Machinery Chatter

DTN Poll: Farmers Want to See New Planter Technology at Work

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The new John Deere ExactEmerge system can plant accurately at 10 miles per hour. Most farmers who replied to our poll want to see it and other new technologies in action before they buy. (Photo courtesy of John Deere)

DTN asks agricultural-related poll questions every few weeks on the website. In early March we asked this question: "New planting technologies were unveiled recently at the 2014 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. One of them would allow farmers to plant different hybrids on the go and another can plant crops accurately moving as fast as 10 mph. What do you think of these new advances in planting?"

What were the results? With more than 400 total responses, 40% were: "I need to see these planters working in person and/or relevant research on these technologies;" followed by 26% saying "I think they are compelling; I would consider purchasing these planters;" 20% said: "I think they are compelling; however, I wouldn't consider purchasing these planters;" and 14% responded with "I am not sure about these technologies; not sure I would purchase these planters."

Looking at the results, I am not really surprised the response about seeing it work and/or relevant research was the top response.

I know on Twitter (you can follow me on Twitter at @RussQuinnDTN) the day John Deere introduced their planter technology -- which can accurately plant at 10 mph -- the number of tweets about this planter technology was unbelievably high. I have never seen so many tweets about one single subject before or since in one day.

The majority of people I follow on Twitter are farmers and ranchers. While there were some tweets from folks saying they would be willing to plant at 10 mph and some from folks saying they would never plant that fast, the majority of tweets I saw where more in terms of waiting to see this planter technology in action and/or seeing research about it.

Our poll numbers are also broken down by state. This often produces interesting poll results to examine in the state-by-state responses, as there are sometime variations due to geographical or cultural differences.

In this particular poll question, this is not the case, as in every state with double-digit responses (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin) respondents indicated seeing the planter work and/or research as the top choice. Most states had this response as the leader by a large margin.

Only three states had a close race for the top response. Minnesota, with 54 responses, had 35% respond with "Need to see it in action and/or research" and 32% with "I think they are compelling; I would consider purchasing these planters;" South Dakota, with 30 responses, had 43% and 37% with these two responses and Indiana, with 33 responses, had 36% and 28%.

One state was at the opposite end of the spectrum, firmly behind needing to see the planter in action and/or research. Ohio, with 21 responses, had 52% of its responses in this one category, by far the highest number for any state with double-digit responses.

So according to our poll, it would seem Corn Belt farmers are interested in these new planter technologies, but they really want to see them for themselves before they would consider purchasing a planter with these new features. I would guess companies manufacturing these new planter technologies will hold field days in the coming months to show farmers their new products.



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