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Currently Viewing: Precision Farming Dealer Newsletter: June 19, 2014
PFD: Editorial: Don't be Camera Shy When it Comes to Precision Help: June 19, 2014

Virtual Terminal

June 19, 2014

Don’t be Camera Shy When it
Comes to Precision Help

Jack Zemlicka, Technology Editor

Having spent a fair amount of time working on either side of a video camera for this job — a Scorcese or Brando I am not — I can appreciate the importance of trying to capture or deliver a meaningful message to our readers.

This is something that precision farming specialists should know as well, especially when it comes to helping customers understand how to use technology. Dealers don’t always have enough hours in the day to repeatedly refresh farmers on precision basics, so some are turning to an alternative method of customer training; the online tutorial.

We recently reported on Iowa-based Vetter Equipment launching a series of video aids and other dealers are following suit, including Birkey’s Farm Stores, based in Illinois. Birkey’s precision farming specialist Darin Kennelly got in front of the camera to provide “how to” videos on setting up an A-B guidance line and setting up swath selection.

“We did the first one for a customer who purchased a couple of tractors and he wanted a tutorial because a lot of his operators were used to John Deere equipment, and had never run Case IH systems before,” Kennelly says. “We ended up having quite a few customers call in or contact us to let us know how beneficial the video was for them.”

Given the relatively small amount of time needed to film and post precision tutorials online, I was somewhat surprised how few of these dealer-produced videos I was able to find on YouTube, compared to farmer and manufacturer perspectives on using precision technology.

That’s not to say there aren’t a few dealers taking advantage of the medium, but this seems like a extremely worthwhile way to connect with customers and add another layer of service, which many specialists agree is what separates one precision dealer from another these days.

There is also the ‘do-it-yourself’ mentality, which seems to be more common with consumers who are only a few keystrokes away from having someone show them how to solve a problem. I know I’ve tapped the YouTube universe for help fixing my oven and garage door, so why wouldn’t farm customers do the same for simple precision farming fixes?

It will be interesting to see if more dealers begin to develop their own library of precision tutorials and how they may be able to leverage these offerings to boost business.

“These videos aren’t probably going to provide a direct source of revenue, but it lets customers who buy equipment from us know that we’ll be there to support them,” Kennelly says. “That keeps them coming back.”


Jack Zemlicka
Technology Editor


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