Heavy Metal, High Tech
This Illinois farmer says he was slow to adopt precision ag technology. But now, after a few years under his belt, he’s excited about the results.
Heavy Metal, High TechThis Illinois farmer says he was slow to adopt precision ag technology. But now, after a few years under his belt, he’s excited about the results.
Dave Lynn likes his music loud. When he’s running a tractor or combine through his Illinois farm fields, chances are he’s got his trademark heavy metal cranked up in the cab. The 48-year-old farmer also likes the precision ag tools he now uses on his 1,400-acre row-crop farm.
He notes, though, that he took adoption of such technology slow, explaining he’s not the world’s most tech-savvy person, and, as a result, wasn’t the first farmer in his area to start using tools, such as autosteer and other precision ag tools. Yet, once he saw the benefits of those types of gizmos and gadgets, he was an easy convert, and today he even uses such technologies as an iPad to track field data from planting to harvest via a Wi-Fi signal in his tractor.
These days, says Lynn, “The more information I can get, the better I know what works and what doesn’t. Now, when I’m talking to a seed guy, I can make reports based on their hybrids and see what performed best out in every field, because I’m mapping all those varieties in the planter and the combine. I can find out the yield for every hybrid out there. That’s pretty exciting.”
For Lynn, who also helps manage a 200-head registered Angus cow herd at Lynnbrook Farms alongside landowner Les Potts, his adoption of precision agricultural tools and techniques was both a building process and one of discovery. As he traded and scaled up equipment over the years, he started to notice synergies among his tractor, planter and combine.
He says his AGCO-made equipment—which includes the MF8680 and AGCO RT120A, RT140A and MF7465 models, as well as his MF9695 combine—are “reliable machines,” and he sees increasing utility in how seamlessly his technology tools work across all the company’s equipment.
As quickly as he can rattle off the latest heavy metal song he played in his tractor cab, Lynn’s just as quick to credit his now tech-forward approach to his precision-farming manager, Nathan Zimmerman. The two met at about the time Lynn was looking to build his precision ag toolset.
“He was a young kid just getting involved in [precision ag], and we’ve had a good relationship from the beginning,” Lynn says. “It was huge to my success having him come along at that time, because I have always had so many questions to ask. Eighty percent of the time, he can fix my problems over the phone and get me pretty well squared away in a short amount of time.”
Looking ahead, Lynn says he’ll continue building on his technology toolset, adding components that will help him accomplish specific tasks, that will, he believes, have a positive effect on his balance sheet.
“I see a lot more ahead,” he explains. “I will have the capability to make my own prescriptions for planting based on seeding rate and plant population. “If I want to base that off of soil type, I can,” Lynn says. “I’m looking forward to being able to plant different varieties automatically—see how they’re performing. It’s got me excited.”
For more about Lynn and high-tech farming, see https://www.myfarmlife.com/features/heavy-metal-high-tech/.
By: Jeff Caldwell