When Monsanto announced in late May that it was acquiring Precision Planting, an Illinois-based developer and marketer of seed meters, monitoring and precision farming technology, the news created a ripple effect in the farm world.
Because of this acquisition and many new developments by numerous ag suppliers, there appears to be a growing nervousness among growers about sharing yield and other electronic crop data with any chemical, equipment or seed company.
As Dave Kanicki, the editor of Farm Equipment (a publication in our company that circulates to farm machinery dealers) wrote in a recent column, this growing concern is due to the fact that many growers consider Monsanto to be the 800-pound gorilla in the ag field.
The company has indicated the purchase of this equipment firm would be an important step in growing its IFS — Integrated Farming System — platform, thanks to tools that can monitor the critical aspects of planter performance and crop data analysis.
Monsanto says the IFS group “will utilize advanced agronomic practices, seed genetics and innovative onfarm technology to deliver optimal yield to farmers while using fewer resources.”
Their goal is to have Precision Planting continue to develop new software, hardware and production equipment for what Monsanto refers to as a “rich pipeline that includes a system designed to help simplify variable-rate planting and increase farmers’ yields through more accurate planting.”
Monsanto officials believe they can increase corn yields by 5 to 10 bushels simply by improving your agronomic practices. The company also says…