How Fast Everything is Changing

I can look at my iPad and see someone on my farm driving a tractor through a field. I know how fast they are traveling and can message the driver. Photo of Dean Strauss by Len Villano

The world is constantly evolving and moving fast. The rate of change in business is incredible. There is 3-D printing of food. Your Samsung phone is now connected to the Samsung refrigerator and tells you when you need groceries. And, how we interact with the consumer keeps moving through social media. 

The same is true for farming. The majority of our equipment now has an iPad incorporated into it. When you log in, the iPad tracks your movement and time. We’ve come a long way since using a pencil and a notebook.

Another innovative method we use is a tracking beacon we put on the equipment, for example, in the tractor. When the tractor is pulling the corn planter and I’m off the farm at a meeting, I can look on my iPad and see that we are in the middle of a specific field going 6.2 mph. I can watch the icon move across my iPad and even message the driver if needed. We capture all the data to learn from it. For example, the data shows us what our down time is when loading or unloading. We always work to be more streamlined and efficient.

Fifteen years ago, we used a 90-horse power tractor, and we used to think a 6-row corn planter traveling 4.5mph was fast. Now, we have a 370-horse power tractor and a 16-row high speed corn planter traveling at 8.5 mph. If we are more efficient and gain just 30 minutes by doing something better, that can translate to planting an additional 12-15 more acres a day. Like any business, we have to keep evolving in order to get more done in a day and keep up with this fast-paced world.

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