Meeting Grower Needs at Ground Level with Precision Ag

Andrew Usher

Tasked with delivering grower input and designing precision ag programs to meet individual grower needs, Federated’s new Agronomy Task Force consists of agronomy sales staff from each of Federated’s locations. Andrew Usher, agronomy sales rep at the Isanti location, is among the eight members of this task force.

“This [task force] was established . . . to address emerging interest in precision ag platforms,” he said, adding that precision ag has many advantages for Federated growers.

The task force is charged with helping growers leverage the benefits of grid sampling and variable rate (VR) applications of fertilizer and crop protection products. Precision ag allows growers “to save on input cost vs. uniform applications while addressing areas of concern in the field more appropriately,” said Usher.

As an Iowa farm boy, Usher did the “typical work that kids do during the spring and summer – pitching hay, picking rocks, and detasseling” all the while learning the ropes of farming. When his family moved from Iowa to Wisconsin in his senior year of high school he “joined FFA and became immersed in dairy farming.” His initial studies in dairy science and finally in soil and water conservation at UW-River Falls gave him a degree that translates well into serving with the Federated precision ag task force.

Usher described his first growing season with Federated in 2017 as one of building trusting relationships with Federated patrons. He is committed to ensuring their success and satisfaction, and he has seen how precision ag can help as the technologies help “farmers make focused, data-driven decisions to maximize their ROI.”

In addition to building on the strong base of grid sampling and VR services that Federated has built in recent years, the task force is focused on answering questions, communicating solid info, and gathering insight from growers who have already employed precision ag technologies in their farming operations.

As Usher learned in his role as an engineer officer with the Wisconsin National Guard, it takes training and preparation to effectively use the tools available for any given task, and precision ag offers a great set of tools, such as Climate Fieldview, which “a ims to help farmers sustainably increase their productivity by monitoring inputs, in-season variabilities, and much more,” he said.

Usher spends his days at Federated doing multi-faceted agronomy-related tasks, which he has quickly discovered lead to “learning something advantageous” every day. Likewise, Federated’s precision ag task force is committed to providing tools that give growers the advantage in the fields and on the farm.

At the end of the day, when Usher goes home to his wife and little girl, he knows growers are finding ways to maximize their farming operations with the valuable tools Federated has to offer. Contact Usher or your local Federated Agronomist to learn more about the task force, and precision ag.