Agribusiness: Crop Tour Shows Precision Planting Benefits

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- While Pro Farmer is looking at yields across the U.S., a different Crop Tour was hosted by AGCO in Gladbrook, Iowa.

The goal is to show farmers how precision agriculture affects them.

Larry Kuster an AGCO Senior Product Specialist says, "For a grower, it's an education opportunity to learn what to look for, and when you see a scrawny little plant, why?"

On a ten acre plot with sample rows, Kuster shows what happens with imprecise planting. Marked off in sections are corn rows with seed depth, spacing, or down force errors.

He says, one of the biggest issues is emergence. If a corn seed is delayed 24 hours from the other seeds, it will be no better than a weed.

Naturally he showcased their 9800 White Planter, which Kuster says meters out at 99.5 percent accuracy.

Kuster adds the average planter tested in singularity and spacing is 90 to 95 percent accurate. Improving precision by an additional five percent could boost yields by 10 bushel.

In precision planting, Kuster says the small details matter, "And in this competitive market, and grain prices aren't what we would like to see them, so to eke out an extra five, eight, ten, twelve bushels per acre can really add significant amount to the bottom line."