The Precision Technology Institute: The SandBox

The Precision Technology Institute (PTI) allows farmers to learn about the latest research focused on new planting techniques, equipment, and solutions.

The Precision Technology Institute: The SandBox
August 16, 2018 by Fuse

The Precision Technology Institute: The SandBox

The Precision Technology Institute (PTI) allows farmers to learn about the latest research focused on new planting techniques, equipment, and solutions.

University Field days, hybrid show plots, herbicide trials and other agronomy field days allow growers to learn about new systems that improve profitability. Field days are a great place to collaborate with other farmers and see something new. At AGCO, we believe it is just as important to understand how our equipment interacts with crops and soils as it is to understand how a fungicide or herbicide performs. This is why we launched Future Farms around the world and are conducting on-farm machine-centric agronomic research, to learn how equipment impacts crop performance. While we do not call our farm in Pontiac, IL an AGCO Future Farm, it embodies the same principles.

The Precision Technology Institute (PTI) in Pontiac, Illinois, USA is a 200 acre farm with over 50 active test plots. PTI allows farmers to learn about the latest research focused on new planting techniques, equipment, and solutions. This year’s trials include, starter fertilizers, nitrogen management, micro-nutrients, tillage systems, no-till systems, compaction management, planter controls, and irrigation systems. It is a great place to discuss and demonstrate what we are seeing in the field.

Figure 1 and 2: Darren Goebel discusses and demonstrates how compaction impacts the plant.

One study that AGCO’s agronomy team is excited about is the hybrid by population by organic matter trial. Using organic matter data collected from SmartFirmer can help agronomists more accurately place hybrids. This year Pioneer has partnered with us, providing offensive and defensive hybrids to test.


Figure 3: On the PTI farm visitors see how different these two hybrids compare from a leaf architecture perspective. Notice the difference in the amount of shading on the ground.

We plan to share how hybrid selection correlates to organic matter this winter at events like Commodity Classic and in our Performance Agronomy magazine. Sign up to receive issues of Performance Agronomy Magazine or browse the current issue on our Crop Care page.

In addition, to plots, we have equipment and technology on display. Visitors can test drive equipment including tractors, tillage, planters, and drills on the forty acre “Sandbox,” also known as the Ride N’Drive area, which is a place to experience how our equipment performs. Because technology is key in having a successful farm operation, PTI also has 20/20, the SmartFirmer, guidance systems, and Fendt 1000 series for visitors to try.

By giving growers and AGCO employees access to their institute, PTI provides a hands-on learning experience that can be utilized in a grower’s operation or a field specialist’s understanding of new techniques to educate others on improving yield, profitability and helping secure sustainability.


If you are intrigued, there is an opportunity for you to attend the Precision Planting Agronomy Days this summer. You can sign-up at by clicking here.
To learn more about the Precision Technology Institute, please visit: http://www.precisionplanting.com/pti/

At AGCO we are excited to bring you fresh agronomic insights and opportunities to question, learn, and collaborate with some of the best and brightest agronomists at farms near you. Whether it is a Crop Tour Trial just down the road, a Future Farm in Zambia or Switzerland, or the Precision Planting Technology Institute in Pontiac, IL our mission is to help you get the most out of your equipment investment.

Written by: Darren Goebel
Darren Goebel is the Global Agronomy and Farm Solutions Director. To read more from our precision farming experts, follow our #TECHTUESDAY SERIES HERE ON OUR BLOG.

Leave a comment.

  • No comments yet. Use the form to start a conversation!

Stay Connected. Follow AGCO