The Precision Planting 20|20 monitor orchestrates a complex web of sensors and automation, but the feedback it provides to the operator couldn't be more straightforward. If a glance at the monitor shows everything in the green, you are good to go; if you see a red item, it's time to stop and fix a problem. An area of yellow on the screen means you have a potential problem that needs attention.
The ease of use has become the favorite aspect of the 20|20 system for Brandon Stephens, who farms with family members in Clinton County, Mo. "It is a user-friendly technology," he says. "I've been involved with various kinds of computer and GPS technologies for our equipment since the 1990s, and the 20|20 is the easiest to use. Anybody could get comfortable with this monitor."
Stephens owns a 24-row John Deere planter that he runs alongside his uncle's planter to help the operation hustle in its corn acres. Brandon's machine is a 2009 1770 NT, which he updated with Precision Planting parts -- a "Cadillac build," he calls it -- and it uses FlowSense, which integrates with 20|20 to provide row-to-row precision for his starter fertilizer and planter-applied nitrogen setup.
"We're always looking for advanced technologies that put us ahead of the game," Stephens summarizes. "When we can get those technologies to work together seamlessly and cover a significant amount of acres, it makes us better farmers."
Measuring and identifying agronomic issues -- and allowing an operator to correct the issue in real time -- has been part of the 20|20 pedigree since its initial rollout as Generation 1 back in 2008. That's according to Emil Bandy, the 20|20 product support lead for Precision Planting.
"We're now on Gen 3, but the basic idea is still the same," he says. "We measure and identify agronomic issues and provide actionable items that can be immediately fixed. The 20|20 allows a farmer to be better on the next pass; continuing to monitor and respond to issues, they can do a better job on the next field. And then, by switching over the 20|20 to the harvest season and using our YieldSense product, we bring the system into full loop by gathering accurate spatial data. That lets the farmer make better decisions for the coming year."
The 20|20 system continues to evolve. In addition to the typical functions of a planter monitor, the 20|20 provides the brainpower behind a complete package of tech tools ranging from downforce control to accurate metering, from remotely adjusted row-cleaners to fertilizer rate control.
"We have come a long way from the days when a farmer evaluated his planter performance by digging up a few seeds and hoping for the best," says Bandy.
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