Track cost of production to save money and drive farm profits

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Harness this simple yet powerful farm data point to make a huge impact on your bottom line

Simon Knutson

Spending just two minutes chatting with Simon Knutson about the importance of tracking Cost of Production could save you a big chunk of change this crop season. The certified agronomist and precision ag software manager at Vantage Canada says that when farmers see first-hand how this simple calculation helps them make real-time decisions that boost profits, they’re hooked.

“Farm profitability has always been a priority but this year, with the economic uncertainty of a global pandemic, it’s even more important,” says Knutson, who spends his days helping farmers set up, manage, and leverage precision ag data using Trimble Ag Software. “I can show them in just two minutes how to track Cost of Production to make data-driven decisions that result in big savings. One farmer saw how he was making $29 per acre on one canola field, and $53 on another — that’s a $10,000 difference. Another realized that one variety he was growing made $51 an acre, while another made close to $130 an acre. That’s over tens of thousands of dollars difference that the grower didn’t know about!”

Other software features such as Fleet Tracking, In-Season Crop Health Imagery, and Premium Weather also raise interest, but Knutson says it’s the immediate and substantial benefits of knowing Cost of Production that’s making the biggest difference for the farmers he works with.

“And right now, we’re offering a 21-day free trial of our Farmer Pro software package — we’ll help set up your account so you can see for yourself how powerful this is. We also offer a full range of Precision Ag Concierge Services so if you need help getting set up or managing your data, we’re here to help.”

 

Knutson isn’t the only giving Trimble Ag Software high marks. A recent independent study comparing ag software offerings on the market today gave an impressive ranking to Trimble Ag Software in every feature set that was measured in the survey.

One-Stop Shop for Precision Ag Success

Knutson and the rest of the team at Vantage Canada are excited about some of the new technologies out there to help make farming easier, more efficient, and more profitable.

Vantage Canada is a reseller of Trimble’s full suite of precision ag solutions — so from the displays, to product application, and water management to corrections services. To tie it all together, Vantage Canada offers an easy-to-use software tool that will connect the entire farm operation.

When it comes to top-of-the line guidance and steering solutions, Trimble is leading the pack. Here’s why:

  • Minimize Waste — By utilizing GPS technology in automated steering, farmers can reduce overlap in their fields by improving accuracy in their rows.
  • Improve Efficiency — With the manual intervention of a human driver taken out of the equation, complex field tasks and operations are sped up, allowing more work in less time.
  • Increase Productivity — When they can rely on automated steering and guidance, operators are freed up to multitask in the cab and less likely to experience fatigue.
  • Empower Operators — Experienced operators are hard to find, so eliminate this requirement with technology to utilize younger and less experienced operators in your operations.
  • Achieve Visual Impact — There are few things that make a farmer prouder than straight rows! Guidance and steering technology ensures that the visual impact will be achieved.
  • Enjoy the East of Brand-Neutral GPS — Brand independent GPS – never worry about changing the brand you use on the farm. Trimble works with any colour of equipment! Let cost dictate your equipment purchases, knowing your Trimble displays and software work seamlessly across all machinery brands.

And don’t miss the current discount on Trimble’s entry-level display, the EZGuide 250!

Data Ownership and Privacy Draws Farmers to Trimble Ag Software

Knutson says one of the things farmers like about Trimble Ag Software is that it’s independent, not tied to an equipment or input manufacturer, so they can import and sync data from any other source using APIs and get it all in one place.

Another key attraction revolves around data privacy.

“Many farmers aren’t too excited about their data being shared and sold, or used for commercial purposes by the company that owns the data platform,” he says. “At Vantage Canada, your data is your data. We don’t sell it or share it, and if you leave you can take it with you. The only people who see your data in Trimble Ag Software are the ones you give permission to see it, that might be your crop advisor, family members working on the farm, etc. But it’s your call, you own the data. We get a lot of questions about this, it’s an important issue for farmers.”

Yield Data ‘Report Card’ Made Simple

According to Knutson, Trimble Ag Software’s yield data tool is one of the software features making the biggest difference on farms today.

“At the end of the day your Yield Map is like your annual report card. It tells you how well you did that crop year, and it’s a valuable tool,” he explains.

The challenge with yield data is that there can be so many inconsistencies, and at the end of the day most people just give up. It’s too much of a headache.

“What I like about the yield data tools in Trimble Ag Software is that they help get rid of these hassles for farmers. First, you can collect and sync yield data from any brand of combine, so that’s not an issue. Second, you can actually make use of this data because we have a feature that ‘cleans it up’ for you,” says Knutson. “Some of our customers manage yield data on their own, others want some help. They’d like to focus on farming and have someone else sit at the computer and organize the data. At Vantage Canada, we’re seeing a lot of interest in our new offering of Precision Ag Concierge Services. This is where farmers can pick the level of service they want — Premium, Silver, Gold — and we come in and help manage any machine data to make sure you’re getting the important data at the end of the season that’s actually going to make a difference and help you save money and maximize farm profits.”

Knutson and his team can get everything set up properly, set up the combines ahead of time, with consistent names and spelling of all fields and equipment, and basically build a virtual replica of the farm right in the software. “Then you can delete everything in the combine and just input this resource file from Trimble Ag Software so it’s all consistent,” he explains. “What this means is that you may actually be able to get value from your harvest data.”

Ag Autonomy? We’re One Step Closer

At Vantage Canada, Knutson and the team are pretty excited about a new feature called AutoSync, which allows customers to connect their entire farm operation. The newest generation of Trimble displays have the PrecisionIQ operating systems that make data flowing back and forth almost seamless. “Now, we’re getting close to being able to put an operator in a machine with very little need for skill or experience. With Trimble Ag Software and these new Trimble displays, you can create a Work Order, send it to the tractor, have that operator pull it up and with maybe five touches to the screen, it’s done. That’s all that is needed,” he says. “So at Vantage Canada we’re not just selling displays — we’re selling an entire automated system that’s really easy to use.”

Given the ag technology, connectivity, and integration headaches distracting many farmers today, this is exciting.

To learn more about Vantage Canada and how their technology can benefit your farm, visit vantage-canada.com.

 

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