Ag Leader-AutoFarm Alliance Shakes Up Precision Agriculture World

Months of rumors about an impending alliance between Ag Leader and AutoFarm came to fruition this week with a resounding bang. The two companies announced the release of several new products in addition to the new business relationship, swinging Ag Leader in a new direction and away from its previous relationship with Trimble.

“Ag Leader chose to partner with AutoFarm for steering solutions based on our belief that the combination of products from both companies will provide the end-user with the greatest efficiencies in their operation,” says Jessica Reis, marketing communications specialist for Ag Leader.

The product releases, individually developed and co-marketed by Ag Leader and AutoFarm, represent a significant broadening of the Ag Leader product line for its Midwest-intensive sales force, and provides greater brand exposure for AutoFarm in the Heartland. In particular, the ParaDyme dual antenna roof module provides an Ag Leader branded entre into the premium RTK guidance arena, and the new Integra display console provides a control center for the new products and capabilities.

“The collaboration between the two companies brings together the highly popular and successful precision agriculture products of Ag Leader with the latest embedded and integrated steering solutions from AutoFarm,” read a joint press release. Adds Al Myers, Ag Leader founder and president: “This alliance is nothing but a win-win for the precision agriculture industry, and more importantly for our combined customers. Each company brings strengths to the table allowing us to develop better precision farming solutions quicker, ultimately furthering the industry.”

“This alliance will allow the new ParaDyme products to operate with Ag Leader’s new INTEGRA display as well as its recently launched EDGE display for planter control, application control, yield monitoring and other key functions in a fully integrated system,” says Herb Satterlee, CEO of Novariant, Inc., the AutoFarm parent company.

An Eventful Year
The move is just the latest in a busy 12 months for both Ag Leader and Trimble, as each company has engaged extensively in business-building acquisitions and alliances that have increased the competitive heat between the precision manufacturing rivals. Trimble acquisitions included controller manufacturer Rawson Controls, planter clutch manufacturer Tru Count, sensor manufacturer NTech Industries, and software manufacturer Farm Works Software. Ag Leader struck an alliance with sensor manufacturer Holland Scientific, recently broke ground on a new training facility near its Ames, IA, headquarters, and now is allied with the California-based AutoFarm.

In addition to the alliance, Ag Leader has established a new tiered approach to identifying dealers within its dealer network. The so-called “Blue Delta Dealer” network is an effort to bring more structure to a new and growing precision farming community, says Reis. “The goal is to help precision farming dealers become well-rounded precision farming experts and help growers locate and identify elite precision farming dealerships throughout North America.”

Blue Delta dealers are required to go through more training on Ag Leader’s product offerings, and they are required to sell all of Ag Leader’s products and will be the first line of support for the end user, notes Reis. The designations have already been identified on the Ag Leader dealer locator section of the company’s redesigned Web site.

While the Trimble-Ag Leader relationship has changed moving forward, Reis notes that Ag Leader will continue to provide support and service for the life of any product purchased from an authorized Ag Leader dealer, including Trimble products.

In response to the move, Trimble provided the following statement to PrecisionAg.com to address customer concerns:

“Trimble is committed to providing the best products and the best support for its valued customers, especially to you, the farmer. Ag Leader has independently decided it will no longer distribute Trimble-developed and manufactured ag products such as EZ-Guide 250, EZ-Guide 500, EZ-Guide Plus and EZ-Steer. Trimble is committed to make this transition go as smoothly as possible for farmers still wanting to operate and add valuable features to their investment.

Trimble, Case IH and New Holland are cooperating to see that Trimble products sold via Ag Leader, such as the EZ-Guide 250, EZ-Guide 500, EZ-Guide Plus and EZ-Steer, are properly supported and serviced by Trimble, Case IH and New Holland dealers.

Customers wanting Trimble ag products or support should contact their local Trimble, Case IH, or New Holland dealership. Solutions to be offered by the Trimble, Case IH and New Holland dealers include product support, additional functionality, upgrades and accessories.

If customers would like assistance locating a local Trimble, Case IH or New Holland dealer, please contact: [email protected] and include your name, address, email address and phone number.

Thank you for your understanding. Trimble looks forward to continuing to add value to your existing precision agriculture purchases.”

The alliance will have far-reaching impact in precision ag, however it does not affect the existing AutoFarm alliance with Raven Industries, says Paul Welbig, Raven marketing director. “We have had a good relationship with AutoFarm for about five years, and we have mutually developed and sold products through our respective channels,” he notes, including efforts like SmartSteer and FarmPRO which integrate AutoFarm steering technology with Raven displays and controllers. “They are a good partner, and even with this announcement, we are not changing direction at all. We have talked openly with AutoFarm about the deal and about the future and our direction will not change.

“AutoFarm is a good partner, and I think that Ag Leader will find them great to work with and that it that was a good choice,” Welbig continues. “In the final analysis the alliance will be good for precision agriculture overall — Ag Leader is a good competitor and good for precision agriculture. The hope is that their success will benefit all three companies, and that maybe some new market opportunities will emerge. I don’t know what they are yet, but the possibility is there.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Market Impact Stories
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secrets
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessTrimble Launches New FMIS Platform
November 7, 2016
Trimble announced today that it is consolidating three of its agriculture software products — Connected Farm, Farm Works Software and Read More
Young Corn Field
Hort TechReport: Smart Farming Must Step Up To Meet The Global Challenge
November 2, 2016
The development of smart farming and precision agriculture must accelerate rapidly and learn lessons from smart city projects if it Read More
BusinessSenet, Trimble Enable IoT Powered North America Water Sensor Network
October 26, 2016
Senet, the first and only North American provider of public, low-power, wide-area networks (LPWANs) for long range-based (LoRa-based) Internet of Read More
Trending Articles
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secrets
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Farmers
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
BusinessTrimble Launches New FMIS Platform
November 7, 2016
Trimble announced today that it is consolidating three of its agriculture software products — Connected Farm, Farm Works Software and Read More
Grower Services & SolutionsGrower Groups Encourage Implementation Of AgGateway’s ADAPT For Precision Ag
November 2, 2016
A dozen leading U.S. grower organizations are hailing the collaborative efforts that led to the new AgGateway ADAPT framework for Read More
Events2016 Vision Conference: Things Overheard
October 27, 2016
Pardon the baseball pun (GO TRIBE!), but I think it’s safe to say that last week’s inaugural Vision Conference touched Read More
Latest News
TechnologyAgGateway Announces 2017 Board Of Directors And Leaders…
December 2, 2016
AgGateway has announced its leadership for the coming year, including the directors of its new Strategic Board and Operational Board, Read More
DataSentera Honored With Startup Award Of 2016 By Minnesota…
December 1, 2016
The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) recently recognized Sentera as the 2016 Tekne Startup Award recipient. The MHTA Tekne Awards Read More
AGCO AgControl
TechnologyPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
December 1, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To En…
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Fall corn
BusinessInsecticide of the Future? Robotic Tanks With Lasers to…
November 22, 2016
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Topcon X30 Console in cab
Sensors/IoTIoT The Focus Of New Topcon Partnership
November 22, 2016
Topcon Agriculture and SDF plan to enter into a non-exclusive long-term partnership agreement. This latest arrangement of Topcon with a Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secr…
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
BusinessFarmobile Releases Mobile Data Visualization Dashboard
November 17, 2016
Farmobile today announced an EFR Dashboard, a real-time dashboard that helps farmers visualize their field data and derive insights to Read More
Southern States
Best PracticesSouthern States: 5 Tips for Variable-Rate Seeding Succe…
November 15, 2016
Success comes from taking advantage of every opportunity you can. One technique used in precision farming, called variable rate seeding, Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Far…
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
THRIVE
BusinessCall For Ag Tech Startups: Apply To THRIVE’s Open…
November 10, 2016
THRIVE is looking for high growth ag tech companies with an in-market solution that are positioned to scale. The top 50 Read More
EquipmentJohn Deere Launching New Operations Center Apps, Mappin…
November 10, 2016
In an effort to enhance the functionality, ease-of-use and overall value of John Deere Operations Center to producers, John Deere Read More
ComputersTrimble, CLAAS Announce LEXION Combine Factory Option
November 9, 2016
CLAAS and Trimble announced the introduction of a Trimble Ready machine factory option for CLAAS LEXION combines. CLAAS assembles LEXION Read More
Claas RTK Field base
EquipmentClaas Extends Precision Farming Offering
November 8, 2016
To enable use of automatic steering systems where a real time kinematics (RTK) correction signal is either limited or not Read More
John Deere Operations Center
UncategorizedWxAgrios Integrates With John Deere’s Operations …
November 8, 2016
Precision Weather Solutions Inc. has announced it is the first company with a commercially available solution, WxAgrios, integrated with both John Read More
BusinessTrimble Launches New FMIS Platform
November 7, 2016
Trimble announced today that it is consolidating three of its agriculture software products — Connected Farm, Farm Works Software and Read More
Best PracticesPathways to Precision: Managing Risk With Germplasm
November 7, 2016
No one can know what the conditions will be for the next growing season. Is it possible for a grower Read More