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
Business ManagementPrecisionAg.com: Top 10 Most Popular Stories in 2017
December 28, 2017
The editors at PrecisionAg.com always get excited putting together our website’s list of the most-read stories of the year. To Read More
Wabash-Valley-Services
Business ManagementWabash Valley Service Co.: Back to the Basics
December 19, 2017
Wabash Valley Service Co. has been at the grindstone on precision agronomy for as long as almost any cooperative service organization Read More
Sentera drone
Business ManagementAgTech Conference of the South Coming to Alpharetta, GA
December 13, 2017
Tech Alpharetta, with the support of the city of Alpharetta, has announced the AgTech Conference of the South to be Read More
Grower-Field-iPad-Connectivity-Photo-Credit-VLab
Business ManagementOpinion: Agtech Boom Is Yet To Come
December 6, 2017
Many agronomists, farmers, and VC groups monitoring the agtech world are proclaiming the startup boom is over. Investments are down, Read More
Trending Articles
John-Deere-Cab-GPS
Data ManagementPrecision Ag Hardware and Software: A Little Off-Season Maintenance Goes A Long Way
January 11, 2018
All service technicians have heard this line. Most often when spring makes its anticipated return to our lives. It is Read More
Anez-Consulting-Paul-Anez-and-Michael-Dunn
Service ProvidersAnez Consulting: Focus On Fertility
January 9, 2018
Central Minnesota features variability aplenty when it comes to soil characteristics and topography, from flat, black expanses rich in organic Read More
Agrishow2017
Americas5 Best Ag Tech Shows in Brazil
January 8, 2018
Brazil continues to demonstrate its potential in agriculture. Several international companies are investing in our country because we have a Read More
Farmer and computer
Service ProvidersPrecision Agriculture Writers Wanted To Join Our Team in 2018
December 10, 2017
About The Opportunity: PrecisionAg.com is looking for people to join our team in 2018 and submit original content to our Read More
Harvested-Corn-Field-Clouds
Data ManagementWeather Services Advance Precision Agriculture
December 4, 2017
Some estimates suggest over half of growers’ activities are impacted by weather conditions, from field workability to fertility management to harvest Read More
Wheat-an-oats-Daniel-X-ONeil
Data ManagementWill Open-Source Finally Unlock Ag Technology’s Potential?
November 28, 2017
To Aaron Ault’s eyes, ag technology right now is something like a walled garden — not unlike the Microsoft of Read More
Latest News
Data ManagementBlockchain: Making Data Cleaner, More Secure
January 16, 2018
Probably most professionals who deal with business data have at least heard the term “blockchain” bantered about as potentially the Read More
Soybean-field-clouds-Photo-courtesy-of-Earl-R-Shumaker
Data ManagementBetting on Rain? The Accuracy and Reliability of Precip…
January 16, 2018
For you sports junkies out there, if I could prove to you that I can correctly predict winners and losers Read More
center-pivot-irrigation-drop-sprinklers-on-corn
Precision IrrigationFinding Your Precision Ag Mindset
January 15, 2018
A precision mindset is the most important requirement for successful precision ag technology adoption. One of my first VRI (variable Read More
Drone-and-operator-Photo-courtesy-of-Kray-Technologies
DronesCrop Protection Application by Drone: A Q&A with Kr…
January 15, 2018
January is a busy month for agricultural companies. It’s a month that strong sales can set the mood for the Read More
Data ManagementAgGateway Grain Traceability Proof-of-Concept Seeks Ind…
January 15, 2018
AgGateway’s Precision Agriculture and Grain & Feed councils have issued a call for participation for a proof-of-concept initiative in AgGateway’s Read More
John-Deere-Cab-GPS
Data ManagementPrecision Ag Hardware and Software: A Little Off-Season…
January 11, 2018
All service technicians have heard this line. Most often when spring makes its anticipated return to our lives. It is Read More
Corn-Planter
Grower Services & SolutionsCorn Planter: The Train of Consequences
January 11, 2018
It’s always planter season in our shop but now that harvest is done the corn planter is the next piece Read More
Robotics/Labor SaversSmart Ag Announces Driverless Tractor Automation Platfo…
January 11, 2018
An Iowa technology company has unlocked the tremendous potential for automation in agriculture by developing the first cloud-based platform for Read More
Anez-Consulting-Paul-Anez-and-Michael-Dunn
Service ProvidersAnez Consulting: Focus On Fertility
January 9, 2018
Central Minnesota features variability aplenty when it comes to soil characteristics and topography, from flat, black expanses rich in organic Read More
Agrible
Grower Services & SolutionsAgrible to Launch Retailer Services in 2018
January 9, 2018
It’s a new year, which means new market challenges. Full service retailers are searching for ways to differentiate themselves and Read More
jeremy-speaking
Grower Services & SolutionsGrower and Precision Ag Services: Opportunities Lost
January 9, 2018
I often spend time with growers, talking about their operations, and the processes they go through each season to do Read More
Winters-Farming-farm-manager-Alex-Bergwerff-and-Ranch-Systems-marketing-and-business-development-manager-Hylon-Kaufmann
Precision IrrigationInside California Irrigation: Winters Farming
January 9, 2018
As many of us already know, almonds tend to get a bad rap for their water-use efficiency — or some Read More
Sentera software
DronesSentera Offering Elevation Data Mapping Via AgVault
January 9, 2018
Sentera announces the availability of elevation maps within the Sentera AgVault platform, offering agronomists, crop consultants, and growers additional field Read More
Industry NewsRaven, South Dakota State University Link Up: What You …
January 9, 2018
On Tuesday afternoon Raven and South Dakota State University (SDSU) held a press conference on the SDSU campus in Sioux Read More
Agrishow2017
Americas5 Best Ag Tech Shows in Brazil
January 8, 2018
Brazil continues to demonstrate its potential in agriculture. Several international companies are investing in our country because we have a Read More
Aarav-Unmanned-Systems-team
Asia12 Indian Agritech Startups to Watch Out For in 2018
January 3, 2018
Farming is a profession of hope. And India holds the record for the second-largest agricultural land in the world, with Read More
Amazone-Amaspot
Australia/New ZealandAmazone Set to Release Weed-Detecting Sprayer in Austra…
January 2, 2018
European farm machinery giant Amazone is set to release its UX trailed weed-detecting sprayer in Australia, which it says can Read More
drone-wheat-field
DronesAgricultural Drones: From Detection to Diagnosis
January 2, 2018
There is not a remote sensing platform that is innately better at all things: satellites, manned aircraft, and unmanned aerial Read More