Delivering on Ag Data Value
Bruce Baier is another deeply experienced precision agriculture manager who survived the early years of ag technology while riding the “bleeding edge,” writes Paul Schrimpf on PrecisionAg.com. Starting with grid sampling in 1994, when he was with the retail division of Cargill, he parlayed that data into variable-rate prescription building in 1995, closely followed by the purchase of the company’s first yield monitor.
“We learned about what not to do by making a lot of dumb mistakes, but that was what the bleeding edge was like,” Baier says. “It was really not a lot of fun.” In 1999 Baier and his colleagues really pushed the envelope, working with an ambitious farmer on a variable-rate planting system built off a Rawson controller (a technology manufacturer purchased by Trimble in 2008) and an Ag Leader monitor.
Forays into imagery, early variable nitrogen regimens, and measurements of everything they could get their hands on followed, with widely varying success — but also a lot of learning in the process.
Today, as the precision program manager at Ag Partners LLC, headquartered in Albert City, IA, Baier is happy to stay on the “leading edge” of technology while working to deliver good value in precision services to farmer clients. Ag Partners serves farmers in 12 counties in northwest Iowa, and the branded precision offering — InSiteCDM — has attracted about a quarter of the farmer-customer base.
InSiteCDM emerged in the mid-2000s with the combination of Ag Partners and CS-Agrow and really took off in 2009 with the hiring of Clint Sires, who, as manager, has focused on growing the program.\