On Taranis’ live stage at the 2023 Farm Progress Show, Mike recorded a special episode of the AcreForward podcast with Sam Lowers, Strategic Account Manager with Landus. The topic was crop intelligence and how that data fuels the brains behind farm operations.
Mike quickly found out that Sam’s view on his customers closely aligns with Taranis’ own: He calls them “farmers of tomorrow.” Why? “Our focus is farmers not necessarily based on size, but based on their position for the future … and how can we grow with them.”
Like Taranis, Landus is anything but traditional in its approach to serving customers. One of the coop’s big focuses is helping farmers have healthy long-term businesses, not just for themselves but also for their families.
Talking with their growers about keeping them up at night, they found the number one answer was health insurance. “So we’re working on offering health insurance to farmers – affordable health insurance,” Lowers says. “That’s not something that traditional ag retail is doing.” The hope is that by January 1, 2024, Landus will be able to offer affordable health insurance to their members.
Anything But Typical Solutions
In addition, the coop works hard to help their customers stay at the forefront of industry technology, while staying true to their bottom lines. To that end, Landus has created Innovation Connectors to introduce different technologies and companies to their customers and make it easier for them to incorporate tech into their production strategies.
Landus isn’t a typical coop, so they wouldn’t bring typical technology to their customers. Lowers wants to get information into the hands of growers faster, and over the whole field instead of parts of the field. With Taranis, they can see every acre, tag the stand count, tag weeds, anything abnormal, and give growers better information faster and throughout the whole field, rather than only from the places they touch.
It’s the ideal collaboration for an innovator like Landus – a pipeline of data directly to their grower members. The coop provides technical agronomic advice, using data from Taranis to show the farmers exactly what’s happening in their fields, down to the leaf.
“You can literally count the holes in a leaf,” says Mike. “And where you don’t have them is as important where you do, right? Do my insecticide programs work? Am I managing properly? Simple things like a stand count change when you have leaf level and see how many plants you have by hybrid, by field. You can actually allocate resources differently.”
Crop Intelligence Makes the Difference
It changes how we farm and how we make decisions.
“It’s bringing value to the farmer that’s the big thing. Just recently on a flight with one of my growers, we were scouting all of his fields for bug pressure,” Lowers explains. Taranis technology flagged a 40-acre square, so Lowers and the customer drove out for a look.
“It was actually hail damage. The grower ended up getting paid 20% on it. That paid for the cost of Taranis, and he would not have found it without Taranis.”
At another farm, Taranis recorded 32 acres of potassium deficiency, a number Lowers didn’t believe until he walked it. “I went out and ground-truthed it, which is the value of Taranis,” he explains.
“Without that, I wouldn’t have gone to walk that field. The grower and I were able to have that conversation of different management practices to get what he needs for next year without overapplying. It definitely has a lot of value for Landus, for the farmer.”
That, Mike points out, is a key difference crop intelligence brings to the table: The data and the ability to make a change going into next season that’s going to be a profitable, yield-producing change. “Using what you need to use, buying what you need, and using what you buy,” he says. “You’re able to show that [you’re farming] responsibly.”
To put it simply, you’re going to be able to show you’re doing more with less, on several levels. “If you’re a 2,000-acre farmer, I can scout your fields in about five minutes,” says Lowers. “The farmer of tomorrow is going to have to utilize resources like Taranis.”