for more information. Digging seeds alone does not give farmers enough insight to make good decisions for their field or farms as a whole. With SmartFirmer, knowing more about each field will help growers make better decisions, leading to more consistent and uniform results.
He’s an engineer, so he actually did the math. A 70 MPH trip is like looking at 5 seeds out of 3 million. #ppwinterconference2018— Natalina Sents (@Roots_Journey) January 16, 2018
"If moisture is like the fuel, temperature is like the throttle," Dale Koch of @precision_plant continues. SmartFirmer will show both moisture and temperature metrics real-time in the cab as you plant. #PPWinterConference2018— Natalina Sents (@Roots_Journey) January 16, 2018
To conclude the first session, R&D Agronomist Ryan Allgaier addressed the crowd explaining how the new 20|20 monitor and SmartFirmer work together. He used the analogy of more data being similar to a flashlight. We’re not shining flashlights for flashlights sake, he said. “What decisions are we going to make, or change, because of what we see?”
These are 4 critical pieces of decision making. But, what’s the risk associated w/ each? Using just data can be high risk. Application of knowledge & wisdom make for lower risk decisions. What #DigitalAg tools provide actionable wisdom, not just data? #PPWinterConference2018 pic.twitter.com/hLyRkVc3fp— Advantage Acre (@AdvantageAcre) January 16, 2018
It’s been a long time coming but finally here. The new 20/20 SeedSense family. Still pairs with @FieldView for cloud connectivity for in cab and out of cab data! See what you want, when and where you want. #ppwinterconference2018 pic.twitter.com/lyY2gyVe3c— Sean Arians (@ag_guy04) January 16, 2018
Maximizing the Furrow
Cory Muhlbauer, R&D agronomist, and Bryce Baker, marketing lead, tag-teamed a session evaluating farming practices to achieve the best nutrient utilization. By examining its life in the furrow, farmers can help each seed reach its maximum potential.
Now that’s a soil sample. An effort to track the #nitrogen band and movement. See the results of the movement in pic 2. #agronomy #fertility @CoryMuhlbauer @precision_plant #PPWinterConference2018 pic.twitter.com/taBUNhxBPv— Sean Arians (@ag_guy04) January 16, 2018
Thinking about Organic Matter and Water Holding Capacity - we recommend taking a look at a long-range weather forecast alongside a soil map when you’re considering product placement and yield potential. #PPWinterConference2018 pic.twitter.com/ewPl0JRTJP— Advantage Acre (@AdvantageAcre) January 16, 2018
As farmers look to cut costs, skimping on phosphorus is not recommended, say the experts at #ppwinterconference2018.— Natalina Sents (@Roots_Journey) January 16, 2018
"We can add all kinds of technology to the planter, but if we don't focus on the details of planter maintenance we can't get optimum yields" @cilprecisionrm @precision_plant #ppwinterconference2018 pic.twitter.com/fO0hmjWxQJ— Brad Arnold (@PrecisionBrad) January 16, 2018
Optimizing Nutrient Application
The Precision Planting team acknowledged the importance of managing nutrients efficiently, especially in years with thin profit margins. Jason Stoller and Justin McMenamy, both R&D experts for the company, introduced the second new product of the day, FurrowJet. The pair also gave an update on current R&D projects farmers may see on their farms in the future.
I sure do like this concept. Spoon feeding the #plant Right where it needs it. Now what price is #corn again? #agtech #PPWinterConference2018 #dreaming #plant18 @PlanterDoctor @TheChadColby pic.twitter.com/exVsEywHhP— Sean Arians (@ag_guy04) January 16, 2018
FlowSense would have paid for itself in 62 acres in the example we’re using in today’s #ppwinterconference2018 session.— Natalina Sents (@Roots_Journey) January 16, 2018
Commercial Agronomist Jason Webster introduced Precision Planting’s latest multi-genetic planting technology, mSet. Luke Stuber of the R&D department also addressed farmers in attendance, they no longer have to choose between high-speed planting and variable-rate, multi-genetic planting. mSet technology offers the best of both worlds.
And the experts continue at #ppwinterconference2018! @FarmerRyanIL nails it. A diversified perspective this morning talking about #agronomy and #placementiskey using #multihybrid #Agtech. pic.twitter.com/L86gqGUG0w— Sean Arians (@ag_guy04) January 16, 2018
We're still talking about multi-genetic planting in Jason Webster's #ppwinterconference2018 session. "It's about pushing the yield ceiling while pulling up the yield floor," says @AgriGold representative in a video.— Natalina Sents (@Roots_Journey) January 16, 2018
@JWebsterAg talking about the importance of placing the right hybrids/varieties on the right acre. #placementiskey @DKAS_SIL @Asgrow_DEKALB #PPWinterConference2018 #PlacedToPerform #Agtech #ModernAg pic.twitter.com/tl5Xhv148x— Sean Arians (@ag_guy04) January 16, 2018
This is single row, single meter technology making it more affordable. mSet eliminates the choice of speed or variability. Now you can have both multi-genetic planting and high speed planting. #ppwinterconference2018— Natalina Sents (@Roots_Journey) January 16, 2018
The final product announcement of the day was made via simulcast by Troy McKown, northwest regional manager, and Will Frank, R&D. The new SeederForce is Precision Planting’s first product targeting farmers with crops outside corn and soybeans.
Multipurpose Show Site
To end the day, Webster revealed Precision Planting’s plans for the new Precision Technology Institute. The multipurpose show site in Pontiac, Illinois, will give farmers a place to experience the company’s technology hands on.
Just Announced: Agronomy + Technology + Equipment = Precision Planting's new multipurpose show site outside of Pontiac, IL. #PPWinterConference2018— Natalina Sents (@Roots_Journey) January 16, 2018
@JWebsterAg talking about the Precision Technology Institute. The new Ride n Drive location and on farm research site for 2018. Now you get to try it and see it all before you buy. #agtech @precision_plant #ppwinterconference2018 pic.twitter.com/ndGr2qHRAx— Sean Arians (@ag_guy04) January 16, 2018
General Manager Brad Arnold made the closing remarks for the event. As farmers road-tripped home, many continued to voice their opinions and excitement on social media.
If you haven’t registered for Winter Conference, don’t hesitate! You will not be disappointed. Precision Planting hits it out of the park again this year #ppwinterconference2018— MontyWiertzema (@MWiertzema) January 16, 2018
Always a good day at the @precision_plant annual conference. It’s crazy the technology these guys continue to come up with! And heck, even got to eat lunch and talk to a guy that farms in Kansas. Great day!! #PPWinterConference2018— Jarod Stock (@jstock27) January 16, 2018
Even if you’re not a @precision_plant believer Winter Conference is one of the best agronomic learning meetings you can attend.— Steve Pitstick (@PitstickFarms) January 16, 2018