SPONSORED BY LG SEEDS
There’s something special about walking your field. Seeing how your crop is progressing while feeling the dirt crunch under your boots with the sun tickling the back of your neck. Now, thanks to Advantage Acre, a software from LG Seeds, that walk can also simultaneously track the health of your field. We caught up with Tony Loftness, Area Sales Manager for LG Seeds, to see how this software can help solve the problems on your farm.
Problem: Where’s the best spot to plant my crop?
Solution: Product placement
Using data derived from a number of sources, including data from the USDA, Advantage Acre is able to produce a map that tells you where exactly your crop should be placed. Because LG Seeds account managers and dealers know where their product should be positioned to maximize yield potential and because farmers know their fields better than anyone else, the data and maps created by Advantage Acre can tell you where exactly to position your product.
“There’s really nothing that you cannot see in this platform that can help you figure out situations that you’re not already aware of,” said Loftness. “Now don’t get me wrong. Farmers are probably the ones who know their fields better than anybody but if you sit down with enough of them, you hear them say, ‘I have this field that is just a tough field. I don’t know how to figure it out.’ That’s where this comes into play.”
Problem: How do I know what’s going to happen with the weather?
Solution: Weather forecasting
When it comes to farming, it’s always too wet or dry. We all know that it’s impossible to predict the weather but Advantage Acre does a pretty impressive job of doing just that by getting it correct 84 percent of the time. Using WeatherTrends360, they are able to create forecasts of the weather in terms of temperature and precipitation. This allows growers to decide on relative maturity, find a planting window and understand per hybrid when to apply herbicides, fungicides and when a product will black layer.
“That right there is our weather timeline,” said Loftness. “What that shows is it gives you the past weather but all those bigger, thicker bars are the predictions moving forward on what temperature range and precipitation should be per week. … It will take a trend out 11 months. If you’re sitting in your office in December trying to decide what corn hybrid you need to plant on a certain acre, you can pull this up, look at your field, maybe plug a hybrid in there and then it will show you the 11-month forecast.
“Normally, it’s a 95-day hybrid but if it’s going to be cold and wet through the spring and that range is all the way through summer and you don’t think that 95 days is going to finish and make that full maturity corn, you can back it down. That’s the power of this.”
Problem: I need help planning out my field.
Solution: Farm field planning
Almost 60 percent of farmers are over the age of 55, this means that there’s a new generation coming in to take over the farm. Loftness believes that this next generation is turning to technology to get that edge. Advantage Acre can help with a certain aspect of that.
“For Advantage Acre specifically, the other thing that I think these young guys crave as they come into the business is some structure and a little bit of direction and how to manage a plan very well. This also does that,” said Loftness.
LG Seeds and Advantage Acre can do everything above field for a grower and when the plan is complete, they can upload the information into the planter monitor or print it out and put it in a binder for the season to stay organized. They can even print pallet placards to label seed in the shed so anyone grabbing it will know what field it should be placed in.
Problem: When I’m walking my field, I can’t easily track what’s happening in it.
Solution: In-field scouting app
Thanks to a separate app that connects with Advantage Acre, you can easily scout your field. This allows dealers to provide growers with information on their fields as its growing or for growers to keep records of scouting information as they move from field to field. To take advantage of that, all you have to do is bring along your phone or tablet when you scout your field, open the app and push a button that says scout and it will track you. You can then take pictures of the issues you find and look them up right in the app to find out what they are, what the threshold levels are and what kind of issues persist.
“When you’re all said and done with that, you can save it and it will spit out a report that you can send to the dealer or the grower and show them, this guy just didn’t drive by at 60 miles per hour. Here’s the log that shows him walking through my entire field and each place he stopped. It’s just another value-added tool,” said Loftness.
Problem: All this ag-tech is great but my different systems don’t sync up with each other.
Solution: Advantage Acre doesn’t have that problem.
Because Advantage Acre is compatible with most platforms on the market today, you can easily upload and download data to and from different technology through the cloud or with just a jump drive.
Problem: How did my crops do compared to other harvests?
Solution: Harvest data analysis
Once your crop is harvested, Advantage Acre allows you to take the data from your harvest, upload it and compare yields to just about any other map available within Advantage Acre or to things planted in the spring. This will tell you exactly what worked well and what to improve on for the next season.
While there are many companies entering into ag-tech to make a quick buck, Advantage Acre is out there to solve real problems for farmers. Loftness summed up the philosophy behind this software well.
“At the end of the day, it’s a tool for the toolbox to be used in the correct way. That is the end goal. What we want is to see our growers and our dealers be profitable. The only way you can do that is to maximize yield and production. That’s the way we place it.”
About LG Seeds
Based out of Westfield, Indiana, LG Seeds is owned by Agreliant Genetics. When LG Seeds unified with Wensman Seeds, it was a difficult decision but ultimately a necessary one because LG Seeds has a national footprint. They are also trying to shake up the normal way of operating and trying to do something different in terms of their sales approach. They are adopting a team atmosphere so rather than one sales rep selling an area, they have three to five people and a technical team of agronomists to better serve the customer.
“It’s different. It’s kind of edgy, in my opinion,” said Loftness. “Not a lot of people want to work in a team atmosphere, especially when you’re covering the entire state of North Dakota. But, the guys have responded very well and come together. The dealers feel empowered after we leave a meeting.”
Originally from Hector, Minn., Loftness started working for Wensman Seed Company in 2012. Eventually, Wensman combined with LG Seeds and he now operates as the Area Sales Manager across all of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota where he oversees seven account managers, an agronomist and a dealer development manager.