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From the Virtual Terminal

Easing Those Precision Aggravations

ince becoming the technology edi- tor for Farm Equipment and No-Till Farmer last year, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know numerous precision farm- ing technicians — many in person — during dealer visits and industry events.


Each encounter gives me a chance to learn about how these innovators are improving how their customers farm through the products they sell and support.

One question I’ll always ask is “What keeps you up at night?”

The replies run the gamut of worrying about hardware compatibility issues between two different brands to where to fi nd more help. I’ve yet to meet a precision farming dealer who claims it’s an easy job. Inevitably, we’ll touch on topics that get specialists scratching their heads or sometimes shaking their fi sts. “There’s a fair share of frustration,” is what one precision ag specialist in Iowa told me. “For a lot of us, it’s getting thrown to the wolves and fi guring it out along the way.” Of course, some dealerships are ahead of the precision curve — as you will see with our fi rst “Most Valuable Dealership” recipient in this issue — while others are taking their fi rst steps into the advanced realm.

But nobody has all the answers, and as rap-

idly as precision farming technology is evolving and improving, it’s safe to say nobody ever will. Since January 2012, with the launch of our

Precision Farming Dealer e-newsletter, we’ve focused on helping our precision dealer audi- ence solve some of those technological mys- teries and provide an interactive platform to share and learn from each other. Whether it’s fi guring out the best way to manage the time of precision personnel, or deciding how to present telematic service to customers, our twice-a-month e-editions strive to get dealers talking with one another, in their own words.

Seeing a need to advance this conversa- tion with greater depth, our editors are proud to present this fi rst print edition now in your hands, which is accompanied online with our enhanced digital edition. We’ve also launched

the Precision- 006 PRECISION FARMING DEALER ••••• 2013 website as a resource for the latest news, videos and advice from precision dealers.

These are opportunities for us to dig deeper into some of the topics that are on your radar today, while also peering into the future. What was cutting-edge fi ve years ago is al- ready out-of-date. And today’s farm technol- ogy will certainly look different a few years from now.

For example, autonomous farm equipment

and fl eets of remote control “R2-D2s” harvest- ing crops are on the horizon.

One of my favorite parts of this job is listening to precision dealers talk about the future of technology and what it will do for farm customers. Quite often, they will confi dently say that the possibilities are endless and if someone thinks of a solution, it’s probably being devel- oped as we speak.

Many of the precision ag specialists I’ve met are evolving and adapting right along with the technology they sell and service. Dealerships are scouring colleges and uni- versities for the next generation of precision specialist to bridge the knowledge gap between those developing technology with the growers who will use it to increase effi ciency and profi t- ability on their farms.

As one precision ag dealer told me, what keeps him up at night is a fear that he won’t be able to take advantage of all the available opportunities to grow his business. We plan to grow along with our audience — to educate, inform and at times provoke. Hopefully, you fi nd value within these 56 pages that you can put to work at your deal- ership today, throughout the entire year and beyond.

225 Regency Court, Suite 100 P.O. Box 624 Brookfi eld, WI 53008-0624

Phone: 262/782-4480 • Fax: 262/782-1252

FOR CHANGE OF ADDRESS CALL: 262/432-0388 • Fax: 262/786-5564

EDITOR/PUBLISHER Mike Lessiter (ext. 403)

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Dave Kanicki (ext. 414)

TECHNOLOGY EDITOR Jack Zemlicka (ext. 441)

MANAGING EDITOR Kim Schmidt (ext. 431)

ASSOCIATE EDITORS Darrell Bruggink (ext. 420)

John Dobberstein (ext. 425)

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Michael Ellis (ext. 432)

Alan Stenum (ext. 437)


AD SERVICES MANAGER Lynn Boesen-Burnside (ext. 430)

CONFERENCE MANAGER Alice Musser (ext. 413)


Christopher Nielsen (ext. 418)

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jeff Lazewski (ext. 423)

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Greg Miller (ext. 428)

Trish Holzhauer (ext. 417)

PRODUCTION MANAGER Amy Johnson (ext. 409)



E-MEDIA DIRECTOR Jeremy McGovern (ext. 410) jmcgovern


Jack Zemlicka, Technology Editor

We’re looking for your feedback on this issue. Contact Jack Zemlicka at with comments.

Cole Vandermause (ext. 440)

CIRCULATION MANAGER Sue Ramstack (ext. 407)


EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Frank Lessiter (ext. 402)

Bonus video content

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