How do we make good decisions?

As we calculate profitability to determine what balance of crops we will grow in 2018 on our own farm, we discuss the “Wins” and “Losses” of our tests and observations over the last couple of years. What did we learn and did it provide a return?

So how do we make good decisions based upon our experiences? We measure. We gather our data and we take a look at it. Now, that doesn’t mean everyone has to be an expert in everything. Most of us have some trusted partners that we lean on. But, the first step is to gather good data. We can’t analyze what we don’t measure or don’t measure accurately.

One of our supposed “Wins” was a late season N application. We knew exactly where it was, because we had mapped the application. At a glance, it did look like a “Win”. However, after looking a little deeper and running the numbers, it wasn’t. A properly calibrated yield monitor with gps reveals the hidden truths.

Could we have gotten the same result with a weigh buggy and some stakes? Maybe. But, the time saved and the certainty of the results out weigh the cost of the equipment. Don’t forget, that same data tells you a whole lot more about your farm and your choices; such as, tillage practices, planting date, seed choices, drainage, and N applications to name a few. Without the data, there are no truths to reveal.

Whether you need help with the systems you currently have or are making your initial precision ag investment, we at Kelley Engineering are ready to be your precision ag partner. Give us a call today and be ready to measure in 2018.

Be InCommand of YOUR data in 2016!

Ag Leader has announced a new line of displays for 2016 called the InCommand 1200 and InCommand 800. I have included a link below for your convenience. These displays build upon the usability and color friendly nature that Ag Leader is known for and they also are compatible with your existing Ag Leader modules and steering systems to make upgrading simple (expect OnTrac 2 and 2+). Building upon the AgFiniti data transfer capability introduced last year, the InCommand displays can transfer your data directly to your tablet wirelessly via Wifi so that you can use it immediately (iPad only at launch). If you need to use the tablet, simply take it with you. I know Ag Leader isn't the only company with this technology, but as a Complete Package they are hard to beat.

On the data side, it is yours. No aggregation. Ag Leader will be developing APIs that will allow a 3rd party to access your data, if you choose; but only if you choose. Again, the ONLY interest Ag Leader has in your data is helping you get use of it. As I wrote in our 2015/16 brochure,

"It’s YOUR data - The Value is yours. Ag Leader has the tools to Capture it, Manage it, Analyze it, and Act on it."

Ag Leader AgFiniti and beyond!

Sorry. I couldn't resist the Buzz Lightyear reference.

Eric and I spent this past week at the Ag Leader Dealer Meeting. It was good to hear about the continued development that Ag Leader is doing across all of their products lines. Since their acquisition of Intellislope, they have been hard at work improving the interface on the Integra and adding features to their SMS desktop software. Lots of neat additions and refinements are done or in the works. All of the other products lines had interesting bits as well, but by far the most interesting and the one with the most potential was AgFiniti.

AgFiniti was announced at the Farm Progress in September. It is Ag Leader's entry into the cloud-based data storage and transfer market. Initially, we were only going to be able to transfer files, but in November they announced that Remote Support would also be available! We got to see it in action and it was sweet. There are a few limitations in the initial versions of both, but overall it is a great start. Of course, there are costs involved, but compared to the time saved by the customer and the dealer in the heat of the season it is a bargain.

An unexpected surprise was the announcement that they plan to offer Map View through AgFiniti sometime in 2014. No firm date yet, but this will be really useful. You will be able to upload any map and view it with your gps location shown on it through a browser on any device. Sounds like another great start!

There are 2 things to remember with AgFiniti versus other offerings.

  1. The data remains the user's completely. Ag Leader makes no claim whatsoever to the data. It will not be used in any way by them or 3rd parties or be aggregated in any way.
  2. The data connection will be provided by a cellular hotspot via wifi through your smartphone or tablet (if it has the feature) or standalone hotspot (e.g. Verizon's Jet Pack). The cool thing is you can pick the provider that works best for you and use it on the family vacation to keep the kids occupied during that long summer car trip.

There are many other things about AgFiniti that you may find useful and interesting (e.g. Sharing data with your crop advisor), so click "here" to go to Ag Leader's product page to find out more.