ASA and John Deere Announce Precision Agriculture Education Program and Contest

The grower leaders of the American Soybean Association (ASA), in partnership with John Deere, today announced the “Reach for the Stars” program that will provide U.S. soybean growers with opportunities to learn more about precision ag systems. In addition, a number of soybean growers will be selected to use this industry-leading technology on their farms.

“Precision ag takes farm management to the next higher level,” said ASA First Vice President John Hoffman, a soybean producer from Waterloo, Iowa. “This ASA program will educate U.S. soybean producers about the benefits of utilizing global-positioning and guidance technologies to increase farm profitability and enhance environmental stewardship. We want to challenge growers to ‘reach for the stars’ with satellite-based guidance and documentation systems.”

For this program, ASA is partnering with John Deere Ag Management Solutions (AMS) to provide growers with informational materials that will assist growers in learning how to adopt precision ag practices. The program will also include three regional grower seminars during the summer of 2007, with three additional seminars during the winter of 2008. Seminar dates and locations will be announced later.

“New AMS solutions are expanding to include functionality on non-John Deere equipment as well,” said Seth Crawford, AMS Marketing Manager. “So I am encouraging all growers, regardless of the color of your equipment, to take advantage of this program, and experience how precision ag can bring more efficiency to your operation.”

The contest portion of the “Reach for the Stars” program will allow selected growers to use one of 15 premium level precision ag systems, each with a suggested retail price of more than $20,000, for the entire 2007 U.S. growing season. After the program ends, qualified participants will be offered an opportunity to purchase the entire system, or just the components they want to own, at a greatly reduced price.

The prize package for the contest includes use of a GreenStarTM AutoTracTM Assisted Steering System with an AutoTrac Universal Steering Kit, a StarFireTM iTC receiver, and a John Deere SF2 signal activation; a GreenStarTM 2 System, which includes a GreenStar Display 2600 and preloaded GreenStar Basics software; and GreenStar Apex Farm Management Software.

Upon announcement, the winners will be put in contact with the their local John Deere dealer for installation and industry-leading support for their new precision ag system. They will also gain access to the John Deere AMS website, StellarSupport.Deere.com, as well as the use of the Customer Care Center, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 352 days per year for around-the-clock technical support.

“Ideal candidates for the ‘Reach for the Stars’ program are producers who want to bring more productivity to their farm,” Hoffman said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has considered integrating precision ag into their operation, but has hesitated because of the initial capital investment. Watch for complete program details to be announced in January 2007.”