Growers is a precision agriculture and data analytics company headquartered near Raleigh-Durham, NC, USA. The company was started in 2011 by agronomist Steven Valencsin and has grown to serve top-tier farm customers across 12 US states. Growers specializes in turning farm data into recommendations that deliver results. The company believes good recommendations all start with the soil and with each farmer’s unique operation. Growers has perfected a process that uses the TSM as one layer to help understand soil variability across agricultural fields. Growers’ most popular services include variable rate prescriptions. These prescriptions cover a wide variety of fertility products, including custom products, as well as planting and seeding recommendations built upon one of the richest data sets in the country on hybrid performance. Growers’ variable rate prescriptions are developed using a combination of the farmer’s experience, historical yield data, TSM data, soil sampling, and other parameters. But Growers goes beyond just writing prescriptions. The company works directly with the farmer or partner to ensure smooth and successful implementation of the prescriptions. This is an important step because the farmer does not receive any benefit without the successful execution of the entire process. The TSM plays an important role in efficiently completing field work at Growers. The TSM is relatively lightweight compared to other soil EC mapping methods, and the ability to machine mount the TSM allows field crews to move faster than if pulling a sled. The lack of ground engaging components helps keep maintenance costs down and increases the amount of time spent in the field collecting data. The user interface has been easy to use and is quickly understood by new operators. The electro-magnetic induction method employed on the TSM allows Growers to map anything from dry, fractured soils to frozen ground. Fleet Manager Curtis Cribben notes that: “Often, when I am in the field, farmers will stop to ask about the TSM and its capabilities.”
Over the past season Growers used the TSM to collect data in a variety of regions, climates, and terrains. Growers successfully mapped sandy soils in Southern Arizona, rocky soils in the mountains of Idaho, and snow-covered ground in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The versatility of the TSM allowed Growers to continue running in almost all field conditions. In a few instances, when timing was critical, Growers was able to map with the TSM, process the data, and complete all the field work within a few hours. Having the ability to compress the field work timeframe is key in the agriculture industry because of the unpredictability of weather. Beginning in fall 2018, Growers is partnering with select, top farm service providers to enable them to run the unique process and analytics the company has developed. Growers and Geoprospectors will continue to work closely during this expansion to bring the benefits of the TSM to an even wider audience in the US.