Todd Farver was riding in the combine with one of his clients near Ankeny, Iowa recently when the two had a chance to reflect on the dramatic improvement in crop yields seen in this particular corn field.
As a Van Wall Equipment agronomist working with about 15 farmer customers, Farver says one of the most rewarding parts of the job is when growers get a full grasp of the bottom-line impact of a well-executed precision ag strategy.
Before this client started to work with Farver five years ago, this field was one of the farm’s lowest-producing, yielding about 185-bushel corn on average. Now the tables have turned. “This year we had really extreme weather here in Iowa, but on that field he produced 240-bushel corn,” said Farver, who offers growers a full-service package including VRT. “Before he was flat-rating everything, but now we’re planting 26,000 plants per acre in one zone, and then 37,000 in the better-producing zones. This is the difference it’s making, and this is why I explain to people that we are putting every seed in the best possible position to be successful.”
Farver gets excited when he recounts his clients’ big wins, and it’s easy to see why. As a passionate believer in precision management, Farver uses Trimble Ag Software’s Advisor Prime platform to plan, manage, and execute strategies to treat each zone in each of his client’s fields according to its unique needs. The end result? Client profits go up, the risk of over-application goes down, benefiting the environment, and Farver’s day-to-day management of complex prescriptions for countless fields and productivity zones becomes streamlined.
Here’s an example: Farver uses the Crop Health Imagery feature to monitor yield goals for his clients, in the context of local weather impacts. “I can see this field actually got two inches more rain that these other fields and it looks like it will keep getting more,” Farver explained. “When this happens, I am going to put an extra application of nitrogen down where I got more rain, but I won’t on the other fields because less nitrogen will be leaching out. It’s a win-win.”
The Proof is in the ROI
Every time Farver pulls into a new farmyard to talk about his VRT program, he hears the same question: ‘If I do this, how can I be sure of my ROI?’ For his client pulling in 240-bushel corn, the proof is clear. But new growers dipping their toes into precision ag take more convincing. Farver takes a big-picture view by looking at what the farmer is currently doing, and then compares that to a VR program that would be created and managed by Farver, with the help of Advisor Prime.
“I explain how I can help them grow their business as a farmer,” Farver said. “I’m going to help them make more money on the same amount of acres they’re currently farming.”
While it varies for each farm, Farver typically incorporates three to five different productivity zones into his precision ag plan for each farm. “When they see this, that’s where we’re really able to get down to the acre with them and say, ‘Why would you want to treat this land the same as that land when you can see the differences? Why would you throw that money away?’ If they ask me about all the free services out there today, I tell them yes, I’m not free. But free agronomy is not going to be good agronomy.”
The farmers I have who are using the software will call me and say they wish they had this five years ago — they’d be so much further ahead.
— Todd Farver
Key Benefits for Crop Advisors
- Ability to make in-season decisions. “Before you’d make a plan at the beginning of the year and follow it. But it’s such a changing climate around here, now you’re throwing that plan away and make real-time decisions,” said Farver.
- All the information is in one place. “You have weather, plant health imagery — it’s stuff everyone else is offering but we have it all in one spot. You don’t need 20 apps on your phone, you just need one.”
- Advisor Prime is results-based and easy to use.
- Crop Health Imagery is calibrated and cloud-free.
At the end of the day. Farver said the foundational benefit of Advisor Prime comes down to time-savings. “Time is always money so the ability to have a single software platform we can pull down and change fields so quickly, to get the zones and everything right where I need them, is huge,” he said. “And the fact it’s able to link up to MyJohnDeere means I can send them prescriptions wirelessly and they just have to open it up.”
Farver is also saving significant time by creating crop plans for numerous fields at one time. “Before there was so much repetition but now I don’t have to do one field after another.” Also, once he creates the prescriptions he can send them through to the farmer directly through Trimble Ag Software.
For Farver, finding the right software has simplified life, improved customer satisfaction, and taken farming to a whole new level.
This content is brought to you by Trimble Ag.
One of the biggest challenges facing dealerships and service providers today is moving data between software platforms, adjusting or creating large volumes of prescriptions, and sharing data back with their farmer customers. Welcome to Advisor Prime, the premier web-based solution featuring an intuitive, streamlined workflow for creating and sharing management zones and variable rate prescriptions. By using Advisor Prime, you’ll reduce data entry errors created by repetitive field-by-field procedures, cut out hours of processing time, and eliminate steps in transferring data back to the farmer.