A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report

There were no shortage of buzz-worthy occurrences in 2017, defined by the John Deere-Precision Planting saga, which made headlines before and after the planned acquisition dissolved in May.

But understanding the Internet of Things (IoT), new product launches and dealer do’s and don’ts also got the attention of our audience in 2017. To determine which online and print content attracted the most interest during the last year, the Digital Media team at Lessiter Media crunched the numbers on views, downloads, watches, clicks and comments.

What follows are summaries of some of the most talked about content published or presented in 2017, both online and in print. The Precision Farming Dealer staff tracks these analytics to keep a pulse on readers’ concerns, feedback and interests to provide informative and actionable content.

To see the original piece (and ensuing industry commentary), you can type the article headline into the Search position at the upper right hand of the home page at www.PrecisionFarming Dealer.com.

Most Viewed Print Article


Why Dealers Should Pay Attention to the Fine Print

Appearing in the Winter print edition, the Precision Perspective column from ag attorney Todd Janzen of Janzen Ag Law, examined language in the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit contesting the Deere-Precision Planting deal. Janzen’s analysis included a look at the “data-sharing” element of the transaction and why dealers — and their customers — need to become more savvy on the software side as a valuable asset, vs. just the hardware and machinery.

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Most Viewed Video and Online News Item


John Deere Unveils New Universal Display

Launched during Deere’s new product introduction event in May, editors captured an overview of the manufacturer’s new 4640 universal display. One of the highlights noted by John Mishler, tactical marketing manager for John Deere, was that the system is an affordable guidance system option for farm customers. The basic entry point cost for the 4640s, offered with 1 or 5 year subscriptions, is about half the cost of GreenStar 2630 systems.

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Most Viewed Facebook Post


Debut of New 360 Dash Planter Application System

Sharing content and industry observations on social media is an effective way to connect with mobile precision specialists. The most viewed Facebook post in 2017 was the introduction of 360 Yield Center’s 360 Dash system at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.

The company’s product development lead, Tony Carbaugh, highlighted some of the features of the new fertilizer injection system during the video overview, including “shot” applications of fertilizer in furrow, on the seed or next to it, 2.5 inches from center of row and 3/4 inches deep.

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Most Viewed Technology Corner


Top Takeaways from the 2017 Precision Farming Dealer Summit

A compilation of the most timely takeaways from the 2017 Precision Farming Dealer Summit in St. Louis was hot content for dealers. The sold-out conference drew nearly 200 attendees including representatives from 92 dealerships throughout 27 states, along with Canada and Australia.

With a theme of Proven Business Blueprints, the event featured discussions on tips for transitioning a precision business, improving staff accountability and the real ROI of service packages.

The Technology Corner segment is a regular contribution to the bi-weekly On the Record online newscast, produced by our sister publication Ag Equipment Intelligence.

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Most Read Staff Written Blog/Column

Is ‘Day of Reckoning’Coming for Digital Ag?

Inspired by a conversation with Kenneth Zuckerberg, precision ag analyst with Rabobank, this column by Jack Zemlicka, managing editor, looked at the simplicity technological advances have provided, contrasted with the complexity of the next wave of innovation.

Zuckerberg says a time may be coming when the precision industry takes stock of where it is and where it needs to go. He foresees a “day of reckoning” where standardization and streamlining reshape and define digital agriculture.

Google and Facebook were cited as free platforms that were launched, promoted and educated consumers on value. “They allow users to experiment and customize their experience for what matters to them, and at that point, those platforms became powerful,” Zuckerberg says.

With the progression of Internet of Things and autonomy, it will be interesting to see if and when dealers’ models for delivery of precision products and support changes.

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Most Listened To Podcast


Integrating the Internet of Things Into Agriculture

One of the more buzzworthy terms in agriculture during the last year was Internet of Things, or IoT for short. Wrapped around the goal of smarter farming, IoT’s application in agriculture is rooted in integration, simplicity and efficiency.

This podcast published in September, compiled comments from several manufacturers at the 2017 Farm Progress Show to find out how each of them define IoT within their respective company, along with an outlook on the timeline and target markets.

The conversation provided a range of perspectives, from the idea that connectivity is king in precision, to making sure dealers are on the frontline of keeping customers informed on the value and potential drawbacks of IoT.

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Most Viewed What Farmers Want From you


Being on the Bleeding Edge Can Cut Into Precision Productivity

Providing perspectives from farmers on their successes and challenges incorporating technology into their operations has been a staple since Precision Farming Dealer launched in 2012. With topics ranging from compatibility headaches to availability of dealer support, last year’s most read article in the ongoing series looked at the challenges of being a progressive precision adopter.

The feature chronicled Illinois farmer Dave Delhotal’s learning curve with getting his steering, GPS and implement guidance systems integrated. “It was stressful when we were getting the system to work, when the weather was perfect and we weren’t getting anything accomplished,” he says. “When I look back at what we struggled with, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal now, but it certainly was when we were going through them.”

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Most Downloaded E-Guide 


10 Precision Farming Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Despite being published more than 2 years ago, this compilation of lessons learned managing and growing a precision farming business remained a top read.

Drawing on the personal experiences of Tim Norris, CEO of Ag Info Tech, an independent precision dealership in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and 2015 Precision Farming Dealer Most Valuable Dealership, shares his top do’s and don’ts for driving a successful business accumulated during 20 years.

The free report highlights the financing’s role in precision ag sales, hiring with the “Master Mind” principle, how to calculate true technician labor rate and tips for demonstrating return on investment (ROI).

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PFD Winter 2018 Contents