In each issue, we'll ask industry leaders about their role in the industry and what they're doing to support the new technologies.
In this issue we ask Ryan Molitor, marketing supervisor for Raven Industries’ Applied Technology Division about definitions and hurdles when it comes to talking about precision farming:
"A lot of our customers understand the benefits of precision farming technology, but if they are new to it, it can become overwhelming pretty fast, and then they might get frustrated and not use it."
— Ryan Molitor,
1. You're on an airplane and a passenger asks. "what do you do?" How do you define "precision farming?”
Precision farming is a wide range of technology that helps increase yields and maximizes efficiency. There are many technologies available used in every phase of the season from variable rate planting to wireless data transfer and remote support to automatic steering and so much more. Some of the benefits are reducing input costs and fuel consumption, to increasing yields and streamlining data management to help make important input decisions. With so much going on in the cab and around it during application, another huge benefit is reduced operator fatigue, our customers have a short window to get their work done and put in long hours to do so.
2. In what ways will equipment dealers have to evolve in order to best support the latest products?
Training is a key, especially with technology moving and changing so rapidly. We invest heavily in training our dealers, and we're seeing an increasing demand for more and more training. A lot of dealers are now employing full-time precision ag specialists that can focus on technology and how it benefits their customers.
3. Out in the field, what is the greatest hurdle when it comes to farmers fully utilizing the technology?
We try to help solve the complexity and compatibility issue. A lot of our customers understand the benefits of precision farming technology, but if they are new to it, it can become overwhelming pretty fast, and then they might get frustrated and not use it. We introduced remote support to our Field Computers via Slingshot so that both Raven and our dealers can remotely access a field computer and offer training right there without anyone having to go visit the machine. Another hurdle is the compatibility, they have a lot of different equipment that can benefit from it, so they want to be able to use it across multiple platforms.