Ontario Agriculture

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How To Choose A Precision Ag Dealer or Brand- And The Misconceptions Involved in Your Purchasing Decision

As a precision GPS specialist, I am amazed when my initial conversation with a new customer starts with a few common comments about precision GPS systems and the brands that represent them. My return to all of these comments is the exact same statement, but I have decided to list what someone with years of precision knowledge has to say about these mis-conceptions and not the canned my product is better that many receive from other dealers.

I should let my tractor dealer install my GPS/Precision system, they are the experts- In some cases you may be correct. I always recommend that anyone making the investment into GPS & Precision, first research the knowledge the dealers service department or the person whom when you need training-troubleshooting and servicing your equipment, will be able to have the knowledge to ensure you’re getting 100% maximized return on your investment. Down time is very costly, many operations cannot deal with unexpected delays that is why, proper installation, set-up and training is so important. Sometimes a dealer is your best choice, and other times individual precision dealers are the better choice, research is needed.

I have an older tractor, so I will not be able to have GPS/Precision installed- A qualified Precision/GPS technician if given time can 95% of the time, install a generic installation. The installation will operate with just as much quality as a factory installed kit.

My tractor dealer says they will give me free GPS/Precision, since I am buying a tractor- All I have to say is what my father thought me "Nothing is ever FREE" In the ultra-competitive precision market.

I am too small of an operation to benefit from GPS/Precision- Almost any farm can benefit from Precision/GPS, as long as the proper decisions are made. The majority of operations can benefit from anything from operational software, GPS Guidance to steering systems, all the way to more advanced systems. If the proper choices are made during the purchase stages. Often smaller operators can benefit from the fact that one system can be used in many areas on the farm. If you do not have operations happening at the same time, you can if done right, switch units between equipment and operations. Since you have a chance to use the Precision/GPS in many more areas, you now have more opportunity to see the benefits and higher returns on investment, things like fuel, labor, equipment wear and tear all increase you return.

I can drive just as straight as a GPS system- I have had the opportunity to meet operators whom can drive very, very straight, but they are truthfully few and far between. I think another tidbit of information forget to think about is how you drive pretty straight at the beginning of a 8 hour shift, but how are they driving at the end?

I don't need to control use greater control with my inputs, more just means more yield- If this was the case, why don't operators forget about high end Veris Technologies Soil Scan data, Yield Data and other sources needed to increase yields and profits, just not get done and use the money invested in that and buy more fertilizer, or better yet don't but the new tractor and $300,000 on more fertilizer, you'll have the best yields in the county. Sorry if I sound hasty, but this disregard for the environment and the profession of farmer really bothers me.

With the ever raising cost of land, fuel, labor and inputs, it is now the time to take advantage of the technology and knowledge you can gain from precision equipment. Minor things like having proper planted acreages for rental properties, can pay back simple systems in the first season, in some cases before the planting has started.


Paul Smith is the owner of Northern Equipment Solutions and based in Central Ontario, Canada. Providing Quality Potato Equipment, Precision Agriculture and Other Advanced Equipment, Northern Equipment Solutions ensures that your profits and yields are maximized. www.northernequipment.ca or sales@northernequipment.ca


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