Making Technology Functional
This blog post was originally published as an advertorial in the March-April Issue of the South Dakota Soybean Leader. This post is sponsored by Mustang Seeds and brought to you by the South Dakota Soybean Association.
Agriculture is increasingly technology-driven. Modern equipment helps farmers gather copious amounts of information, but for many growers, the challenge lies in getting the most from the information that’s being collected.
“Agriculture is a huge data set,” says Mustang Seeds Precision Agriculture Manager Grant Schmieg. “Technology is helping farmers create data, whether it’s about what they’re planting, spraying or harvesting.”
Farm equipment is often filled with sensors, screens and interfaces. Schmieg says he frequently hears from farmers that even though they are gathering valuable information, they’re not sure how to interpret the results or benefit from them. Mustang Seeds established an agriculture technology department specifically to help customers get the most from their data.
“If we can help farmers better utilize their information, they will know even more about how their farm is performing, and they can make decisions that will increase profi tability,” Schmieg says.
Schmieg says Mustang Seeds utilizes a drone to fly fields and provide normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) images to assess how crops are performing and to look for trouble spots. Mustang Seeds is also a dealer for the Climate FieldView™ technology, a cloud-based interface that can help farmers utilize information from their planters, sprayers and combines to generate prescription maps to get the most from every acre.
“Mustang Seeds can help farmers utilize data they’re gathering and paying for, so they can tend to their fields and know exactly how they perform,” Schmieg says. “We can help them better utilize the assets they already have.”
Schmieg says technologies like variable rate seeding can help farmers plant corn and soybeans at the optimal populations for maximum productivity. Soil grid sampling can give farmers a fuller picture of their soil’s nutrient needs, which can lead to reduced costs by not applying nutrients in areas that don’t need additional fertilization.
Mustang Seeds investment in a technology department is further indication of a commitment to customer service. “We want to help our customers out in every possible way. Mustang Seeds is a family-owned business, so our goal is to treat our customers as we would our own family,” Schmieg adds.
That customer service includes helping farmers select the right seed for the com-ing year, but extends to helping farmers hook up new technology and interpret the data the technology generates.
Schmieg says the development of Mustang Seeds’ technology focus was a logical progression. “Technology is the way that agriculture is moving, so this is another way for us to help our growers.”
Schmieg says unlike larger companies that may have a helpline or offer assistance over the telephone, Mustang Seeds provides in-person assistance.
“Anyone can call us to get help,” Schmieg says. “Our goal is to come to their farm and give them hands-on assistance, whether it’s for a technology issue or seed decisions. We want as much customer interaction as possible. Big companies may give you answers over the phone, but there’s nothing like having a seed or technology professional come out to the farm. It’s all about customer interactions and relationships.”
To learn more about Mustang Seeds’ commitment to South Dakota farmers, visit www.mustangseeds.com.