LORD'S SEED UTILIZES FARM WORKS TO IMPROVE FARM EFFICIENCY
Lord’s Seed understands a few things about agriculture and adapting to change. In 1977 John and Sherrie Larimer started farming in Howe, Indiana with only 200 acres. Today the business has grown to over 14,500 acres with an emphasis in diversified crops. Most of those acres are for seed corn production, but other crops include corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, and waxy corn — one of their niche markets.
It is a family business that involves two sons (David and Mark) and one daughter (Rebekah). David Larimer, the field production manager, understands the importance of technology and how it has helped manage data. “Using GPS to map field boundaries is critical to our business”, David explains. David relies on the rugged Trimble® Nomad™ bundled with Farm Works Software® Mobile solution to map variety locations and to accurately measure acres. A unique feature of the Nomad handheld computer is the built-in serial port. Even though the Nomad comes standard with built-in WAAS GPS, the serial port allows connection with other types of GPS — such as RTK for higher accuracy. “A premium price is paid for irrigated ground versus non-irrigated, so the handheld with RTK GPS tells us the correct acres for irrigated which is extremely important for us and our landlords,” says David.
The Trimble RTK system is an investment that is used for many other jobs on the farm. Not only is Lord’s Seed using it to verify acres, but the same system is used for auto steer. Their business owns a mixture of in-cab displays (including Trimble hardware). Data collected by these displays is fully compatible with their Farm Works desktop software for analyzing, printing, and decision making. “The profit maps are a key part of the decision process as they give answers to where future irrigation expansion makes the most sense,” says David.
One of Lord’s future goals is to work more extensively with yield data. 2010 will be the first year in which they have acquired yield data for most of their fields. Since the farm owns many types of displays, it has been challenging to manage the data—especially with multiple operators. This year, David used USB storage devices as a way of transferring yield data to the office, but he also sees the advantage of using the Connected Farm™ solution. One of their leased combines was set-up with a Trimble FmX® integrated display and Connected Farm™ system. When the harvest jobs were completed at the end of the day, data transferred automatically to the office. David points out, “We see the advantages of wireless data transfer and foresee our farm using more of it in the future.”
For more information about the Connected Farm, please click here.