Serious Security

Security Camera

The Disney icon Shrek declared ogres are like onions — lots of layers. That’s exactly what Brent Eastman, owner of H&R Alarms, Cape Girardeau, MO, says about dealer site security. “Most security is built in layers like an onion, so you can start out basic with a single layer just on the building, then you might want to beef that up, especially in the chemical areas, then you might want to put up a fence — even one with sensors on it.”

Motion Sensor Basics

Daylight Farm Supply, Evansville, IL has been using motion sensors for at least 15 years now. Installed and maintained by ADT, they are located on walk-in and overhead doors and are set off when the doors are opened. “The sensor system is hooked to our bulk chemical building, and it won’t allow you to set the alarm without all the doors being shut,” describes Brian Herr.

One issue that’s caused a few headaches is birds trapped inside the warehouse setting off the alarm — so a Daylight rep has to come and deactivate the system.

While Eastman would point out that passive infrared technology has not changed much for almost 20 years now, it has improved. “It’s pet immune, and we can actually ignore small animals now, as well as certain size masses — say, 40 or 80 pounds — whatever the threshold of the sensor is. Sensors are becoming a little more human intelligent, checking to see if an intruder acts like a human more than, say, a blowing drape or blowing plant.”

H&R installed the security system at Crop Production Services (CPS), Sikestown, MO, almost a decade ago and has been maintaining it ever since. Aaron Wade, manager, explains that sensors cover office and warehouse entry doors, electric roll-up doors, and even a large warehouse window. H&R’s dispatch firm will call Wade whenever the power goes off — so he knows the alarm is off.

“That’s the only way I can see someone getting in is if they could find a way to shut the power off.” Monthly fees for supplier/dispatch monitoring of the systems run about $60 per month.

Cool Cameras

In addition to motion sensor systems, strobe lights, and sirens, Western Consolidated Co­operative — with sites in Holoway, MN and Milbank, SD — just installed state-of-the-art camera surveillance last fall. The systems allow Holoway to monitor the Milbank fertilizer plant some 45 miles away, says Ken DeBuhr, operations manager. “We have an anhydrous tank there for loading nurse tanks and a rail unload system on the back of the building,” he explains. “We wanted to keep an eye on those two places where people work, so if there were any problems, we can see it right away. Safety was our first consideration when buying the cameras.”

At the Holoway office, two wide/flat screen displays track action fed by nine cameras in Milbank. A digital recorder stores the video feed, which can be burned to a CD or DVD for archiving. And the cameras’ recording feature is actually motion-activated.

Eastman says those motion-activated cameras are the biggest advancement in surveillance electronics. “It saves viewing time and recording space. We can integrate them into alarms so when the front door trips, the front door camera runs for so many minutes, gathering pre-alarm and post-alarm information for up to 10 minutes.”

As an example of pricing, the Mil-bank fertilizer site’s system cost $14,000, with an additional $11,000 spent on office security equipment.

All of Wilco Agriliance‘s crop input locations — seven in Oregon’s Willa­mette Valley and one in Washington State — are equipped with some type of security sensors. Mike Gerig, asset manager, says now managers would like to step up and add camera surveillance at these sites for other benefits such as “general observation and study of our operations. We actually have them at our farm stores and have a real good idea of what they could do for us,” he says.

“Cameras can play a big, big part in managing your business,” says East­man. “You can see when deliveries are made, when employees come and go, what kind of volume you’re doing when you’re not there.”

Advice From Experts

Eastman and the ag retailers we talked with recommend looking for:

A reputable dealer. Eastman says find a security company that’s been in business for a while. “Check for some basic things like workman’s comp and liability insurance — the fly-by-night people are not going to have those.” Check out their reputation with former users and other businesses in the area. Consultations on systems are usually free, so call in two or three suppliers to get a feel for each person and what you’re comfortable with.

He would emphasize there’s plenty of good equipment out there. “It’s more about the installation than the brands,” he says. Also find out what equipment is available locally. Most dealers such as H&R will have a Web site to provide information.

Ease of use. It’s the single most important feature for a system, believes Wilco’s Gerig. “If employees have trouble getting their codes in or if it’s difficult to change codes, staff will resist usage. Also, without proper codes you  are unable to identify who’s coming in or going out — which is partially why you have a system,” he says.

Versatility. West-Con’s DeBuhr said his team was looking for versatility, with the ability to expand or change cameras if they wanted — perhaps to go from a fixed camera, to a remote control camera, to a zoom camera.

These dealers are sold on electronic security. “The systems compared to loss are relatively inexpensive and can at least offer a certain threshold of protection,” says Gerig.

“One thing we need to do in this industry is make sure the community we operate in is safe — a security system helps ensure that,” says CPS’s Wade. “It gives me peace of mind at night because I know if something goes wrong, I’m going to get a phone call.”

Leave a Reply

Stewardship Stories

Stewardship video screenshot
ManagementNew Video Raises Awareness of 2,4-D Stewardship
April 24, 2017
A new public service video developed and produced by the 2,4-D Research Task Force, in conjunction with the American Soybean Read More
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s ‘Unchartered Waters’ Quiz Via NatGeo
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Nebraska landscape Photo courtesy of Richard Hurd
ManagementNebraska Water: Another Opportunity To Sell Value
March 8, 2017
Keith Byerly has been an Advanced Cropping Systems (ACS) Manager with York, NE-headquartered, No. 13-ranked CropLife 100 retailer Central Valley Read More
Surface renewal station University of California, Davis
ManagementTechnology Vital In California Water Management
March 7, 2017
In this arid state, producers are exploring new ways to use water more efficiently. Drip irrigation, in particular, continues to Read More
Trending Articles
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
Latest News
BPIA logo
Seed/BiotechBPIA Files Comments with USDA
April 24, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) has filed comments with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Read More
Eric SfiligojHope for Application Equipment Sales
April 24, 2017
The old saying goes that a “rising tide lifts all boats.” If this is indeed the case, then things may Read More
Stewardship video screenshot
ManagementNew Video Raises Awareness of 2,4-D Stewardship
April 24, 2017
A new public service video developed and produced by the 2,4-D Research Task Force, in conjunction with the American Soybean Read More
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More
ManagementTalking Responsible Ag
April 13, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the Responsible Ag program with director Bill Qualls. Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Crop InputsWhat do Roundup and Mickey Mouse Have in Common? Califo…
April 13, 2017
(SOURCE: East Valley Times) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and many other weed killers, is being added Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSource: ChemChina to Divest Assets to Adama Following S…
April 11, 2017
China National Chemical Corp. plans to redistribute agrochemical assets to its Adama unit after the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta Read More
Farming drone air
Eric SfiligojThe Interest in UAVs for Agriculture Grows
April 10, 2017
At times, it seems as if experts have been predicting “big things” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for several years Read More
OpinionOpinion: Taking On The Farmers Business Network
April 8, 2017
Well, another round of venture capital funding has come to Farmers Business Network (FBN), followed up with the obligatory feature Read More
Drone
EquipmentFarming Drones: The Future Of Agriculture?
April 7, 2017
Chances are, you already know drones are amazing. After all, this is something DroneLife readers just understand. But if you’re Read More
ManagementFMC-DuPont, Crop Plantings, and UAV Updates
April 6, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Jackie Pucci discuss the purchase agreement between DuPont and FMC, the 2017 crop acreage mix and Read More
Falcon soil sampler
EquipmentSerious Soil Sampling Rigs
April 6, 2017
The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated Read More
Iowa waterways
FertilizerDow AgroSciences Recognizes Ag Retailers’ Role in Prote…
April 6, 2017
The state of Iowa and its agriculture community have worked for decades to preserve soil health, protect water quality and Read More
Farmer Scouting Weeds in Soybean Field
EquipmentSoil, Scouting Programs Continue To Gain Value
April 5, 2017
How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game Read More