Tractors and other farm equipment have become a ubiquitous part of today's agriculture and as much a point of pride and discussions as were barns a few generations ago.
To most growers, the tractors and combines we operate, and the implements we use with them, are not just necessary tools. They reflect business and agronomic philosophies, mechanical prowess and can even speak to whom we have personal and business relationships with. In some cases, that iron represents a larger investment in the farm than those barns did to our predecessors.
Digging into that farmer/equipment relationship, what makes a farmer happy, or not, with the equipment he or she purchases is at the heart of the new Progressive Farmer Reader Insights surveys being conducted by our colleagues at Progressive Farmer magazine. The surveys are created in partnership with SOCAL Approach Marketing and Consulting Group, an expert in the marketing research industry.
A story on the first satisfaction survey, centered on tractors, is in the June issue of the magazine, which should have arrived in most farm mailboxes within the past week. You can also read that story by going to the MAGAZINE tab at DTNPF.com.
The second and third rounds of surveys, on combine satisfaction and on row-crop planters, are going out to farmers right now. Each survey is going to a different group of readers and are different yet from the random group that participated in the tractor survey. That both keeps a good representation of comments on various equipment pieces and expands the number of growers who can participate in this unique chance to share their thoughts.
We were frankly amazed at the high level of participation, and the depths of comments, from farmers in the initial survey.
So we encourage everyone to watch for information about the second and third rounds, and we hope you'll take the opportunity to participate if you're one of the random farmers chosen. The combine and planter surveys will wrap up in mid-July.
All comments remain anonymous. All winners from the nine tractor categories will be announced in the July issue of Progressive Farmer and will be posted in the MAGAZINE tab section on DTNPF.com. Those winners, and winners from the combine and planter surveys, will be celebrated at this year's DTN Ag Summit, in Chicago, Dec. 7-9.
The contest and articles are being spearheaded by Progressive Farmer Senior Editor Dan Miller. A discussion of the survey and of the tractor responses is now available on our Field Post podcast. You can find that podcast, and all the other Field Post conversations, from the VIDEO tab at DTNPF.com, at https://fieldposts.buzzsprout.com/… or wherever you get your podcasts.
As Miller says, this is information not available anywhere else, and it is a big commitment of time and money by the magazine. It's also a commitment of time by farmers who respond, which speaks to the notion of how farmers are so willing to share experiences with others. Anyone who's ever interviewed a farmer about some practice or idea, or attended a farm conference or trade show, knows that commitment to sharing well.
We hope you'll participate in the survey if asked, and we encourage you to check out what your peers have to say about their important farming tools.
Greg D. Horstmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @greghorstmeier
© (c) Copyright 2020 DTN, LLC. All rights reserved.