The Challenges in Adopting Precision Ag on Your Farm

Precision agriculture has some obvious benefits when it comes to efficiency and input costs. GPS mapping and technologies are becoming more and more accurate with coverage available in areas previously inaccessible. Seeding overlap is almost non -existent and placement is incredibly precise. With input costs growing and the demand for production rising, the need to maximize production is there, and the need for precision farming is there. So why does it seem as though producers are so slow to adopt precision ag?

I spoke to four people in the precision ag industry about some of the hurdles for producers, misconceptions about it and where the technology is headed in the future. At the Western Farm Progress Show I spoke to Stuart Lawrence of Ag Leader Technology, Garth Donald of DynAgra VRT, Michael Murison of Hemisphere GPS and Trevor Scherman from Farmers Edge about those issues. Here are the responses.

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Shaun Haney

Shaun Haney is the founder of He creates content regularly and hosts RealAg Radio on Rural Radio 147 every weekday at 4PM est. @shaunhaney


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Clare Boyd

We have purchased units over the last 8 years. Only one came out of the box without either a software or hardware problem. Our latest purchase this year has one of the components at the factory on warranty. The rate controller was opening the valve when it should have been closing it, which was solved by cutting the valve wires and reversing polarity. Valve turn on has been very eratic on headlands. My dealer has been very good in helping but he is getting very little help from the manufacturer. Is it any wonder farmers are hesitant to buy?

Michael J. Willms

Clare, I cannot speak for all of the products out there but we have found that with the third party product we sell to control the variable rate portion of the seeding equipment we manufacture it has worked very well. Typically the issues our customers have had with software and hardware has been due to to lack of education.

We as a company are trying to work hard to make sure that both our dealers and customers are properly educated prior to use but of course we still have room for improvement. I appreciate your comments and hope to use them to improve our service.


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