JOHNSTON - Describing what he called a move from precision ag to decision ag, Joe Foresman, director of decision services for DuPont Pioneer, announced Wednesday a new service for John Deere customers designed to take more guesswork out of farming.
Foresman, speaking to regional and national ag media during the company's annual two-day media conference in Johnston, said the new service will pool soil-mapping resources, predictive technologies and expertise to help growers improve nitrogen application management and other field input planning.
The new service package, Foresman said, is a three-year collaboration with John Deere, with collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and the University of Missouri.
Noting that farmers often feel inundated with the massive amounts of data they generate on their fields through mapping, field work, planting and harvesting, this service will pool all the technologies into a single picture for each field and provide a "realtime" update on conditions.
Dan Uppena, business manager for DuPont's decision services, said the data collected in tractors and combines are instantaneously sent wirelessly to John Deere data collection servers, eliminating the need for uploading data from thumb drives and manually entering data.
He said DuPont is working on similar agreements with other ag machinery manufacturers.
In addition, another layer of this service, available to all Pioneer customers, is weather and market alerts through DTN by way of a weather network between Pioneer representatives and growers.
"This is done in realtime," Uppena said, "to mimic what the plant is experiencing."
Foresman said the data collected will belong only to the producer and will be released to only those the grower wants to have it.
"This data does not go to the government," Foresman said. He said DuPont is dedicated to keeping this data confidential.
"But this will bring a suite of services to tailor solutions for (farmers') decisions."
Real time info
Joe Hanson, senior manager for DuPont's next generation services in marketing, explained the primary aim is to assist producers will a 24-hour, realtime picture of the nitrogen remaining in fields as a crop grows and following extreme rain events.
Based on predictive soil models, Hanson said, the realtime info can show a continual state of the quantity of nitrogen still available to plants as the crop grows and as affected by rain events.
Alerts can also be set for wind events, which will have an impact on spraying.
"Before," Hanson said, "it was a guess.
"This is information available for 24 hours to get accurate information."
Hanson and Foresman said currently the new system is under beta testing with 60 producers across the U.S. Corn Belt, including at least two in Iowa.
When asked when the entire program will be made available to Pioneer customers, Foresman said, "stay tuned.
"There are more announcements coming soon."
Hanson said this new level of service comes at a perfect moment in farming.
"With the recent years of profitability," he said, "farmers have upgraded their equipment, equipped with all the necessary technology.
"They have iPods and iPads, so it's time to synchronize all this technology
"It takes much of the guesswork out of the process."
Through a unique computerized process offered by DuPont, said a company news release, using the latest high resolution technology, this collaboration will result in the most accurate soil-mapping units to date.
This soil info will enable growers to be more accurate with crop inputs, specifically with nitrogen placement and rates and when applications are needed.
Hanson said DuPont is providing the software, the University of Missouri is involved because it specializes in soil sciences and USDA-ARS, being headquartered in St. Louis, was a natural choice for the collaboration.