Podcast: How Autonomous Farming is Already Transforming Agriculture
20 May 2440m 15s

As autonomous farming machinery evolves, the shift towards driverless equipment is approaching, but at a gradual pace. The key takeaway for farmers is that this technology won't immediately replace traditional methods but will integrate with existing machinery in manageable, cost-effective stages. Not yet fully autonomous, this technology is developing to enhance farm efficiency and economic outcomes. Insights from AGCO’s Brandon Montgomery and JCA Technologies’ Dinen Subramaniam, shared by Damian Mason, highlight the practical and financial benefits that autonomy will bring to farming, pointing towards a future where technology progressively aids agricultural practices without demanding immediate, wholesale changes. This approach ensures that farmers can adopt new technologies at a practical pace, optimizing operations without significant upfront investment.

00:00 What are the agronomic and economic benefits of autonomous machinery? That's the question we're asking in this edition 00:06 of Extreme Ag Cutting the Curve. Welcome to Extreme Ag Cutting the Curve podcast, where real farmers share real insights 00:14 and real results to help you improve your farming operation. And now here's your host, Damien Mason. 00:22 Hey there. Thanks for joining us for another fantastic episode of Extreme as Cutting the curve. 00:26 We're talking about the agronomic and economic benefits of autonomous machinery. It's a technology that holds a lot of promise. 00:32 We're not there yet, but we're getting there and it's pretty exciting times. So I've got Brandon Montgomery. 00:37 He's with Fent agco, AGCO Fent, Brandon and I did an episode that released on January 5th called How Autonomous Machinery 00:45 Will Change Your Farm with Matt Miles, Matt and Lane Miles down in McGee, Arkansas. Uh, demoed some fent machinery this fall. 00:54 And I was there on site with them in October, taping a bunch of stuff. And we followed up with that, that, uh, episode. 01:00 I encourage you to go back and listen to it how autonomous machinery will change your farm. So brand and I bump into each other in Kansas City, uh, 01:07 a week or so ago, and he is like, Hey, you know what? We should probably revisit that topic 'cause we got some pretty exciting stuff going on 01:14 technologically that I think your listeners would like to hear about. And I said, absolutely, let's do that. 01:19 So he brought on Danin Sue Braum Danin is with JCA technology. He's a wholly owned subsidiary of agco. 01:27 We're talking about the technology, and here's the thing, we can all geek out about equipment. You know, the National Farm Machinery Show just happened, 01:35 and farmers love to go there, kick the tire, look up machinery, they geek out about equipment. We love machinery. Big, big, huge. 01:42 You go to the Farm Progress show, great big grain carts, you know, the size of a train or whatever. 01:48 We can talk about the technology, we can talk about machinery, but the reality is it's gotta make you money. 01:53 It's gotta perform on your farm. How is this going to work? And more importantly, how has it improved the agronomic 01:59 and economic and conditions on your farming operation? So Brandon, uh, you and I, uh, you and I talked about this and Casey just other, a week or so ago, 02:09 and you said, I'm gonna bring in Dan n so, uh, take me, take me away on this topic. Yeah. Last time we talked, we, 02:16 we talked a lot about the problems customers face, especially during harvest season. You know, hiring the labor shortage 02:25 and getting, you know, people to really jump in the seat of the cab of the tractor and the combine 02:30 and take off and run. And it's an orchestrated event too. So farmers have told us, you know, I can get a lot 02:38 of acres covered in the springtime planting, but in the fall I need an army to get the crop out. So we talked, um, 02:46 I touched a little bit about it on the economic benefits, and I know that's what we wanna really hammer on today. 02:51 So I brought in ine, who's our expert at autonomy and leading the way with us on the solution to really dive into what does those, 03:01 those economic benefits look like on paper and how we're actually bringing that to life in real life. So, uh, danen maybe, um, you take it away on some 03:12 of the economic benefits that you're seeing with the solutions we have. Sure. Uh, thank you Damien and, uh, Brandon. 03:19 Thank you for having me on the show. Yeah. So we are, we're really excited to, to talk about some farmer first, uh, benefits 03:26 that we're seeing here, uh, in terms of autonomy and how, how, uh, autonomous products can help the farmer, not just in a few years, 03:33 but we are, we are seeing that change, uh, this year in Nebraska and Iowa, uh, a lot of times at farm shows when we're there. 03:42 Uh, typically we're, we're hearing that same story that Brandon just mentioned. Uh, fall harvest is a really tough time. 03:49 Uh, finding grain cart drivers or ways to haul grain to either the local, local co-op or the local dealer is just difficult 03:58 because there's a lack of labor. And if you think of all the inputs that a farmer puts into, uh, in terms of land costs 04:05 and fertilizer seed costs, uh, in the spring, but then you're potentially compromising that in the fall simply 04:13 because you don't have the labor to get the crop off the ground. So Autonomy, I mean, it seems to me, 04:20 and we kinda covered this, uh, Danin when I was on recording with, uh, uh, Brandon, why he held you back until now. 04:28 I'm starting to, the more you talked, the more I realized that you should have been on all these episodes 04:32 because you obviously, I mean, you know what you're talking about. Let's face it. Know Brandon over here, he's from Nebraska. 04:36 What's he know? Anyway, so dig this. Um, I will retell the story. I was at the Farm Science Review, 04:44 which is near Columbus, Ohio. It was 2016, and that's when, uh, your competitor Case IH came out 04:50 and said, we got the autonomous machine, you know, autonomous tractor. I'm like, oh, I gotta check this out 04:53 because I was there working for Channel Seed anyhow. Uh, uh, and it looked to me like they just pulled a big huge four wheel drive 05:01 tractor into the shop, and then had somebody take a blow torch out and cut the cab off. 05:05 But I'm like, this is kind of underwhelming. It's frankly not that impressive, and I'm not being mean, it just wasn't. 05:10 It is like, okay, that's the best we can do. I didn't since then that we really were at the next cusp of autonomy. 05:20 Now I'm seeing stuff and you guys have facilities and down here in Maricopa, Arizona, and you're doing some of these testings. 05:26 I think that we're still groping our way down a dark hallway on autonomy. And it seems to me, and, 05:34 and you guys are the tech guys, that it'll be some things that get automated. First, we keep talking about grain carts. 05:41 I envision grain carts that are smaller so they don't smash the hell out of the soil. They don't have those 2000 bushel grain carts smaller, 05:48 so they're not as destructive and automatized and in a, some sort of a swarm. That's where I think things go. 05:55 Am I, is is, am I just too, uh, flash Gordon, uh, you know, sci-fi out here, by the way, 06:01 Brandon Flash Gordon is a very old reference. I get that. Yeah. I'm not that young. So Damien, I, I think, 06:09 I think what you're saying is right. I think that's the future vision. We, we sort of expect some type of swarm farm, uh, 06:16 with smaller equipment, but what we are failing to consider is the investment in equipment that the farmer already has in his yard. 06:23 You know, he might have, uh, a few tractors, tillage equipment, grain carts. We don't want them to have to throw all of that away so 06:31 that, that's why AGCO and JCA technologies is really focused on a retrofit first solution and bringing autonomy in a retrofit way so 06:40 that autonomy can be, um, put on those existing equipment and get those to use right away. 06:47 So that's something Brandon, we talked about like the teaming up, you know, uh, before we hit the record button, I said, guys, 06:53 I hope we can address the fact that the reality of economics, and that's why we titled this to episode agronomic and economic benefits 07:00 of opt autonomous machinery, uh, you know, $4 28 cent corn and sub $11 beans, which honest to god, we might be there. 07:07 That starts to change a whole lot of farmer sentiment because it's obvious where that leads on farmer economics. I'm not going to probably deploy multiples of millions 07:18 of dollars on new machinery this year. If I'm an average sized farm operation, I'm gonna look at how can I make what I have work, but make it work better. 07:28 So let's talk about the retrofit ability. Whoever wants to lead off on that, because that's one of the big things 07:33 that you guys are working on, like you said. And then let's ta let's, let's capitalize on the farm. We've already got $3 million 07:41 of farm machinery sitting around this farm yard. Um, let's not just, uh, let's not just, you know, overlook that you, that's where you're talking about the ability 07:51 to, uh, yeah. Eventually before we come Flash Gordon, let's, let's put a little flash Gordon 07:56 into the machines we already got. So kind of tell me how that goes. Brandon's ready, That, that's a good way to put it. 08:01 Um, we don't wanna, our strategy is twofold. So we want to definitely offer those solutions when they're ready and mature through our own factory. 08:11 So we want the, the customers to be able to buy those solutions available, you know, through the factory offering like they would any 08:18 other new piece of equipment. But we know that, that, that is the strategy. Maybe some of our competitors are only taking to force them 08:26 to trade into that new equipment, which is high priced. Um, our strategy is, is twofold. So we want to have that offering in the factory, 08:35 but also offer them retrofit with any brand of equipment that they already have on the farm. 08:40 Not only just AGCO or Fent equipment, but also our branded equipment too. We can retrofit what you've got today to our solution, 08:48 take advantage of what you have, and then when you're ready to trade that piece of machinery out, then we hope you update 08:54 with ours from the factory as well too. So maybe Danen, maybe touch a little bit deeper into that, um, subject 09:01 Specifically. Yeah, I mean, let's, let's just, let's list, let me list Danin. 09:06 You're doing a really good job of being the guy that's tech, but bringing it back to someone that's, uh, closer 09:12 to being Amish like myself. Um, I've got this machine and I've got three tractors and I've got a grain cart and I've got a combine 09:22 and I already have some guidance systems and I've already got the system that, you know, monitors my field and my field view 09:28 and all those kinds of things and yields and, and, uh, all that stuff. What do I need? I mean, and what do I need? 09:36 How much am I spending? How hard is it? What do I need to then make that machine become a bit more autonomous? 09:42 Is it already there or, I mean, are we already, is it, do you already have what I need? Yeah, you know what, we're looking 09:48 for 10 customers in Nebraska and Iowa, uh, that have John Deere ar tractors or fan tractors that we can retrofit those 09:55 two tractors right now. So we are right there. Damien. Damien. And I'm excited. Now, you know, earlier in the show you mentioned, um, 10:02 a number of different, uh, players have come forward with autonomous solutions in some ways we stand on the shoulders of giants, they've kind of broken the ground, 10:10 they've kind of introduced the concept and there's a lot of education, like what we're doing today in terms of what we need to do 10:16 with autonomy. And so first of all, I wanted to acknowledge those players in the past because they're the ones that have really led the way and, 10:23 and kind of taught us where it works and how it works, that type of thing. Um, so from going back 10:29 to your question about retrofit solutions, so what, what you would do is if you think of a John Deere eight R tractor 10:34 or a vent tractor, what we have is a kit that goes on both the combine and the grain cart tractor that allow them 10:41 to communicate together and allows the grain cart tractor to drive by itself, uh, while you're harvesting. 10:48 So let's say you are a three person operation, you've got someone in the combine, and you typically have one person in the grain cart, 10:54 another person in the semi hauling grain to either your local storage or somewhere, uh, further down to, to, to unload that grain. 11:02 Yep. You now potentially have, um, an extra person because that grain cart tractor's driving by itself to haul two semis. 11:10 So you're potentially having an extra 5,000 bushel on the road, you're having an extra 5,000 bushel on the road, 11:16 so you can get more out of your, your investment and you can get more out of your grain One when you say, okay, we're gonna put this on. 11:26 It sounds pretty easy. I mean, is this, uh, like, you know, I plug this into my cigarette lighter and uh, 11:32 and, and away I go. I mean, And it another Reference, another reference. Brandon, in the old days, cars 11:39 and trucks had cigarette miters anyway old. Do you think I am? Dude, I'm joking. I'm just, I'm just messing with you. 11:44 Alright, so what have we got there? Um, I mean the, the, the, the farmer listening to this that says, Hey man, I'm all about this. 11:52 I, I tune in extreme ag, you guys are always helping me, uh, uh, you know, uh, cut the curve. 11:57 Um, how much am I spending and how difficult is it? So, you know what we're looking at a, um, so we are looking at it in such a way 12:05 that it, it works for the farmer. So we're looking at a, uh, a business model where the farmer buys the number of hours 12:12 that they need to use. There's an annual subscription fee, uh, of $5,000 a year. Uh, there's a $10,000, uh, first year setup fee 12:22 and installation fee, and then they buy by the hours. We're still working on what that exactly hour price is our, uh, dollars per hour price is. 12:30 Yep. But let's say, uh, Damien, you for your farm, you buy it, you buy the system, you pay that initial, uh, I think fairly modest investment, 12:39 and then it turns out that your uncle comes by and lives on your farm in the harvest and you don't need that help. 12:44 So you no longer need to cover those hours. Yep. You don't really have any additional risks. On the other hand, if you're really looking for labor 12:52 and you need lots of help, all of a sudden you can use those hours and put that within, uh, with to service. Yeah. 12:59 Yeah. So it's a, a subscription model with a setup fee, which is where a lot of technology, um, uh, is going. And it, it, that's does seem to make sense 13:08 because then, then it is not, uh, favoring just the massively big farming operation, for instance. 13:16 What about the difficulty of getting it on? Do I need one of your techs to come out and do this? Absolutely. So this is the first year 13:22 that we're putting it on customer machines. Mm-Hmm. And, uh, we expect about a, a day of installation, half a day to get it all set up 13:30 and then a half a day to make sure it's working. And then probably, uh, a day or so training afterwards just 13:37 to make sure it's not just a new product, it's a new product category. We want to make sure that the farmer has a great experience. 13:43 Okay. So we called it agronomic and economic benefits of a autonomous machinery. You just gave me an economic, um, for about, uh, 13:50 10 $20,000. I now take a, a human out of the seat. Um, and you're saying, I don't know, man, my, you know, uncle, uncle Bobby will come over and drive that. 14:00 Well, maybe he will. But the reality is, when you're talking about hours and, and, and doing this, do we autonomize anything else? 14:09 Uh, the grain cart seems like the low hanging fruit. Um, that's the one that I've been told when I talk to guys like you off the record 14:15 or off the recording, um, that that's the more low hanging fruit. Do you have something going to nin for the sprayer? 14:24 Do you have something going for the combine? Do you have something going for tillage equipment? Damien, if you don't mind, I'll get 14:29 back to that in just a second. I just wanted to mention, you know, we, we don't look at it as taking a driver out of the tractor. 14:35 We, we really look at it from all the trade shows we've been to. Farmers come to me 14:40 and they say, Hey, we just find a way to get by and harvest because we just can't get harvest done 14:45 because we don't have the people there. Uh, if you do have that person that you can use in the grain cart tractor, 14:52 we are asking you to do that. Give that person something else so that they can do that as well. 14:56 I just wanna stress that because we really want to keep the farmer and the farmer community in mind here. 15:01 We're really trying to help not take anything away. Yeah. Yeah. I, yeah, I, you know, trust me, I worked at a factory when I was a 19-year-old, 15:09 and those poor unskilled laborers, when they saw the engineers over, uh, automating something, they said, they just took my job. 15:15 And so I understand that we're not talking about that. 'cause like you said, if the person's not in the grain cart, they could be running a second semi, uh, 15:24 and getting the harvest way. You said something before we hit the record. Speaking of economic benefits, pull those numbers again. 15:29 33% of, of harvest is done in suboptimal conditions, I think is exactly, and it's mostly due to timing. 'cause then sometimes you get pushed on time. 15:38 You can't get enough done to Brandon's point, all of a sudden you're three weeks out and now your crops being degraded. 15:44 Gimme a couple of your stats on that. Yeah, yeah. So exactly. So, you know, 33% of the, um, uh, 15:49 the Midwest harvest is done outside of non-ideal conditions. Now, most of the time that's due to weather, uh, 15:56 inclement climate conditions, that type of thing. But, you know, a lot of that is also just because you don't have the equipment or the labor ready. 16:03 And, and as I've heard from a lot of farmers, it's a lot of the times it's labor. 16:08 So when you harvest outside of those non-ideal conditions, you, you lose an average of 10% of your yield, uh, due 16:16 to phantom yield loss down corn, shattered kernels, shattered pods, all those kind of things contribute to it. On an average 2000 acre farm that does both corn 16:27 and soybean, you're looking at close to a savings of $29,000. If you can harvest within that ideal window, 16:35 what we're hoping to do is help the farmer try and do more of that harvest within that window. Yeah. Yeah. So when we say economic benefit, uh, run, 16:44 run the $29,000 on a 2000 acre farming operation, that's due to, uh, less optimal conditions of harvest, 16:50 which means you're missing, you're missing some bushels, you're leaving stuff in the field, or it's getting too wet, 16:55 or, you know, we've all had that thing, or you get docked because the condition of the grain you take to town. 17:00 We, we've seen that. Uh, I wanna hear some more about economic benefits. Before I do, I wanna tell you dear listeners about nature's, 17:06 nature's one of our business partners here at Extreme Ag Love, uh, the folks over there, Tommy and, 17:11 and the gang, uh, in fact we'll be seeing them. Commodity classic. It's always a, always a fun time with them. 17:15 Nature's just focused on providing sustainable farming solutions and helping maintain crop potential for today and future generations. 17:22 I want you to think about this. If you put fertility out when you needed that, uh, we talk about critical, uh, times 17:28 of effectiveness. We're talking about a year where right now you're going to have to really watch your Ps and Qs 17:34 because of the financials on commodity prices. What if you're flinging out fertilizer unnecessarily when instead you could be using stuff like nature's products, 17:42 putting it out at time of influence when the crop absolutely can use it and put it in there and create crops. 17:47 That's what we're talking about. Nature's high quality liquid fertilizers are powered by nature's bio. 17:52 K, you target specific periods of influence is one of the things we talk about. So go and check out Nature's gonna help you mitigate plant 17:59 stress, enhance your crop yield, and most importantly, boost your farms. ROI nature's, N-A-C-H-U-R-S nature's dot com. 18:05 Go check it out. Uh, economic benefits. Anyone wanna talk about agronomics economic benefits? We just heard from Danen about, uh, a lot 18:14 of economic benefits. Is, is there something else we're missing, Mr. Brandon? I think just the, the other items that you can do, 18:22 and I know we've been talking about harvesting specifically, and you asked about, well, what else are we automating? 18:28 The reason we pick on harvest is that there's other impacts behind that too, right? 18:33 So if you're trying to get tillage done, for example, if you're in the northern part of the US and you need to get that soil turned over 18:40 because you need that heat and warmth in the spring for your plant emergence, you know, think about if you get the harvest done, 18:47 but you haven't got your tillage done or you haven't got the manure spread, or you haven't got your p and k spread 18:54 and worked in those, are the other things not impacted in the calculation nn has talked about that are incremental benefits in addition to 19:03 what autonomy can bring in shrinking that window of harvest season About The, um, yeah, so shrinking, shrinking, 19:11 basically when we talk about economics, we're talking about time and time is money. And, uh, especially, you know, 19:16 when you talk about effective, effective application timeframes, et cetera. So when I said to Thenn, where else does it go? 19:24 We thought we've got it between the combine and the, and the grain cart. Where's the next thing? 19:29 Where's the next thing that we retrofit to automate? So we, we are working on a tillage solution that we will be testing this, uh, this coming spring, 19:39 summer, and fall in, uh, Nebraska and Iowa. And we expect to bring that to commercial next year in 2025. So can you picture this? 19:47 You equip your, um, either your fent or John Deere eight r tractor with an autonomy kit. Uh, you use it for har for harvest 19:55 and it drives the autonomous grain cart. And then when you do have that little downtown during harvest, you actually get it to run autonomously, 20:03 uh, doing tillage. So you can get 24 hours of operation out of your tractor and you can monitor it remotely. 20:10 So we really see the same autonomous kit working on multiple applications. Um, now you mentioned in terms of what we see in terms 20:18 of future applications. So we're starting with the grain cart tillage, spraying, spreading, uh, that type of coverage application. 20:27 We see planting an actual combine operation much later down because that, that's really where the 20:32 farmers getting their value. They want to, they want to be in control of that and, and really, uh, affect their yield from there. 20:40 Yeah. So spraying comes, is that like third you think, um, going on a sprayer? 'cause that's, and there's a little more moving parts, uh, 20:50 you know, and then there's there 160 foot boom out there that could take out a lot of telephone poles. 20:57 Yeah, we, we see, um, we see kind of a more pull behind, uh, sprayer spreader application first, uh, uh, you know, 21:05 right behind your tractor and then, you know, when you're getting to a dedicated sprayer, probably in three, four years 21:11 because it's a different platform, different type of mechanics going on there. But it, it is something that we are looking at 21:18 Brandon, make the agronomic argument, uh, the agronomic benefit of autonomous machinery. I'm, my head is already, uh, 21:27 my wheel's already turning on that. Obviously we titled the episode that, um, I'm thinking about timeliness and conditions benefit. 21:38 Meaning when you're not out there at the wrong time, when you shouldn't be on the ground, you know, we've always got those people autonomous 21:45 or no autonomous, uh, danin, I don't know how things are in your part of Canada, but I can tell you my part of Indiana, you still got 21:50 that guy that is just convinced he's gotta be first. Even if he's cutting ruts and damaging the hell out of his $15,000 an acre soil, 21:57 he's gonna prove that he's out there before everybody else. So autonomy isn't gonna fix actual autonomy might fix 22:03 that actually, will it auto, the autonomous machine might be smarter than him anyway, we Think. Yeah, so, 22:08 so Damien, I'm glad you brought that up because, um, not just on our autonomous green card, but in tillage and other applications, you can define how 22:15 that tractor is driving. So you can reduce the wear and tear, you can reduce compaction, you can, you can tell it to always take the headlands 22:22 or you can give it some tramways or traffic lines for it to always go down. So, so there's these other benefits that come into the play 22:29 as well, and you're protecting your land and you're preserving your investment. Agronomic benefits. 22:36 Give me, uh, where your mind goes on that brand. We talked to Matt Miles last time, right? In Arkansas, and What he faces 22:47 specifically on his crops and conditions is you get that gulf wind come through some of the, you know, the, 22:54 the big huge storm sos that come through. So you, if you think, again, I'm going back to harvest season or, 23:00 or tillage going in the next crop, um, just imagine if you had a down crop completely due to that, that you could have avoided. 23:08 So even if it's 200 acres or you know, 250 acres at, you know, say four or $5, uh, you know, per bushel in the grain, 23:17 it adds up really, really fast. Or if it's corn that's down and lodged, the only thing that's gonna come back 23:23 and get all those kernels is, is the cattle. And, you know, a lot of the, the, you know, commodity farmers aren't, you know, don't have livestock 23:31 to go take advantage of that too at the same time. So those are the things that, that lead to additional benefits. 23:37 Have we put the pencil to every single one of those scenarios? No, there's so many other variables involved. 23:44 Um, but we're definitely starting to, and that's why what I like, what what Danin said is one solution can be the same device. 23:54 The hardware can go on this tractor plug in and can run, you know, the grain cart could do the tillage could also do maybe the, 24:04 the planting in the future, um, as well in addition to what you're already doing. So you're taking advantage of one input cost, you know, on 24:12 that vehicle, but then the incremental benefits come on top of that through other tasks that, that that vehicle can do. 24:20 Um, so I, I'm really excited about that piece. And you're not having to make multiple investments on the farm to try and do one solution for, you know, spraying 24:29 and one separate solution for harvesting and one separate solution for planting. You have one solution that can work between the crop cycle 24:37 and then you can see those incremental benefits on top of That. Uh, and then one of the 24:42 things that in my mind I'm going with here and uh, is from an agronomic, I'm thinking about synergies. 24:49 Um, if, if I can get to where the autonomy, um, retrofit or eventually new equipment that's even, you know, not retrofitted. 24:59 If I, if I accomplish a goal of timeliness, then that has an economic as well as agronomic benefit and then conditions, I, 25:06 I'm doing it when I should be out there. I'm able to do 24 hour shifts because of autonomy. So that, you know, there's agronomic benefit there, 25:15 but I'm wondering if there's, if we can make the case that there's a synergy that then goes along because of the timeliness, then you are able 25:23 to do the right treatment, the right. So I'm wondering if you could make the agronomic argument that because the timeliness 25:30 and the labor reduction, then I'm able to be a better agronomic steward. Yeah, you know what? So as an example, um, uh, 25:39 Brandon mentioned this is that, you know, it's really about having that control and being able to do the right thing at the right time. 25:46 If, if you can, you know, if you're not in the tillage tractor running tillage in the middle of the night, you're potentially looking 25:52 at what else you can do. You're getting that tillage done early so you have more time to think and consider what you're gonna do and, 25:59 and then do that strip tilling application or do whatever that is at that right time. What we see is that this really gives you that control 26:07 and it gives you the data, gives you the collection so that you can bring all of those things together, uh, pair that with partners, uh, 26:15 or sister companies like precision plantings information, and you can really start creating an ecosystem 26:21 that brings all of that information together and, and sort of with Ag Echo's philosophy of being, uh, brand agnostic, we can, 26:28 we can really help every farmer out there. Yeah. So I, I guess that's the other one. Does all this stuff work together? 26:34 You, you know, I saw the fi piece of equipment in the barnyard at, uh, in the farm yard there at, uh, miles. 26:39 It's got three computers, three, three computer screens. Uh, you know, the person that, the person that's, uh, 26:45 from the suburbs that thinks that we're still out here with, uh, our pitchforks, there's three computer screens in 26:51 that computer, in that tractor. We gotta make sure it all plays nice together. So one could make the agronomic benefit argument saying, 26:59 because of this, this than these other things. You talk about precision planning, you talk about then the, the, the other data that goes along with it. 27:08 Is there anything I'm missing there? I that, uh, that I'm not thinking of? I mean, I'm not in the tractor every day 27:14 myself, so what am I missing? Well, wear and tear on the person, you know. Uh, green card driving is, is a hard job. 27:20 I mean, the, like, I know, I know the typical farmer doesn't get in the green card. They usually have a nephew or someone in there, 27:27 but there's, there's a lot of wear and tear as well. You know, you're looking at either, uh, so there's that, that component of it. 27:33 Then there's the, you know, sometimes if you can't find someone during harvest, you're, you're hiring them for three 27:39 or four months beforehand just to make sure you have someone during harvest as well. 27:42 There's a pecking order, isn't there, Brandon? 'cause you know what? My neighbor buddies would use me as the green cart driver 27:47 because hey, you don't have a real job. Um, so hey, we, we need help on Tuesday and Wednesday, and you realize you're the low man on the 27:55 totem pole at Green Cart driver. Okay. Other stuff about, uh, agronomic economic benefits. Get me outta here, Brandon. Um, yeah, 28:01 Maybe just one more on top of that. I, I think there's some other benefits when it comes to training, uh, a new hire in. 28:09 So sometimes if you are a kid from the suburbs and you know, there's, it seems like farmers are having their number one challenge. 28:18 Everybody we talk to, it's not just labor, it's skilled labor. Yeah. Right. It's how do I get them to know 28:24 and run those three computer screens inside that tracker, Damien, to be able to understand what that does. 28:29 So if you can take a little bit of pressure off them, allow them to give us some time to think and understand how the whole, you know, orchestra works 28:39 inside farming and going to the headlands, um, that will help definitely the training model. And we have so many farmers 28:47 that have H two a contract workers too, coming in from other countries. So even though if they speak English, 28:53 they may not be in the same English terms of what we have as a farmer from Indiana, 28:58 or a farmer from Minnesota or Arkansas. You know, a headline. Well, some, hey, some of those farmers from Arkansas 29:05 struggle with speaking our language also. I mean, let's just face it. I know Matt. So, so I think there's a strong benefit there too, 29:14 just training, getting them used to the machine, buying some time for them, get settled in, and then once they, you know, get comfortable with it, 29:24 they can take over run manually, for example. So it is a good training aid in addition to agronomic benefits. 29:28 And then you're the tech guy. So I'm gonna, I'm holding my phone right now if you're listening to this. 29:33 I just want you to know that if you could be watching us on Acres TV or on the Extreme Mag Farm site, 29:39 but I'm holding my phone how many years until I'm sitting having Coors banquets, uh, I'm sitting drinking Coors banquets with you, 29:50 and all I have to do is glance at my phone once in a while to make sure that all 29:54 of my farming is just happening autonomously and I'm just sitting there drinking beer, talking to you. How many years until 29:59 That? Well, you know, as you mentioned, it'll be application by application. So by 2025, we expect you to be able to do that in tillage. 30:07 So the same autonomy kit you get, you drive the tractor to the, the field, you get it started. Yep. Uh, and then you monitor it on your phone. 30:15 So for that particular application, we are looking at one year. Okay. And, okay, so the, the, the, the combine 30:22 to grain cart is now the tillage. Is next year spraying or which one comes next? Spraying. So, spreading, spraying, mowing. 30:31 Yeah, probably a couple years. Yeah, couple come right after that. We see planting 30:37 and the actual combine operation probably, uh, five, six years from now because that, that again and may maybe, maybe even longer, just 30:45 because that's really where the value comes in. Now, Jamie Planting, planting is gonna be, there's 30:50 so much like my extreme ag guys, they're doing like 11 different things at time of planting. You know, they got fungicides, they got, uh, 30:56 plate growth regulators, they've got the biologicals, they got their fertility, uh, all the seed treatment, all that stuff's going on. 31:04 Um, you, you would be reluctant to then just be sitting and drinking beers and letting that happen without some level of supervision, no matter 31:11 how good the autonomy is. Exactly. Is that the last one to go? Yeah. I mean that, that's, that's 31:17 where the farmer's making his money. And, and so I, I think that's one that we would want a lot of supervision and I wouldn't even put a date on 31:25 when that would come about. Now, there are some other applications as well. There's a lot of logistics that happen in the farm. 31:30 There's a lot of hauling of fertilizer and inputs. So, you know, those kind of things can be automated as well. Uh, picking up bales of, uh, of straw, things like that 31:41 where you could have a system searching and gathering all of them together and piling them up. So there are other non sort 31:48 of traditional applications as well. You Know, that one's a hard one. Dairy farm background here. 31:53 And I rent my farm ground to a dairyman. Um, that's not repetitive. It's not, I mean, and it's, 31:59 it's not like they're just going up and down rows, you know, if you're picking up square bales of hay or to Matt's case, cotton, big bales 32:06 of cotton, they're random. They're not, they're not, they're not systematically. So you're gonna talk about, you're gonna have 32:12 to have some sort of vision technology to, to guide the autonomy. Um, that's, that's about three more layers of, 32:20 uh, sophistication. It seems to me. Y You know what, we, we already have the perception systems on our tractors right now to detect objects. 32:27 Uh, I believe, uh, there are some products out there including, uh, some of, i I believe KO's products as well, that, that tag bales 32:36 and have a geo position and, and sort of quality of the bale as well. So all of that information comes together to, 32:43 to start making those tasks a little bit easier as well. We have a farmer that does chicken manure spreading, 32:49 and he asked whether our autonomous tractor can do the actual spreading and he would just load, load it up when the, the inputs were done. 32:57 So there are different ways. That's one, that's one by the way, where yeah, you could have three different things, machines going, 33:06 like I could see that where a a, a semi is bringing chicken litter, but it needs loaded unto the spreader. 33:12 But you could have multiple autonomous spreaders and just a person there that's running the payload kind of guiding it seems like. 33:19 Exactly. That's, I could see that one happening. Exactly. It's exciting stuff. By the way, we could also say Buck Rogers. 33:25 I said Flash Gordon previously, uh, Brandon, we could also said Buck Rogers. That's like a very old fashioned, uh, 33:30 science fiction, uh, future thing. The key is the cures banquet that you mentioned. So if we can hit up the 18th hole 33:37 and then actually watch our farm equipment farm for us, I, I'd love to celebrate that day with you, Damien. 33:43 Well, believe it or not, sometimes I do drink Coors banquets and watch farming happen on my farm, 33:48 but it's me watching the dairyman and his crew out doing that hay baling we're talking about, because I did all that growing up, 33:55 and it's a lot more enjoyable to drink beer and watch it being done than to actually do it. I, I can assure you that, um, agronomic 34:02 and economic benefits of autonomous machinery was our topic today. Closing thought in 2010 seconds or less, Brandon 34:10 Closing thought. Just think all of our audience members listening to this, um, it is coming. 34:16 It's a technology that we wanna definitely apply to farmers that's gonna be a benefit. 34:21 Retrofit solutions, first factory solutions later, and then we're not gonna force you into any corner. Um, so you can take advantage of the technology. And 34:29 Then you've got a couple of thoughts then, um, you're doing some work in Maricopa, which is 40 miles from where I'm sitting right now in Arizona at a 34:37 testing facility. And then you just mentioned something about Nebraska. You're, you're wanting to get some, uh, some, some, 34:43 you're gonna do some demos there, but you also would like some farmers to be your volunteers to trial, some trial, some stuff. Is that true? 34:51 Yeah, so just really quickly, our test farm in, uh, in Arizona is to do year round testing, get our equipment going and, 34:58 and really ruggedized for the farmer. Um, there's an opportunity in Fremont, Nebraska on, uh, March 26th, 27th and 28th. 35:06 If a farmer wants to come out and try it out for 15, 20 minutes, they can run their combine 35:12 and actually run the autonomous green card as well to see it in operation. We're looking for 10 customers in Iowa 35:17 and Nebraska this year that have a John Deere eight R tractor that want to run this system and, um, you know, bring it to market. 35:24 Be one of the first customers to do that. Uh, if I have just a couple more minutes, I just wanna mention Damien, that beyond the economic side 35:32 of things and the agronomic benefits, there's an emotional side of this as well and a personal side of things. 35:37 Think of all the marriages that we'd save. I, and I say this in jest, but at trade shows, a lot of husband and wives come by 35:43 and say, Hey, you know what, this could really help us out. Two, um, uh, a grandpa came by and stopped by 35:49 and he said, you know, my, my grandson keeps wanting me to run my, the grain card and I just can't anymore. And he took a video of our product just so 35:57 that he could show that to his grandson so that he would have an option in terms of running that farm. And, and continuing that would be an option. 36:05 Uh, think of all the family events, weddings, things like that, that you could potentially be at, uh, 36:10 in the evenings just because you could get out and that autonomous green card would continue running for you. 36:15 Yeah, and like you said, it's not even just it, it's, it's everything. 'cause the, the, the way you've got it in, you know, 36:21 the way it looks like it's gonna happen is it's goes to the next type of thing, next type of thing. So yeah, it's, it's a labor saver. 36:27 And like you said, it's a lifestyle thing. You, you know, um, there's, there's a reality to that. Um, there's a lifestyle. 36:36 Uh, sometimes we take great pride in the fact that we work 18 hour days in this business. Well, you, you know what your, you never saw your kid. 36:43 You didn't see your kid's baseball game either. Uh, you know, your, your, your spouse, your spouse, uh, would've liked for you not, uh, 36:49 to have been gone for 18 hours. So I think you're right about that. So there's the lifestyle component of it, 36:55 because as much as we, uh, can talk about agronomics and economics, uh, none of that's worth anything If you also aren't, um, aren't able 37:02 to enjoy your lifestyle also. Right? Yeah. I have a great story there. I was running, uh, the combine 37:07 with a farmer near Surprise Nebraska. His name is Jeff Ruth, who runs a 3,500 acre farm, uh, harvesting beautiful Nebraska evening. 37:17 We were harvesting corn, uh, I think it was corn that evening. It was, it was a great, great time. 37:22 Sun was going down, of course, who calls, his wife calls and he says, Jeff, where you at? 37:29 He looks over at me with a guilty look, and he says, oh, my daughter has a volleyball game. I miss half of these games just 37:35 because I'm out, out in a combine or tractor. Yeah. Um, this product allowed him to get outta the tractor that day and let his two other staff continue 37:44 running that operation. And again, it's that kind of event that I love to see, uh, bring that real benefit, economic benefit to the farmer, 37:52 but also allow, uh, them that choice to, uh, to make a lifestyle change as well. It's real agronomic 38:00 and economic benefits of autonomous machinery. And then, uh, you can talk about the lifestyle. This is coming. Um, if you wanna learn more about it, 38:07 where do we go, Brandon, if we wanna learn more about your operation and or if they want to be one of your Guinea pigs 38:12 with, uh, the, uh, the, the, uh, the trials that, uh, didn't talk about. So to go there, you would go to outrun ag. 38:20 Uh, outrun is our autonomy platform and product, so it's O-U-T-R-U n.ag. Got it. Brandon, uh, 38:28 if they wanna find you, where do they find you? Www.sent.com, and you can search all of our other partners inside of fence 38:36 that we have, especially with JCA Technologies wholly owned by agco. Got it. His name is Brandon Montgomery 38:43 and, uh, he is joined by Dine Subra Manum, uh, with JCA Technologies, subsidiary, subsidiary of agco. Um, tell, uh, 38:52 the next time we'll be talking about this subject again, because it's a great topic and I like getting, 38:56 I like the Buck Rogers in the 21st century kind of talk. I like, uh, challenge, you know, where my mind goes, 39:02 but where the reality is and, and then bring it back to the farm. I love it. Uh, remember, also check out Nature's, they, uh, 39:08 they've got a fertility solution can help you this year. Uh, and, um, uh, we, we'd love for you to, uh, to join us. 39:15 Natures will be in their pla we will be in their booth, in fact, at Commodity Classic. Um, if you wanna take your learning to the next level, 39:22 remember you can become a member of Extreme Ag for just seven $50 a year, and you get exclusive content. You also get, uh, product and, and, uh, incentive offers. 39:29 In fact, you can go to Commodity Classic for free if you were a member. And then the other big thing is you get the trial 39:34 results at the end of the year. You get the data from these guys that they are doing, and they'll tell you what worked, 39:38 what didn't work, how much they used. You'll get all that information and you get access to a question 39:43 and answer platform if you're a member for just seven $50 a year. Um, awesome. 39:48 We got hundreds of these videos out there, hundreds of episodes of cutting the curve. It's all free. You don't 39:52 have to be a member to watch any of that. Go to Extreme Ag Farm. Until next time, for Brandon Dunin. I'm Damien Mason. This is extreme ag cutting the curve. 39:59 That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve. Make sure to check out Extreme Ag Farm for more great content to help you squeeze more profit out 40:07 of your farming operation.