What do tractors fully equipped with precision technology from factory mean for mixed fleet owners?
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Precision technology that was once optional when purchasing a new tractor will now become a standard feature on tractors leaving the factory from one mainline manufacturer.
What do tractors coming from the factory with standard displays and receivers mean for mixed fleet owners?
Pat Kenny of Kenny Brothers Farm in Shepard, Michigan has Case IH tractors, John Deere planting and spraying equipment, and uses Ag Leader displays in their harvesting and tiling equipment.
“We used to move our displays around from tractor to tractor, and we could get by with three or four RTK subscriptions for planting and spraying. Now, we will have to buy a subscription for every tractor,” Kenny said.
This will double their subscription cost. But, Kenny sees the benefits to this change along with the challenges for their operation.
“Integration from the factory would save time. It would be easier because you won’t have the time and hassle of adding a different platform on to the unit,” Kenny said.
Kenny believes that standard integration will push farmers to streamline the brand they operate.
“We mainly run the John Deere system in the planters and sprayers. All of our software is in the John Deere system, so integrating the Case IH equipment is going to be more difficult. You’re almost better off sticking with John Deere equipment,” Kenny said.
Brian Meyer, a grain farmer in Johnston, Nebraska shares the same sentiment.
“We have a Case IH combine with a Pro 600 in it. We already have to learn two platforms, and we don’t want to have to learn a third. As we look to upgrade equipment, we are considering switching from John Deere to Case IH tractors, so my dad doesn’t have to learn yet another software platform.”
They run John Deere tractors, a Kinze planter, a RowGator sprayer, a Case IH combine and a Dalton anhydrous bar.
“I don’t like to be pinned down to one particular brand. We own John Deere tractors but run Ag Leader Integra displays because my dad is comfortable with them,” Meyer said. “I would like to keep using Integra; I don’t want to have to be forced to switch over to John Deere.”
“To me, it appears the mainlines are trying to force us to use their software and weed out shortline manufactures,” Meyer said.
Meyer doesn’t see any gains in making displays and receivers standard from the factory. He prefers having options and feels being forced to use one platform is not beneficial.