Looking to take your farm into the next generation of precision ag? It turns out AgDNA – already serving farmers well in Louisiana and Tennessee – has struck a deal with Tunica, Miss.-based Parker Tractor Company. The company is also expanding into northeast Arkansas and the Bootheel.
Russell Cauthan, AgDNA Key Account Manager, spoke with Delta Farm Press in early August about what the company offers, its presence in the Mid-South and future plans. Among his comments:
On basic information…
“Basically, we’re a farm-management/software data management company. Historically, our business model has been to go through dealer networks rather than direct to growers. Our primary dealers up to this point have been John Deere. Mainly that’s because we felt their equipment was out in front with wireless communication back to the office.
“Currently, we’re working with dealers all over the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Some of the key things we’re doing with data management is to provide a very detailed financial picture to the growers showing where they are in their operation from a profitability standpoint. That’s done through field-by-field profitability as well as within-field profitability – this area of the field is making me money, this area is losing money.
“Obviously there’s a whole lot of information that goes into the program to reach that end goal of profitability. How can I manage my farming operation better in order to make more money? That’s something that sets us apart from other platforms available. We touch on the whole farming cycle during a season rather than focus on one specific aspect.”
On the Mid-South timeline…
“The first dealer we worked with was in Louisiana, Goldman Equipment, back in 2013. At that time, AgDNA was its own platform and there was no private branding. As they began using it, their customer base began asking if there was any way to get the machine data off their Deere equipment to analyze on top of the other things they could do with AgDNA. So, we started down that road and they liked what they saw.
“In 2014, the Louisiana dealer asked if the software package could be privately packaged for the dealership. At that point, Tennessee Tractor came on board. By 2015, those dealers probably tripled the customer base that was using the platform.
“We think there will another significant increase in the customer acreage base in 2017.”
On expansion into the north Delta…
“In February or March, we first visited with Parker Tractor in Tunica. They tested the water to make sure they’d be able to provide services with the platform. In June, they signed on as an official dealer with us. They have full intentions of pushing forward for the 2017 crop season.
“We’re in negotiations and working with Legacy Equipment in northeast Arkansas and the Bootheel border.
“Each dealer has a completely web-based program that is privately labeled for that dealership with logos. Their customers have an account with all their information – crop inputs, field boundaries, data layers, whatever they’d like. Within that private platform, the user can connect to, say, their Deere account. As machines move across fields, they’re constantly, wirelessly transmitting data back to the Cloud.”
Where can farmers find AgDNA dealers?
- Arkansas and the Bootheel: Legacy Equipment.
- Louisiana: Goldman Equipment.
- Mississippi: Parker Tractor (www.parkertractorco.com).
- Tennessee: Tennessee Tractor.
- Texas: Ray Lee Equipment.
- Oklahoma: Ray Lee Equipment and American Implement.
New Mexico: Ray Lee Equipment.
Use during a typical cropping season?
“The grower can go in ahead of the season and make a cropping plan. Those things include planting, spraying, fertilizing intentions, yield and selling aspirations. It essentially creates a budget, pulling all that information into a clarifying financial picture.
“Then, the plan can be implemented through the season. There is a work ordering system that will actually send plans out to his operators for them to make applications.
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“Now, everyone knows it’s rare that a plan completely comes together. Intentions may not actually happen as he’d hoped – maybe the weather didn’t cooperate. So, the work orders and the like are constantly updated through the season to keep as close to the budgeting scenario he’s chosen. He can see his intended budget and the actual funds that he’s spent. Then, at harvest, the crops are pulled into the system and he’ll quickly know if the season was profitable, or not.”
What about privacy concerns and the farmers worried their data won’t be protected?
“The long and short of it is the farmer owns his data 100 percent. We have no right to distribute it or sell it to anyone. The only way we can pass data along is if a farmer requests we do so.
“If, at any point, a grower decides to part ways with AgDNA, the data is completely wiped from our servers and given to the farmer on whatever media he prefers.”