PONTIAC, Ill. — Golden Harvest will fully launch of a new digital service in 2020 to help farmers choose the best products and management practices on a field-by-field basis.

The E-Luminate seed placement tool will be utilized by Golden Harvest seed advisors for use with their customers to have field-level discussions around selecting the right hybrid. The service will be available at no additional cost for farmers using Golden Harvest seed.

The digital service uses Geographic Information System-based mapping for the immediate assessment of soil characteristics. Additionally, details specific to weed, disease and insect pressures can be considered to generate recommendations for seed that performs consistently for each field.

With E-Luminate, seed recommendations reflect actual performance comparisons across varieties, by year and region, powered by the precision of statistical analysis. The results appear in a visual dashboard that compares and contrasts seed varieties.

Andy Heggenstaller, Syngenta head of agronomy, U.S. seeds, and Justin Welch, Syngenta digital service manager, U.S. seeds, spoke of the new service during the recent Golden Harvest Field Day at the Precision Technology Institute.

“E-Luminate is a desktop service that does seed selection, helps our growers to find which hybrids and varieties need to go in which fields. It has a very unique and proprietary method of doing that which has garnered quite a bit of attention from people outside of Syngenta,” Welch said.

“It gives our seed advisors a good first chance to get to know our growers’ fields, which hybrids and varieties to place on those fields. We have an app called E-Luminate Mobile where they can go out and provide variable rate seeding prescriptions, do scouting with imagery that’s provided to them on a daily basis, allows for a great conversation and communication with growers all summer long.”

Unique Service

Welch has been involved in the precision agriculture industry for 25 years and said this service is different than others in the digital marketplace.

“It’s not for $1 or $2 per acre. If you buy Golden Harvest seed it comes with E-Luminate. It should be expected that we do the seed selector, we provide variable rate seeding, we scout your fields, we do data analysis,” Welch said.

“That’s just part of the brand promise that we make when you buy our products that we’re going to deliver. That’s what makes us different. We truly believe that it is a product offering where we focus on the grower, provide good services. Your products are going to perform better and then in the future growers will want to partner with you in the future.”

Farmers’ interest in digital technology has grown over the past several years.

“They want tools like that but they also don’t want to pay for that and they believe that those companies that are selling them their inputs should be committed to giving them access to stuff like that in order to be a part of a product-plus. Basically to enhance that physical product offer,” Heggenstaller said.

“So, if we look at things like Climate, growers love it but they’re not particularly interested in paying their seed company another couple dollars an acre or $1,000 a year or what have you. That’s what I’ve seen personally.

“So, we’re really trying to be in that space that this is part of how we have a relationship with the customer, how we deliver value to them and enhance our products. It’s not a revenue stream strategy.”

Farmer Insight

Walsh said E-Luminate separates data services between having to do and just having to view, meaning seed advisors do the work.

“They set up the field boundaries, they help select the products, they make the solution guides, they make the variable rate seeding, they scout the fields. The grower then can view all of the activities that the seed advisor has done. Our philosophy is growers want all of the benefits of digital services, they just don’t want to always invest the time of the work that goes into is,” Walsh said.

“That’s what we’re going to provide with our seed advisor network is all of the background work so a grower picks up their phone and in nine seconds sees that the seed advisor was in these three fields and this is what they experienced in giving the grower insight into things they should do in their operation.”

Tom C. Doran can be reached at 815-780-7894 or tdoran@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow him on Twitter at: @AgNews_Doran.

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