From the Farm: Ag Technology Boom

The Morning Show

Agricultural technology is exploding as it never has before, thanks to a pair of companies in Central Illinois. Precision Planting and Yield 360—both between Lincoln and Peoria—opened their doors to thousands of farmers last week wanting to see the latest technology to improve their efficiency and profitability. Stu Ellis was on hand to learn about it also.

Stu Ellis

Corn used to be planted by dropping a kernel in a furrow, and pressing the soil from the top. But no longer. Precision Planting introduced FurrowForce—a high tech system of closing the soil around the seed.

Jason Stoller

The first stage wheels are set wide and we are actually shifting soil inward rather than smashing downward then we comeback with a second stage stitch wheel here that is actually managing soil density and coming back and allowing us to sense and control exactly how much pressure is needed to get the job done.

Stu Ellis

That is Jason Stoller who is in product leadership at Precision Planting, who said the objective is to reduce the planter’s impact with the soil…

Jason Stoller

As we disturb the soil, we want to come back and put it back in that way. So we want to leave that soil mellow enough that we can get good emergence and in the same sense we also want to do a good job of making sure we don’t have any slotting and air gaps. And the third thing is in your looser soils, we want to come back and manage soil density. We want to stitch the surface closed and lock in that moisture.

Stu Ellis

And Stoller says soil density is a big deal

Jason Stoller

In our plots in central Illinois we are actually seeing about a 7 bushel advantage in a conventional tilled field, where closing would not be considered a problem. But as we are able to lock in that moisture and manage that margin, especially with our ability to sense, that gives us the ability to do exactly that and manage that density where we can hold moisture through the germination process.

Stu Ellis

The few units available for 2019 are already spoken for says Stoller. That’s our report from the Farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.

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