Heading into planting season, how will your priorities and responsibilities change as precision farming dealers, both within your dealership and for farm customers?


“In our area, north central Mississippi, growers have been slow to adopt variable-rate planting, but there is a big shift coming in this direction. For our dealership, the challenge is to get in front of this trend and lead our customers in the right direction instead of chasing demand. I have been busy with variable-rate prescriptions for the few that have capable systems and have been happy with the results so far.

“The proof will be in August when we harvest. I have to be mindful that the grower, not I, is the one rating my performance. He will be happy when the money we saved on seed becomes more profit in his pocket in the form of increased yield. I’ve found that growers are happier when they increase their bottom lines by increasing the income portion of the balance sheet. I try to focus on this because you can be sure the customer is focusing on the expense side.”

— Andy Moore, Wade Inc., Cleveland, Miss.

“I will definitely be doing more repair work on precision farming products and doing diagnostics on the phone in the coming months. I work in the shop as a mechanic when I'm not busy doing precision farming work, so I won’t be doing nearly as much mechanic work in spring. I’ll be helping the sales department with getting new precision equipment going in the field, as well as training customers on how to operate their monitors and GPS equipment.”

— Darin Loewen, Linden Agri-Centre, Linden, Alberta, Canada

“Heading into planting season, I always use the analogy that I switch hats from sales to install and support. We are usually doing some of both all the time, but in the off-season there are a lot of farm shows where our company exhibits, follow-ups from those shows and follow-ups from existing customers. 

“After that we switch to install season and once installs are about wrapped up, we are usually starting to hit the field which means the day-to-day support is starting to kick in. There is always room for a sale while troubleshooting if it will make that customer’s life easier. Just don’t ‘out-sell’ your services.”

 — Andy Briggs, Crop IMS, Bristol, Wis.