The summer months typically allow precision farming staff an opportunity to catch their breath, although the prolonged planting season has shifted that timeline a bit in many parts of the U.S.
Still, precision specialists often point to this time of year as their primary window of opportunity to demonstrate and discuss technology upgrades with farm customers. Riding along with Eric Hagenow, precision specialist with Eis Implement this spring for our latest Day in the Cab, he spoke about a “3 month window” for getting in front of prospective, new or long-time customers to have face-to-face conversations to recap planting, plan for harvest and identify future precision needs.
While some farmers have been more judicious with where and when they spend their money on equipment, comments collected from the 6th annual Strip-Till Operational Practices Benchmark Study, reveal some interesting items on strip-tillers’ wish lists.
The study, which gathered more than 200 responses from strip-till farmers in 23 different states, compares and contrasts a range of practices, including precision technology adoption. Highlights from the benchmark study, which evaluates the 2018 cropping year, included increases in usage of implement guidance and variable-rate seeding, along with comparable adoption of variable-rate fertilizing and unmanned aerial vehicles compared to prior years.
In addition to getting a snapshot of current precision practices, the study also asked strip-tillers to suggest equipment or technology not currently available on the market that would make their system more effective.
Some of the more advanced items on the “wish list” included better integrated seeding and interplanting technology for cover crops, more efficient soil testing technology, row-by-row fertilizer shut-offs on a strip-till rig and individual strip-till row unit sensors.
Several respondents also noted autonomous tractors and robotic implements as future items of interest. I always enjoy reading through these comments as it’s interesting to see how interests change, but also remain the same, year to year.
So do you know what’s on your customers’ wish list? Are you having conversations with them to see what can be accomplished and implemented? It’s worth asking those questions now to help prepare your customers for the future.