Agri-Trend to support Deere dealers on precision ag

Eight major John Deere dealerships in the West and Ontario will work with an Alberta-based ag consulting firm to help farmers set up Deere precision ag systems.

The Agri-Trend Group of Companies has signed on for a “channel distribution agreement” with the dealerships, in which Agri-Trend will train and support in-house dealership personnel who will work directly with farmers.

“This alliance will make it easy for a farmer to adopt variable rate application, merge layers of yield maps with soil zones or use GPS information to drain a field,” Robert Saik, CEO of Red Deer-based Agri-Trend, said in a release Thursday.

The service offering will be launched this spring with a series of information meetings and training sessions, Agri-Trend said.

This summer, the company noted, “additional capability” will be added and showcased through summer tours and field events.

The multi-outlet Deere dealerships involved in the channel arrangement so far include Calgary-based Agro Equipment; the Farm and Garden Centre (FGC) chain in Saskatchewan; Swift Current, Sask.-based JayDee Agtech; Yorkton, Sask.-based Maple Farm Equipment, Edmonton-area dealership chain Martin Deerline, Prairie Coast Equipment, dealing in B.C. and northwestern Alberta; Moose Jaw, Sask.-based South Country Equipment; and Premier Equipment in southern Ontario.

Agri-Trend, Saik said, will provide the expertise through an expanded network of consulting “Geo-Coaches” and “Agri-Coaches.” Its agrology processes and other services — beginning with “The Precision Management Process,” a multi-product precision ag program — will be available through the Deere dealerships.

For example, Saik said, the company’s Agri-Trend Geo Solutions wing has “successfully integrated satellite and aerial imagery with John Deere’s GS2 and GS3 variable rate sprayers to create prescription pesticide maps based on in-season vegetative intensity.”

“As a group of John Deere dealers, we will leverage Agri-Trend’s extensive knowledge base to help farmers implement new technologies now available in John Deere equipment,” Peter Lacey, CEO of Cervus Equipment Corp., said in Agri-Trend’s release.

Cervus, which buys and operates equipment dealerships including Deere dealers such as FGC, Maple and Agro, “respect(s) the work that Agri-Trend has done over the past decade and believe they are the right group to provide leadership to farmers seeking to implement precision farming techniques,” Lacey said.

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