Lately there have been a lot digital platforms promising cheap, easy product sourcing and purchasing, with all the data and insights, for free. At WinField United, we’re about showing proven performance before promises.
As growers prepare to make large-scale investments on seed and inputs for 2019, there are a few questions they should be asking their partners.
How is the data validated and do they provide an explanation for the results?
Can they prove the data results in conditions like yours?
What is their process for testing products, do their measures exceed industry standards?
Are they able to explain their vision for the next generation of their tools and products?
Can they explain how these tools can help drive more predictable -- and potentially profitable -- outcomes?
The data: Is it valid and valuable?
Data is on everyone’s minds as we head into harvest and plan for next year. But while both start-ups and existing companies claim to provide more information for free that will deliver the same value, we need to ask about the quality and integrity of the data -- whether it’s from companies or from your own fields and operations. Data from the Answer Plot® program isn’t theoretical. It’s replicated in the real conditions you farm in at nearly 200 locations around the U.S. That local, regional and national replication has generated more than 6 million data points, and each data point has been statistically analyzed so we can deliver reliable, consistent insights that will help improve farm profitability.
The technology: Can it really do what it says?
New technologies emerge every day. But they need to be able to prove a value to enhance decision-making before growers invest time and money on a tool for the farm. Our ag tech tools are backed by the strength of 7 years of in-market optimization, a database that can’t be matched and a team of technology managers that works tirelessly to bring that value to reality every day. At the end of the day, it’s how we help ensure seed and input selections, and management strategies, will drive to a profitable end-game.
But let’s be honest, farmers would rather hear that from other farmers, right?
“We’re always trying to figure out the best positioning and the best timing for our inputs and eliminate applications that aren’t necessary, and the [R7® Field Forecasting] tool helped us with that,” says western Minnesota farmer Leigh Barry, who also credited his technology manager, Kelsey VanOverbeke for her local expertise. “I listen to Kelsey and trust her opinion. We figure out what makes the most sense for the farm and if we can improve our process. We try different things all the time.”
Another farmer in Tennessee says the Field Forecasting Tool helped him save water and nitrogen inputs, as he explains in this article and video.
“The hundreds of replications they do in soil types like mine before that technology hits my field is very helpful,” says Dave Armstrong of Nebraska. “The Answer Plot program has helped me increase my profitability and return on investments.”
Michael Coderman of Iowa says, “Times are changing so fast in today’s world that you’ve got to stay on top of new technology; otherwise, you’re going to lose an opportunity. I see new and different opportunities at Answer Plot events and try to implement them to make better decisions.”
Hear from more farmers who rely on the Answer Plot program and local experts for technology advancements here.
The products: Can you be confident about product development, performance and claims?
Our industry is filled with hardworking people trying to get products that work to farmers who need them. But sometimes corners get cut and you need to understand how products are brought to market. How long are products in development? How does a company decide they’re good enough to go to market with? How can you be confident about the claims they make?
Not all WinField United research takes place in a field. The WinField® United Innovation Center in River Falls, Wis., is home to our Spray Analysis System, a wind tunnel and technology that is one of four in the world. Here, we test virtually every nozzle type with every input and every condition you can simulate. We also conduct research in controlled environments growth chambers, chemistry labs, seed care and plant performance labs. It’s how we make sure that before any products even get to an Answer Plot for more research, they’re already proven at standards others don’t hold themselves to.
The future: Are they investing in advancements?
We may have been around for about 100 years, but WinField United is home to the industry’s brightest constantly pushing for new and trusted technologies within our walls and fields. We constantly invest in finding the solutions necessary for the road ahead. Because we know that when farmers have a problem to solve, when our industry gets turned upside down by regulations, we have to make sure we have solutions ready to go.
What should you do about this?
We’re serious when we say you need to question your retail partners. Ask your local WinField United retailer to back up their seed and input recommendations. They’ll show you how they use technology like the R7 Tool and data from the Answer Plot program to formulate the most precise recommendations in order to drive the bottom line for you. So when you ask if we can prove it, we’ll answer it with confidence that we can.
Find your local WinField United retailer today.