April 17, 2023
As more farmers turn to precision ag to better manage their farms, they’re often told they can work with a trusted adviser. But what technology does a trusted adviser use?
At ServiTech, a company that has provided soil testing and consulting services since 1975, advisers use the tool Agrian to bring information together for their customers, according to Matt Wildman, precision ag lead, and Seth Lade, eastern Nebraska territory manager.
“We’re using Agrian as a kind of central hub, mainly for our soil sampling, within our whole agronomy team,” Wildman explains. “We’re trying to pull together growers’ boundaries in fields, and do zone or composite grid soil sampling, then making fertility recommendations.”
He says the centralized system gives advisers access to the same information all the time. And it’s easy for farmers to log in and get information on their soil samples, which is available more quickly than in the past.
“This is a completely web-based system, so we can actually assign growers access to all their data,” Lade says. “So all soil sampling data and other data we have in Agrian, they can just log in, or use an app and see it in real time.”
Responses from soil tests are quick because Agrian’s system is linked with the ServiTech laboratory.
Benefits of data sharing
This technology brings data into one place and offers easy access to farmers. It’s also helping the company’s consultants.
“It allows us to be consistent in our recommendations across different agronomists across different territories,” Wildman says. “Just having that quicker turnaround time for a lot of our growers is important.”
Faster access means more timely decision-making when it’s crunch time during the season. Lade says information from ServiTech’s labs has always gone back to farmers. “But this platform allows us to do it faster and do it consistently and do it well,” he adds.
Access to data is a two-way street. With Agrian, ServiTech can pull in a farmer’s as-applied data and create prescriptions. “Whether it be a planting prescription or fertility prescription,” Wildman says, “we can’t necessarily always push it straight back from Agrian. But we’ve got the ability to log in and tie a lot of those pieces together.”
The key is giving the trusted adviser access to the farm’s data system whether it’s John Deere, Case IH, Ag Leader or others. From that, the adviser can move the prescription back to the farmer.
In the past, some farmers might not have given the adviser access to upload information, but Wildman says that in the eastern Nebraska area, farmers are open to the idea.
“It’s mainly because of the simplicity of it,” he says. “It saves a trip for the agronomist or the person making their recommendation. It speeds up efficiency,” when the information is imported into their John Deere or another online account. “It just makes it that much easier for them when they get to the field.”
Moving farmers forward
Many farmers are hesitant to use technology available to them. How does a trusted adviser move the needle to get a farmer more connected with the tools they could be using?
“It’s about telling the story of how this can make you more efficient, how it makes your agronomist more efficient and the whole operation more efficient,” Lade says. It’s “having someone on the farm talking with them that knows what they’re doing, how to run these systems and teach them the processes, and show them this is going to help them get things done faster and more timely. Once you walk them through that and get them on the path, they usually like it.”
And data development isn’t standing still. Lade says current platforms offer support for analyzing results, but the Agrian system ServiTech uses goes more in-depth. “Trying to pull all those pieces and tie them together on a single platform, that’s our goal,” he notes.
As you work with your trusted advisers in 2023 and beyond, having them invested in new technology to help you manage farm data offers advantages. You can learn more about ServiTech at servitech.com.
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