GreenPoint AG: Dealing in Ag Tech Down on the Delta

Alabama bottomland
GreenPoint Ag has developed a program for precision ag technology, called Incompass. This all-inclusive program brings together multiple farm data collection and analysis tools to help farmers use crop inputs more efficiently and realize maximum economic yields.

Precision-farming veteran Ben Carlisle is the Agricultural Technology Manager for GreenPoint AG, LLC, a retailer with locations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Kentucky, and Missouri (with headquarters in Memphis, TN). He additionally pulls double duty as a WinField AnswerTech “Expert” that uses FieldAlytics, WinField’s R7 Tool and NutriSolutions platform, Farmobile, and Climate FieldView, all in the name of providing GreenPoint’s many customers a higher level of service in his day-to-day role.

According to Carlisle, when you talk about row crops in his region, typically you’d be referring to corn, soybeans, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, or sugar cane. Although he readily admits that when it comes to technology integration down in the Delta, “we’re still seeing the highest ROI in corn and beans. It’s where we can really move the mark.”

No big surprise here, but return-on-investment drives everything for GreenPoint AG’s precision farming customers, and Carlisle estimates the company is sitting on about 650-700,000 acres of field boundaries in its systems currently. He says customer expectations of him and his crew vary widely among the different tiers of adoption among GreenPoint AG’s patrons, whether it’s someone just doing a little around fertility management or looking at yield data for hybrid selection, or they go the full-service route.

“At a WinField Answer Plot, I had a grower tell me ‘I want someone to take the seven hundred pages of data I collect, take the information, and tell me what to do in one page’ which I thought was really interesting,” Carlisle remembers.

IMAGERY WOES

With many of the specialty crops grown in his region not having yield monitor capabilities and the lack of new equipment, it’s natural to assume imagery is a big deal down on the Delta. Not so fast, Carlisle cautions.

“When you look at imagery there’s a couple different challenges we face,” he explains. “One is, when you decide to go with a single imagery provider for the year and then it turns out the imagery is inconsistent as far as acquisition, it’s hard to know when you’ll be able to deliver it to a grower.

“When it comes to fixed wing, so far we’ve found that it’s almost cost-prohibitive — although we’ve recently met with some companies in the last year, we’ve seen costs per acre greatly reduced. Basically, what I am trying to say is, guys are still hesitant in this economy to invest in imagery programs.”

Ben Carlisle
Ben Carlisle

Where GreenPoint is doing some work with imagery is, like others, in directed scouting, soil, and tissue sampling programs. And Carlisle hopes a recent use-case will bear more profitable fruit this summer.

“I think for us where imagery could really come into play is in cotton,” he says. “When we put down defoliant, it’s a challenge to get that field defoliated evenly due to varying biomasses across the field, and when we’re looking at when we defoliate, the timing of it, imagery could help us out a little bit there too in making a data-driven decision. And it could potentially keep another trip into the field from happening.”

Carlisle also anticipates the launch of John Deere’s RFID-powered cotton Harvest Identification product, which one of GreenPoint’s customers got to Beta trial this past season. The system consists of an RFID reader on board the JD 7760 cotton picker and it reads the RFID serial numbers embedded in the module wrap, documents 11 of the most important data points during module formation to improve traceability of cotton modules.

“When you think about yield monitors in cotton, there’d been no way to associate this bale came from this plan. With this new RFID system, if they get it developed properly, it’s going to help us to an extent that we can take just one bale and associate the yield to one point (in the field).”

STRUCTURING SERVICE

Carlisle helped develop and launch GreenPoint AG’s in-house precision ag services brand, dubbed Incompass. He says the branding effort came about because GreenPoint was deploying so many different precision technologies it needed an umbrella term to use when referring to its precision agriculture department.

“In Incompass we use FieldAlytics for writing prescriptions, WinField’s R7 tool for in-season imagery, Farmobile to capture the machine data and Climate FieldView Plus, and we’re live with the WinField Data Silo,” Carlisle says. “I think the data silo will really help us in moving data from program to program.”

GreenPoint is also deploying one of the more popular technologies to be introduced in recent years — 360 Yield Center’s 360 SoilScan portable soil nitrate tester.

“It gives us a good reference of ‘Yes, you need to apply more, or no you don’t,’” Carlisle shares. “It’s not as good as a lab test, but it is good enough to let us know if we need to make another pass or if there’s enough N there to get us through the season.”

And, last but certainly not least, integration between GreenPoint’s FieldAlytics software for writing agronomic prescriptions and the ERP platform, Merchant Ag, allows the them to save resources on the back end that can be directed elsewhere.

“We’re just starting to sync those two together so when we write a prescription in FieldAlytics it automatically creates a batch in Merchant Ag, eliminating the need to print and re-enter fertilizer quantities. Future possiblilities are endless with the integration of these two systems.”

So, as Carlisle and his crew of nine ag tech specialists flung throughout GreenPoint’s 50 retail locations around the Delta region prepare for another season selling precision ag technologies and services at the farm gate, he agrees now is as good a time as any to be a precision agriculture professional.

“Something I picked up at your Innovation Series events, and I’m seeing the same thing in our trade area with our growers, is that there’s so many tools out there and they’re really looking at the trusted advisor to tell them what’s good and where would they be getting their ROI from technology, which is something that I haven’t seen in the past.

“I would say that, as we stand today, there is a very unique opportunity to bring a new level of service to that customer.”

Leave a Reply

Business Management Stories
Univ.-of-Illlinois-Palmer-in-soybean1
Business ManagementOpinion: How to Leverage Precision Agriculture to Launch Your Aggressive, High-Pressure Telemarketing Business
August 14, 2017
To continue where my last article left off (which you can check out here), a precision ag company that specializes Read More
Corn
Business ManagementCrop Pro Insurance Closes $8 Million in Series A Funding
August 8, 2017
Crop Pro Insurance today announced the close of an $8 million Series A round of financing co-led by top agriculture Read More
Agri-AFC-cotton-baler
Business ManagementBringing a Southern Sensibility to Precision Agriculture
August 7, 2017
Amy Winstead considers herself blessed to have gotten in on the ground floor of precision ag adoption in the Southeast. Read More
Field-sunset
Business ManagementOpinion: Are We in a Precision L-Ag Moment?
August 1, 2017
Yes, you read that headline right. I said Precision Lag, as in I have this feeling we are in the Read More
Trending Articles
Agri-AFC-cotton-baler
Business ManagementBringing a Southern Sensibility to Precision Agriculture
August 7, 2017
Amy Winstead considers herself blessed to have gotten in on the ground floor of precision ag adoption in the Southeast. Read More
Sensors/IoT2017 Yield Monitor Calibration Checklist — Part I
August 4, 2017
With fall harvest a few weeks away for most of the country, ag service providers from every walk of life Read More
Wade-Barnes
Excellence AwardsBuilt By Agronomists: 2017 Award Of Excellence Winner Wade Barnes on the Making of Farmers Edge
August 2, 2017
Farmers Edge President And CEO Wade Barnes reflects on the process of building his company, shortly after receiving the Crop Adviser/Entrepreneur Award during the InfoAg Conference in July. Read More
Data ManagementInfoAg 2017 Recap: Service Providers Take Center Stage
July 28, 2017
As I sit here and ponder just what it was that we all experienced last week, off the top of Read More
Resistant-weeds-in-Brazil
InternationalUsing Precision Agriculture to Control Herbicide-Resistant Weeds in Brazil
July 24, 2017
The occurrence of weeds in agricultural fields of grain and fiber production has caused losses to farmers for a long Read More
Yield Data Image
Data ManagementYield Data: More Than a Pretty Picture
July 13, 2017
It is mid-July, which, for the Australian cotton industry, means that picking is still going on for some growers. A Read More
Latest News
Grower Services & SolutionsAgribusinesses Launch FieldReveal Platform for Local Ag…
August 22, 2017
Four leading agribusinesses, Wheat Growers, Landus Cooperative, Central Valley Ag and WinField United, have signed a letter of intent to Read More
Industry NewsTrimble to Distribute Promising SIMPAS Application Syst…
August 21, 2017
AMVAC Chemical Corp. has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Trimble. The two companies are working toward an agreement Read More
Data ManagementBeck’s Builds Out ‘Freemium’ FMIS Off…
August 17, 2017
Beck’s today announced the release of several new tools available in their precision farming service, FARMserver, which enhances farmers’ ability Read More
Israel-Irrigation-system-featured-image
InternationalIsraeli Precision Ag Companies Lead in Water Use Effici…
August 16, 2017
In the last week, AgriHub, formed by farmers and consultants from Brazil, visited 10 Israeli agribusiness companies, including the Ministry Read More
Gregoire-tractor
ProfessionalsMechanization Key to the Future of Vineyard Management
August 15, 2017
Precision technology moves at different speeds across different segments of agriculture. For example, technologies like curve compensation, precision spraying, and Read More
Area-of-Interest-Web-Soil-Survey-screenshot
Data ManagementSignificant Updates Made to SoilWeb, Web Soil Survey Pr…
August 15, 2017
Agronomic professionals and technicians dealing with precision farming must understand the soils within the field before writing effective prescriptions.  A Read More
Univ.-of-Illlinois-Palmer-in-soybean1
Business ManagementOpinion: How to Leverage Precision Agriculture to Launc…
August 14, 2017
To continue where my last article left off (which you can check out here), a precision ag company that specializes Read More
Industry NewsFarm Dog Inks Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement with USD…
August 14, 2017
Farm Dog, a pest and disease management platform for growers and agronomists, has entered into a Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement (NFCA) Read More
Lisa-Prassack-Photo-Credit-Weekly-Times-Now
InternationalAgtech: What the Umbrella Term Really Means
August 10, 2017
Acclerator, incubator, start-up, connectivity — the buzzwords of the digital age can be clear as, well, mud, writes Alex Sampson Read More
Spray Drift
Data ManagementJanzen: Data to Play Key Role in Sorting Out Dicamba Di…
August 10, 2017
You would have to live under a rock to not have heard about farmers’ issues with dicamba this growing season. Read More
New-Zealand-Precision-Ag-Tour
InternationalNew Zealand Study Tour to Demonstrate Recent Advances i…
August 10, 2017
If you’re interested in an intense, week-long immersion in the use of high-tech products and practices in New Zealand agriculture, Read More
Data ManagementDuPont Acquires Ag Tech Startup Granular for $300 Milli…
August 9, 2017
DuPont announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire San Francisco-based Granular, Inc., a provider of software and Read More
EventsSDSU Prof to lead Profit-Focused Panel at Upcoming Inno…
August 9, 2017
Convening a day prior to this summer’s Farm Progress Show at the I Hotel in Champaign, IL (about an hour’s Read More
AGCO White planter 9800VE
ProfessionalsAGCO Crop Tour 2017 Features Precision Planting Add-Ons
August 8, 2017
Higher yields and greater returns are the ultimate goals for crop producers. To help corn growers better understand the role Read More
Corn
Business ManagementCrop Pro Insurance Closes $8 Million in Series A Fundin…
August 8, 2017
Crop Pro Insurance today announced the close of an $8 million Series A round of financing co-led by top agriculture Read More
Agri-AFC-cotton-baler
Business ManagementBringing a Southern Sensibility to Precision Agricultur…
August 7, 2017
Amy Winstead considers herself blessed to have gotten in on the ground floor of precision ag adoption in the Southeast. Read More
Satshot imagery
Imagery/SensingImagery in Agriculture: Some Sage Advice
August 6, 2017
SatShot President Lanny Faleide has been a fixture on the remote imagery scene for as long as about anyone still Read More
Blue-River-See-Spray-technology
ProfessionalsHow Blue River’s See & Spray Technology Could Chang…
August 5, 2017
The blistering West Texas heat rocketing towards triple digits, the affable cotton grower trudged across his dusty field and approached Read More