Sloan Support Call Center Now Open With Extended Hours

The Sloan Support Call Center is Open for Plant '18

by Weston Adcock, Assumption, IL 

Starting today, April 20th, Sloan Implement will open its call center for the 2018 spring planting season. If you do business with Sloan Implement, AMS call support is free during business hours.  Business hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.  We have 3 experienced Product Support Specialists staffing the call center each day.  This is the best outlet for the fastest response to your AMS/Precision Farming questions.  Last spring we took 3,500 calls, with over 200 per day and still averaged a wait time of fewer than 30 seconds. If by chance all 3 lines are busy and you do not want to wait on hold, you can leave a call back number that saves your place in line and generates an automatic return call. You can also connect with the call center by sending an email or requesting a call back through our Sloan Implement Smartphone App.  You can download the Sloan App for iPhone and Android by clicking here.

If you need assistance after business hours, Sloans will continue to offer after-hours support to keep your operation going into the night and on weekends. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the week, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays we will be providing voicemail support. If you leave a detailed message of your issue with your name and number, you will get a timely response from a member of our AMS team.  For this added service we will charge $50 for the call.  The phone numbers remain the same and we now have a call center solely for our Ag Retail customers.

Sloan Support AMS Call Center – 217-693-6209

Sloan Support Farmer Call Center

Ag Retail Call Center – 833-777-2911

Ag Retail Call Center

Thank you again for your business, we look forward to helping you through this spring’s planting and spraying season.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

ExactEmerge High Speed Retrofit for Deere Planters – 0% for 48 Mos

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

The John Deere Exactemerge Planter has set a new standard for planter accuracy and productivity.  By controlling the seed all the way to the trench, the spacing is impeccable.  Customer satisfaction with this product has been overwhelming.  Customer interest in this product is also growing with each passing season.   A particularly popular option for these planters is the retrofit kit.  We have many customers with 2011-2014 model year John Deere planters that can benefit from an Exactemerge.  A retrofit kit allows these customers to upgrade for a substantially lower cost than buying a new Exactemerge planter.  In some cases the price difference between a retrofit planter and a new planter can be close to $50,000 and, in some cases, even more on a 24 row.  In any economic condition this would be a big savings, let alone during the current circumstances facing agriculture.  To help with this investment, John Deere is currently offering an 8% discount on retrofit kits as well as 0% interest for 48 months.  This is technology with with a quick ROI.

So, what do I get with a retrofit kit?  You get a new shank, gauge wheel arms and bushings, meter, brush module, openers, hydraulic downforce system, and electrical system.  See below for the row unit components.

row-unit-componenets

You will re-use the gauge wheels and the closing wheels and frame.  You basically have a new planter where it counts.  Along with this you get turn compensation which allows the row unit to speed up or slow down in a turn to maintain proper population across the planter while turning.  If you have a late 30 series or R series tractor in front, you also get vacuum automation.  This allows you to set the desired vac on the monitor and the tractor will adjust the flow to maintain the desired vac automatically.  Here is a comment from one customer who purchased a 24 row retrofitted planter last year.  “I had to get out of the cab only one time during the season in almost 5000 acres due to the planter.  Some debris had built up in a brush.  I got out, removed the debris, and in about 5 minutes was back to planting.  Amazing machine.”

Here’s the tractor compatibility chart for Exactemerge planters.

compatibility-chart

Hydraulic downforce is a must when purchasing an Exactemerge planter.  At higher speeds, maintaining equal and adequate seed depth is imperative and is not consistently achievable with an air bag system.  The ability of the hydraulic system to react to rapidly changing field conditions is unmatched.  It also is broken into smaller sections for more finite and precise downforce when and where it is needed.

Don’t have a 2011 or newer planter?  Not ready for the Exactemerge yet?  We also have the ME5 and ME5e planter upgrades available.  The ME5 upgrade can go all the way back to 2004 CCS planters.  This gives you the new double eliminator and mini hopper configuration.  The ME5e is the electric drive version of the new ME5 meter.  It also provides turn compensation and vac automation just like an Exactemerge.

Check with your local Sloan Implement location for a quote on the retrofit kit that best fits your operation.  Don’t delay since Deere currently has an 8% discount on these kits as well as 0% interest for 48 months.

Here’s a video of a walk around of the Exactemerge planter

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

Sloan Support Weekly Recap August 8, 2016

by the AMS Product Support Team

Traveled over a large portion of the corn belt the last week of July and the corn and soybean crop overall looks good from Central Illinois all the way to Central Ohio.  Of course, there are a few pockets here and there that have had their share of challenges but overall I think we are going to have a large crop.  Probably not news to anyone but brought a little bit more meaning to the market reports when you see if for yourself.

John Deere has announced their fall software update for all Greenstar equipment.  Make sure that you get this completed before you head to the field.  You can find the update on www.stellarsupport.com or bring your displays and receivers into your local Sloan Implement location and we will do the update for you for free.  You might have to leave them over night, as we are getting several units in and the update can take about 15-45 minutes to complete depending on your model.

Make sure you have your variety locator files setup in Apex and have reloaded your setup data into your display with the correct machine models.  Here’s a blog post with instructions for setting up variety locator in Apex.

If you were one of the unlucky ones that had some wind in your area that pushed the corn down, John Deere Rowsense works really well in these situations.  As long as you can get the snouts under the stalk you should have pretty good success in picking up the corn and staying on the row.  Let us know if we can help set you up with a system of evaluate a field to see if Rowsense would be a good fit.   You can learn more about JD Rowsense Here.

Deere Rowsense Feelers

Deere Rowsense Feelers

Our service departments are still very busy getting customer machines ready to go for fall.  If you have some last minute service items to get repaired, don’t wait as the line is getting long.

Our call center will be back to our seasonal hours on the Tuesday after labor day.  We will again have 3 analysts every day that will be taking your AMS equipment questions from 7-6 Monday – Friday and from 7-3 on Saturday.  This is a free service to our customers.  We will again have our after hours option for the call center.  These hours are 6-9 pm Monday – Friday, 3-6 on Saturday, and Noon to 5 on Sunday.  This service has a $50 fee that is passed directly to the analyst taking your call.

Check out our Sloan 12F folding corn head conversion video at http://www.sloans.com/12f .  We have converted some used 12 row non-chopping heads to a folding corn head that will work on about any late model John Deere combine.  It folds or unfolds in about 35 seconds.

Sloan 12F Folding Cornhead

Sloan 12F Folding Cornhead

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

Sloan Support Weekly Recap July 18, 2016

by the AMS Product Support Team

The wheat crop is being harvested in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin.    Wheat yield have been really good.  We have heard this from many areas including the wheat belt out West.  Damp conditions have slowed it a bit, but the rains are certainly welcome with the forecast of extreme heat that is on the way.

Some of the storms have led to some corn crop damage from wind and hail.  This has peaked some interest in drones as customers and insurance agents are interested in surveying the damage in a more efficient manner.   You can learn more about our drone packages here.   It has also spiked some interest in rowsense autotrac steering systems to help harvest the tangled crop.  Soybeans overall appear to be very good.

The Sloan 12F folding corn heads are also generating quite a bit of conversation as customers look for ways to reduce needed manpower by leaving the header on the combine for transport.  We are starting to see some of these heads roll out of manufacturing and hopefully will have some for show and tell at our local combine clinics late this summer.  You can learn more about the Sloan 12F here.

Sloan 12F Folding Cornhead

Sloan 12F Folding Cornhead

Exactemerge planters and retrofits were very hot topics these last few weeks as the planter program deadline was approaching quickly.  We had several customers update their existing planters as well as purchase new.  This technology is really gaining traction.  Not just for the increased acres per day, but also for the incredible spacing.  You can learn more about these retrofit kits here.

Jared and Austin have been pumping out the data folders for customers this past week.  If anyone has not brought in their data for processing, please do so soon so we will have you set up and ready to roll for fall harvest.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

Sloan Support Weekly Recap July 9, 2016

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Recent rains and cooler weather in central Illinois have really helped the corn crop as it at (or near) pollination.   I have heard of a few small pockets of wind damage but not wide spread at all.  Soybeans have nearly closed the canopy on 30” rows and look to be off to a good start.  I have seen and heard of some folks digging out the row crop cultivators from the back corner of the shed to cultivate some beans with some stubborn water hemp pressure.  Crops overall look pretty good in our area with a few pockets here and there that are showing the effects of some tougher growing conditions.

Tasseled Corn in Assumption, IL

Tasseled Corn in Assumption, IL

There is a lot of buzz in the area about the Exactemerge Planter Retrofit.  Customers are looking for ways to help save some money by upgrading their current planters to the new technology available with the Exactemerge row unit.  The seed spacing is amazing and with an optimum corn planting window of less than 5 days in many areas this year, growers are seeing the value in getting over more acres in a day without sacrificing seed placement.  We also have seen the benefit of hydraulic downforce systems to maintain seed depth when using these machines at higher speeds.  You can learn more about these retrofit kits by clicking here.

RTK signal accuracy is also generating a lot of interest as growers are making multiple passes after planting.  Planting, Post-emerge application of N, as well as weed control are the main drivers for this as they can maintain hands free steering in standing crop.  Late season fungicide is also an excellent use of this technology.  Year over year repeat-ability really opens some doors not available with other signal levels.  You can learn more about the benefits of RTK network by clicking here.

View from the Andover, Iowa RTK Base

Our planter meter test stands have been running strong as growers are taking advantage of our post season planter inspections to get their machines ready to go for next year before they put them away.   You can learn more about the importance of seed meter testing and proper storage by clicking here.

Jared and Austin have been working hard to get all of our data service customers data corrected and printed.  We still have a few customers that still need to turn in their data so would encourage any that still have not brought it in to do so soon so we can get the Harvest Variety Locator Files set up in plenty of time for fall harvest.  You can click here to learn more about our data management services.

Sloan's Can Print Your Maps

Sloan’s Can Print Your Maps

We have sold some new Starfire 6000 receivers to growers wanting to take advantage of the longer RTK Extend period and the new SF3 signal.  We still have some new Starfire 3000 receivers in stock which are a great value for growers that have needs that can be met by SF1 or are not in a sketchy RTK signal area.  You can learn more about the SF 6000 receiver by clicking here.

SF6000 Ready for Install

Keep an eye out for our upcoming combine clinic dates or check with your local Sloan Implement location for their specific clinic dates.

We have sold several drones lately as growers/seedsmen are wanting to assess crop in a more efficient manner.  They can identify trouble spots faster and easier than before and can then spend some of the saved time and effort focusing on determining causes and remedies for the troubled areas.  You can learn more about our Drone packages in a previous post by Jared Wheeler by clicking here.

JD 95 Combine Harvesting Wheat in KS

Drone Pictures of John Deere 95 Combine Harvesting Wheat in KS

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

The Importance of Good Data

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

Greetings from Sloan Implement Company!  I hope everyone enjoyed great food and family time over Thanksgiving.  I am looking forward to more of the same as Christmas quickly approaches

Warmer than normal weather has been the rule this fall in our area.  A great deal of NH3 was applied, but there will definitely be some spring application needs as well.

Let me ask each of you if you had an autotrac system 10 years ago in 2005?  What about 5 years ago?  I bet the answer to the first question would be that very few had a system in ’05.  I would venture to say that many, or more likely, most of you had at least 1 system in 2010.  The question for most producers today would not be if you had a system, but rather how many systems you currently have in your operation? I pose these questions to shine a light on how fast technology is changing and how much of an impact it has on you and your business.

If autotrac was the first big use of GPS technology, section control or auto swath is definitely a close second. So what is number 3?  Any guesses?  It is a hot topic in nearly every farm publication or Ag website.  The answer is data.  Not just data, but GOOD data!  Inaccurate data is not much better than no data at all.

So how does good data have an impact like autotrac or section control?  Good data is the inside information you need to help you make informed decisions about every acre within your operation.  All of you know that there are productive and not-as-productive areas in each of your fields.  But the question is not just how productive or not-so-productive, but how big is the good area and where and how much does it change as you move out of the highly productive area?  Even better, why does it change?  Can we fix it? Is there something holding back the sweet spots from getting even better?  The list could go on and on.  Treating every acre of the field the same, or flat rate application, of seed, fertilizer, nitrogen, lime, etc. does not make agronomic sense, especially in these economic times. Knowing what each acre is putting in your pocket will be of paramount importance going forward.

I will admit that the amount of information that can be gleaned from yield maps, soil tests, application data, etc. is mind boggling and can be intimidating.  The question you are probably asking, is how do I know when, where, and how much change to make?  The only way to answer this question is to have a good “data bank” of past history from each field.  This can then be used by you or a trusted advisor to guide your decisions. As with anything of value, good data takes time and effort to collect.  The good news is that nearly every combine/planter/application tool built within the last 10+ years has the ability to collect the data you need to build your data bank.  The even better news is that most customers already have the majority of the equipment they need to complete these tasks!

Another storm on the horizon is the political climate (pun intended!) in Washington.  As fewer folks in the general population actually understand production agriculture, greater imposition on your use of commercial fertilizers, chemicals, etc. will be the focus of many state houses and in Washington.  Has anyone seen a news story about the algae bloom in the Gulf as an example? The ability to show, on an acre by acre basis, how accurately and efficiently you use inputs will be extremely valuable, if and when the rules change.

So where do we go from here?  Make a point to start or continue to collect good data from this point forward!  Calibrate and post calibrate your combine yield monitor, record your as-applied planting rates and varieties, and obtain the as-applied fertilizer maps from your ASP (Ag Service Provider).  All of this needs to be in an electronic format so it can be used later on.  Find someone to help you clean up your data if you are not able or willing to do it yourself.  Sloan Implement offers a basic data service that allows you to begin to collect GOOD data without even owning a computer, all while using the GPS equipment you already own.  You can see more info on Sloan’s Data Management service here.  John Deere has a website, www.myjohndeere.com, where you can store and view the data as well from any smart phone or tablet and share it with only those you choose.  Finally, find a trusted advisor to help you interpret the data and help you make informed decisions.

In conclusion, even if you think you are not ready for all of this, start collecting good data now!  Remember my questions at the beginning of the article?  How many of you had an autotrac system 10 or even 5 years ago?  The difference now is that you could get into an autotrac system whenever you made the decision to do so.  Collecting data takes time.  You have seen how fast the last 10 years has changed.  Imagine what the next 5 or 10 years has in store.
Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

Northern IL Harvest Update and New RTK Towers in IL and Iowa

4 New Sloan RTK Towers in IL and IA

by Josh Zuck, Lanark, IL 

Harvest in Northern IL is well underway. Some guys are finished, but most are over half way done. Yields have been really good for most of the area in corn and beans. Guys are getting NH3 bars ready, but the ground is still too warm to apply gas.  The weather was very nice for most of the fall allowing for a smooth harvest.  The forecast is 70 degrees Monday thru Wednesday. Not bad for the first week of November!

Our Freeport RTK base was having some issues and was down for a couple of days. It is back up and going, but with a new frequency. If you were running off of that base and need that frequency, call your local Sloans AMS specialist for updated frequency.   We are putting four new RTK base stations up next week. They will be in Thomson, Erie, Rock Falls, and Andover, IA. If you are interested in RTK please get with one of us and we can gladly help.  You can also get more RTK information on our website by clicking here.

I would like to also take this time and welcome Bill Lodge to the AMS team. Bill will be working out of the new Fulton location. Bill has been working at the Fulton store for some time now as their service manager. Bill knows a lot of the customers in the area and will make it an easy transition. If you see Bill, be sure to welcome him to his new role.

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Learn more at www.sloans.com