Trimble Sells Drone Business
Trimble became a pioneer of drones in the ag sector when the company purchased Gatewing, an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business, in 2012. It provided multiple fixed-wing and multi-rotor models for farmers and ranchers and received the ag industry’s first Section 333 exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration this past year. In November, Trimble announced it was selling Gatewing to French company Delair-Tech.
Delair-Tech says it made the purchase so it can consolidate its position in this emerging market. Trimble will remain engaged in the UAS market and has signed an agreement to be a preferred provider of Delair-Tech products.
“Currently, the drone market is undergoing intense consolidation, and now is the time to strategically position ourselves as leaders of tomorrow,” says Michael de Lagarde, Delair-Tech CEO.
According to Ron Bisio, vice president of Trimble’s Geospatial Division, the company will remain actively engaged in the market by leveraging its brand-agnostic software across a broader range of UAS platforms.
“Trimble will focus on core software technology for UAS that integrates positioning, remote sensing and photogrammetry,” he says.
The ultimate goal is to provide farmers and other end users with better actionable business solutions, de Lagarde says.
Ag Leader, John Deere Enter Licensing Agreement
In October, Ag Leader reached an agreement with John Deere for the technologies and licenses needed to manufacturer and sell Precision Planting SpeedTube, vSet, vDrive and DeltaForce. This agreement is contingent on John Deere finalizing its acquisition of Precision Planting from Monsanto.
Ag Leader plans to integrate these technologies with its own SeedCommand planting technologies and InCommand displays. According to Ag Leader officials, the move will help the company expand its planting technology offerings and enable higher planting speeds. Because of that, farmers will have additional equipment and technology choices in the market to maximize their productivity and efficiency.
“Ag Leader is continuously looking for opportunities to expand our line of precision farming technologies,” says Al Myers, president, Ag Leader. “When this prospect arose, we knew it was worth looking into for our customers and dealers, as high-speed planting is an emerging precision agriculture technology.”
Ag Leader will remain an independent competitor in precision agriculture, Myers adds, offering planting equipment products with higher speed capabilities as an integrated piece of SeedCommand, its own planting technology platform. The licensing agreement, he explains, will add additional precision products for farmers that will expand Ag Leader’s mission of “year-round, best-in-class solutions from planting through harvest.”
App That Maps Soil Fertility Needs
Tiger-Sul’s new Nutrient Calculator app will help farmers more accurately plan fertilizer applications and meet their soil’s nutrient needs.
The app contains a nutrient removal calculator, where users start by selecting among many row crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and sorghum. Next, they enter in yield goals and the app estimates how much nutrients will be removed from the soil. It covers all macro, secondary and micronutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese, zinc, boron and iron.
On the app’s return on investment calculator, users can choose between corn or wheat and use the sliding indicators to change grain price and the price of Tiger-Sul’s Tiger-90CR sulfur product. This comparison can help farmers calculate whether they can expect a positive return on investment from using the product on their operation.
An image library in the app provides examples of nutrient deficiencies in major row crops for comparison while farmers are scouting.
The Nutrient Calculator app is free for Apple and Android devices.