In each issue, we'll ask industry leaders about their role in the industry and what they're doing to support the new technologies.
Here, Michael Helling responds to four basic questions about precision farming, including “what is it?” He’s the marketing director for Trimble Navigation’s Agriculture Division.
"(Dealers will evolve by) building an internal structure that provides focus while establishing the importance of the technology to the larger organization. This generally includes a separate department or dedicated personnel for sales, service, and support."
— Michael Helling,
1. You're on an airplane and a passenger asks, "What do you do?" How do you define "precision farming"?
Precision farming provides solutions that improve the efficiency, sustainability, and cost effectiveness of crop production for growers. Trimble solutions help farmers improve their profitability and work-life balance while protecting water, air and soil environmental quality. Our technologies include GPS enabled systems that steer equipment, optimize seed/fertilizer/chemical application, and manage field information (from planting to harvest) wirelessly from the field to the office.
2. When you think of your most successful dealers of precision farming technology, what are some of the traits they share?
A couple of key traits (in no particular order):
- A passion for agriculture and an understanding of the problems that farmers face in their day-to-day operations.
- A willingness to embrace technology and its ever-changing evolution.
- The ability to build relationships in a way that establishes them as a trusted advisor for precision farming technologies.
3. In what ways will equipment dealers have to evolve in order to best support the latest products?
Building an internal structure that provides focus while establishing the importance of the technology to the larger organization. This generally includes a separate department or dedicated personnel for sales, service, and support.
4. Out in the field, what is the greatest hurdle when it comes to farmers fully utilizing the technology?
Education and awareness: Farmers gaining an understanding of what is available and how it can improve their bottom line.