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Agrimarketing : November December 2006
November/December 2006 AgriMarketing 35 Editor's note: The AgriMarketing "Product of the Year" judges cited these two entries as Runners Up in this year's program. JOHN DEERE'S 4930 SPRAYER John Deere has taken over the leading position in the self-propelled sprayer rig market since it first launched its line of equipment in 1997 in the estimated $235 mil- lion market segment. Its 4930 model helped propel Deere to the top spot. The 4930 sprayer has continued to evolve and improve from the 4920 that was introduced in 2004. The combina- tion of Swath Control Pro, BoomTrac Pro, AutoTrac and industry leading operator comfort provides a machine that is unmatched in productivity for the 1,200 gallon mar- ket segment. Combine this with map-based prescriptions that can result in reduced chemical costs along with the documentation and as-applied maps, management deci- sions will be made easier. These technologies also offer environmental stewardship to landowners and recre- ational land users by providing accurate applications to only the targeted crop. The 4930 sprayer is also the most productive self-pro- pelled sprayer ever designed and built by John Deere. Recent results in west Texas verify that this sprayer can cover 230 acres per hour and as many as 1,400 acres per day. Productivity is the sole driver to the enhancements of the 4930 sprayer. One of the many strength of John Deere is the ability to integrate AMS technologies like Swath Control Pro, Map Based Prescriptions, as-applied mapping, field doc- umentation and GPS guidance. These are all designed into the sprayer to provide one integrated solution from a single supplier to meet the requirements of commercial applicators and farmers. Before a product is designed or built, the concept goes through targeted dealers and customers to ensure that it meets the market requirements. The 4930 was no differ- ent. Numerous focus groups described the challenges in their operations, and from those challenges a solution was designed to meet a broad range of application needs. John Deere's marketing approach to the commercial and farmer sprayer business has been unique because it has taken full advantage of existing expertise in the field; the John Deere dealer organization. The dealer organiza- tion is the most complete retail channel in the industry. PRODUCT OF THE YEAR ALSO HONORED BY THE JUDGES by the AgriMarketing editors CROP QUEST'S PARAMOUNT REPORTING Crop Quest, Dodge City, KS, is the nation's largest inde- pendent crop consulting firms. Its 65 crop consultants provide cropping advice, including crop protection, fertility, seed selection, and irrigation, to over 2,800 ag producers in its market area of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. Crop Quest has utilized a software program from SST for six years. This last year Crop Quest upgraded all of its consultants to the SST software for its record-keeping and field data collection and Paramount Reporting for report generation and storage. Last winter, the company released the Paramount Reporting software package that works in conjunction with SST Summit to create customized reports for its crop consultants and their customers. The company is now making it available to other crop consultants that are SST Summit users, and already, 22% of them have adopted it. Crop Quest's Precision Ag Specialist, Jason Hooper, reports, "Paramount Reporting delivers value added reports and a library of the previously created reports for advanced SST Summit users. Reports built in Summit don't efficiently relay what is happening and what needs to happen in the field to the customer, but Paramount Reporting can with its concise colored reports. "By adding Paramount Reporting to SST Summit, the user will be more efficient at delivering information to his or her clients. This is done with reports that don't waste space on the paper, and sort the reports by the crop that is planted in the field. Summary reports across the whole farm can also be created by the software that are espe- cially helpful to pesticide applicators and irrigation man- agement. Another advantage of is that it organizes the storage of previously created reports so that it is easy to find them later," says Hooper. Paramount Reporting delivers concise and organized reports that look professional and leave little room for mis- interpretation of information. Large decisions are derived from reports created from it, so if reports were not easy to read because of handwriting or lack of organization, major errors may be made. The software has attempted to keep the risk of miscommunication to a minimum. Hooper concludes, "Reports are created into PDF doc- uments making them easy to be e-mailed or printed mul- tiple times. Paramount Reporting also keeps a historical record of old reports that make it easy to search for results on a particular farm or field. Efficient and clear communi- cation makes happy customers, which means they are more likely to sign up for your service next year." AM