South Dakota Wheat Growers: Making Connections

Wireless Connectivity

Precision programs can only stretch as far as their own limitations, and retail cooperative South Dakota Wheat Growers (SDWG) is creating a program that pushes those limiting factors beyond their grower-customers’ expectations.
It starts with a program that fits agronomically with a wide swath of its customers, and breaks barriers by utilizing the flexibility and connectivity of cloud computing to provide open access to managers, agronomists and grower customers.

The hopeful result will be unfettered access to information and people, and effective communication that makes the crop production process as efficient as possible.

Of course, it starts with a sound agronomic program. And according to Brent Wiesenburger, Precision Ag Manager at SDWG, the proven approach in their region is zone management. SDWG has been analyzing field needs using zone sampling since 1996. “We manage nitrogen up here, so when planting a nitrogen use crop, we pull a 0 to 6-inch and 6 to 24-inch soil test, this makes grid sampling really overwhelming on the cost side when sampling every other year. Management zones have worked really well over the years.”

Last year, the cooperative took a big step forward when it acquired MZB (short for Management Zone Based) Tech­nologies based in Watertown SD. MZB Founder Glenn Hanson started MZB in 1996 as a way to develop and fine tune a zone management based program.

“Glenn developed a system of combining RTK elevation, both the shallow and deep layers of Veris data, and yield or satellite imagery data to establish high, medium and low yielding zones with turnkey software to make sound field management decisions,” says Wiesenburger. Satellite data is generally favored over yield data because so many growers are large and will run multiple combines, creating a serious data collection challenge at harvest time.

Based on these layers of data, as well as carry over nutrient levels analyzed by Agvise Labs, SDWG can manage phosphorus (P) based on the zone designation. “As you would expect, our low yielding zone 3 and 4 areas always have higher carryover levels of phosphorus, and our higher yielding zones tend to have lower level of carryover P.  This allows us to fine tune phosphorus build strategies in ways that a grid based system can’t,” says Wiesenburger.

With a clear understanding of the zones in terms of fertility and crop performance, fertilizer recommendations can be made and yield goals established for each zone in the field using the MZB system. At SDWG, that system is called MZB Tools, a program that resides on the agronomist’s computer that allows him them to bring all the data sets together for the grower and create the field recommendation.

Next: Cloud Connectivity

Taking the MZB precision program, and in reality the entire company, to the next level of efficiency and customer interaction was going to mean pushing SDWG managers, agronomists and customers into the realm of wireless connectivity and cloud computing. To get there, they turned to AgIntegrated, a State College, PA company that has developed a cloud-based connectivity and data management program called Onsite.

“Onsite is a cloud based, multi-platform service designed to manage and communicate information between software, equipment, employees, and customers, explains Mike Santostefano, marketing director of AgIntegrated.
With retailers juggling more and more data through disconnected software and equipment, there is a need for a solution to help connect these systems and to improve the efficiency of the people who interact with them, he says.

“Onsite provides a solution to this challenge. Onsite is a cloud solution to help manage and communicate information across any software, equipment and most importantly, the individuals that use the information to make decisions and complete tasks. Instead of adding another disconnected system into the mix for retailers that increases their staff’s time commitments, On­site’s primary goal is to compliment and connect their existing software and equipment.

With Onsite integrated into the system, the agronomist using MZB will now be able to create fertilizer and seed recommendations, then send the controller file and recommendation report to the SDWG operator and/or directly to the grower. The operator or grower can then transfer the controller file to a USB drive or compact flash card. 

Mixed fleet telematics is also an important part of the program. Pre­scription files can be sent from any precision ag software to any brand of equipment and transfer as applied or yield data back to any precision ag software. Files can also be sent to and from equipment telematics systems such as Raven’s Slingshot, and others as well when they become available. Individuals that are not equipped with equipment telematics system can utilize wireless capabilities of Onsite Relay, which utilizes smartphones and tablets in the field.

The system will also offer a mobile app capable of tracking assets through smartphone or tablet’s GPS and allow the setting up of geofences to generate an alert when an operator crosses a boundary. It works for managers or growers — a grower can be alerted when an applicator accesses their field.

Finally, Onsite will allow file management in the cloud, so information can be disseminated efficiently, data can be stored safely and securely and agronomists can have full access to sales, marketing and customer information from anywhere. 

The new, supercharged MZB program is rolling out in four locations this fall and winter, and Wiesenburger is excited about the potential. “We’ve had the software and the precision program, all we needed was the Onsite connectivity,” he says. “Everyone is waiting for this to get going.”

Leave a Reply

One comment on “South Dakota Wheat Growers: Making Connections

CropLife 100 Stories

CHS Primeland
CropLife 100CHS Businesses In Washington, Idaho Combining For Greater Efficiencies
July 27, 2016
As full-service ag retailers, CHS Primeland and CHS Farmers Co-op collectively serve farmers and other customers in 15 counties in Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Manito Transit Joins SmartWay Transport Partnership
July 7, 2016
Manito Transit, a subsidiary of GROWMARK, has been recognized by the U.S. EPA as a registered SmartWay Transport Partner. The Read More
Crop Production Services (CPS)
CropLife 100Agrium To Acquire Cargill’s U.S. Ag Retail Business
July 7, 2016
Agrium Inc. has announced a binding purchase agreement between its Crop Production Services (CPS) and Cargill AgHorizons for the acquisition of Read More
Grower Truck at retailer
CropLife 100ARA Seeks Comment on Ag Driver Sleep Apnea Issue
July 5, 2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are seeking public Read More
Trending Articles
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Latest News
Soil Young Corn
Crop InputsSmithsonian: 5 Things to Know About New GMO Labeling Bi…
July 27, 2016
On July 14, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring large food companies to label products containing genetically modified Read More
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesSpecial Issue Of Weed Science Explores Human Aspects Of…
July 27, 2016
Weeds that evolve resistance to herbicides are a serious threat to global agricultural production. In this Special Issue of Weed Science, Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100CHS Businesses In Washington, Idaho Combining For Great…
July 27, 2016
As full-service ag retailers, CHS Primeland and CHS Farmers Co-op collectively serve farmers and other customers in 15 counties in Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
Crop InputsNACHURS Joins Field to Market
July 27, 2016
NACHURS announced today that it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a leading multi-stakeholder initiative working Read More
Illinois Researchers
FertilizerMeasure Of Age In Soil Nitrogen Could Help Precision Ag…
July 26, 2016
What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems Read More
Kochia
Crop InputsNufarm Launches New Herbicide for Resistant Kochia
July 25, 2016
Nufarm introduces Scorch herbicide for U.S. farmers and ranchers combating a broad range of troublesome broadleaf weeds. A unique premix Read More
ManagementNew Rabobank Report Calls for Farmer ROI Focus
July 25, 2016
As U.S. row crop farmers brace themselves for a third year of negative margins, Rabobank believes farmers must lower the Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsBloomberg: Syngenta-Chem China Deal on Track for Regula…
July 25, 2016
Syngenta AG, which has agreed to be taken over by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion, said talks with Read More
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Shareholder Proposes Monsanto ‘Host…
July 20, 2016
One of Bayer AG’s top 20 shareholders said Wednesday it may make sense for the life-science company to launch an Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsNew Leaf Symbiotics Snags Former Monsanto Microbials Le…
July 20, 2016
NewLeaf Symbiotics, announced today the appointment of Dr. Janne Kerovuo as Vice President for Research and Discovery.  Dr. Kerovuo comes Read More
Corn and ditch
ManagementStudy: Saturated Buffers Reduce Nitrates From Subsurfac…
July 19, 2016
The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentAgronomists, CCAs, Custom Applicators Invited To FSR Ag…
July 19, 2016
Agronomists, Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and custom applicators can stay current on agronomy issues on the grounds of the Farm Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of…
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More