It’s Farm Talk Technology Tuesday and Calby Beckstrand is back on the air with Mick Kjar. Farm Talk provides ag companies, just like us, a chance to share all the current agriculture news, products, and events. On this week’s Farm Talk, Calby shared a little bit about how Intelligent Ag became what it is today as well as our upcoming new product launches.
Intelligent Ag started a little over a decade ago by looking for problems in the agricultural space that we knew we could bring a solution to for farmers. Today, Intelligent Ag is getting ready to unveil even more of our new spraying technology. Sticking with that Recon product family, our new spraying technology is keeping spraying simple.
To learn more about the story of Intelligent Ag and about all of the new product lines headed your way, see what Calby had to share with Mick.
Click here to listen to the Farm Talk Podcast or read the transcript below.
Mick Kjar: Thank you much. Welcome back Farm Talk. I’m Mick Kjar on Technology Tuesday which is brought to you by our good friends at the High Plains Apache. Every Tuesday we talk technology and man, in this business, there is so much technology. And probably the first technology you are going to utilize this spring is with your air seeder. Let’s visit with the folks from Intelligent Ag. Calby Beckstrand joins us. Hello Calby.
Calby Beckstrand: Hello again Nick, long time no talk.
Mick: Yeah all the way, a couple of weeks ago, in Minot at the K.M.O.T.’s. Hey, that was a great show, wasn’t it?
Calby: It was a great show. Good to see more attendance for sure.
Mick: Yeah, a lot of people getting together and just talking farming. Let’s do a little recon here, literally. Well first, before we talk about the product that you have called Recon, talk about what all does Intelligent Ag do?
Calby: Intelligent Ag started a little over a decade ago. Really looking for problems in the agricultural space that we knew we could bring a solution to for farmers. The first one which is our flagship product was the Recon Wireless Blockage & Flow Monitor System. That is just detection for blockages on air seeders. We weren’t the first people to come up with the idea, but we were the first to come up with that idea using acoustic technology. That’s been pretty cool. So, that’s really what Intelligent Ag does. We look for problems in that ag space that we can bring good solid solutions to that are valuable to the farmer. That’s a goal at the end of the day.
Mick: Usually, that involves an engineer. But it sounds like you need an acoustic engineer, a computer engineer, and a mechanical engineer to get that job done.
Calby: Well, we got quite a few engineers on staff. That’s for sure. Actually, believe it or not, the majority are in software engineering. Making sure that you can relay all that information on most of our systems and our product lines utilizing an iPad application. That information is being displayed right there digitally for the customer. We think that’s pretty cool and it’s always user friendly.
Mick: Of course, and making it simple, right?
Calby: We don’t need things that are more complicated than us in this world anymore.
Mick: The kiss method good idea. Keep it simple silly.
Calby: Yeah, we’ll go silly.
Mick: I see you expanded from air seeders to dry fertilizer applicators. This is also a big area for farmers. Utilizing the air and movement of product through a tube to get it down into the ground.
Calby: Yeah exactly. We took that acoustic technology and we brought it to the dry boom application states. We put a sensor on the back of the deflectors since we just listen for that product as it’s coming. That’s been a huge advantage for guys to be able to pay attention to the field versus you know, looking back constantly or watching cameras perhaps. That was really the only way to see the center of the of the boom behind the entire chassis right of the big floating equipment. We really are bringing attention and focus back to what the offerings can do. And that’s paying attention so we’re not running into trees, your telephone poles, or fence lines. Or all the other obstacles that are there around you.
Mick: Lots of lots of data going on there around you. Big tanks, big air seeders, and big booms. Guys should be able to focus on and what he’s doing but yeah, we spend all this money on air seeders or fertilizer applicators, and it should work doggone it. But sometimes it doesn’t and when it doesn’t, that takes an expensive problem.
Calby: When you see that you have that blockage on your air seeder even blockage on your flower, you’re losing ROI right there. You’ve spent that money on the machine now you’re not getting the crop that you expected to get. We’re just trying to give that reassurance and peace of mind feeling back to the operator or owner of the farm himself.
Mick: Now we talked about the air seeder and fertilizer applicator, how about spraying technology?
Calby: That’s right. We will be unveiling even more of our new spraying technology which is along the same lines but sticking with that Recon product family. Which that’s what we’re doing right. We’re doing some reconnaissance. What we’re doing on the sprayers now is we’re putting a pressure and flow sensor right at the tip of the nozzle, right on the nozzle body itself. What that allows the customer to see is to ensure that he is getting the correct droplets size out of that straight path right. If he’s got any ware on that nozzle it’s going to be known. You’re going to see more flow coming out of that novel. A lot of times what happens is you have these flow monitors on sprayers, but they might be on a section basis or maybe right at the palm something like that. Not just, “Oh we have a pressure loss and I have no idea where it is. I gotta go out spray chemicals check my novel.” We’re gonna tell you exactly which nozzle and what the problem is.
Mick: Does it tell you exactly what droplet size is. Do they have a number that it displays?
Calby: It is based on the simplicity of math. Believe it or not, math was important in school. Just with a little math between that pressure and flow that we’re watching, we can determine the droplet sizes coming out. We have a full set of nozzle tips already in, embedded into the software of the application, so you select the correct nozzle tip based on your selection. We already know what droplets size it can achieve. After you are reading the pressure info and you go ahead and say alright, am I achieving or not achieving the correct objectives?
Mick: All right, they’re pretty simple. Keep it simple.
Calby: We do the math for you. That’s right.
Mick: That’s why I got into radio. I was told there’d be no math but there is now and then. Is this an aftermarket product that you can apply to any color sprayer?
Calby: Yep, so we’re gonna be starting out with launching this on Hypro Nozzle Body’s. Later this year we will be Teejet and Wilger, and that would cover the majority of the market for nozzle bodies. For us, it’s pretty streamline but we want to make sure we have all of our I’s dotted T’s crossed right before we just launch into the world. We are doing our due diligence over here making sure we’re giving the correct information and go over the best user experience about user interphase.
Mick: Pretty cool. Well, all right. It’s Recon and Engage and those are for air seeders, dry fertilizer applicators, and of course sprayers. So good stuff then. And where are you available, do you have a lot of retailers to handle your equipment?
Calby: Absolutely. We stretch actually all the way from Texas to Alberta. We got quite the dealer network that we’ve built up over the last decade and continue to expand that. If you need to figure out where to find us or where to buy our products, you can access our dealer locator on our website at https://intelligentag.com/dealer-locator/.
Mick: All right. Visiting with the Calby Beckstrand from Intelligent Ag, you’re based out of Fargo?
Calby: We’re right here in Fargo. We’re in the Robo Extension Valley. That’s the new, electronics or precision ag for you know, kind of like Silicon Valley over in California, but this is this is the Silicon Valley of agriculture over here.
Mick: Right here in the heart of the breadbasket, up and down the Red River Valley. Hey congratulations, you were nominated for the Ag Innovation award at the Agri Trade Equipment Expo. Just being nominated is pretty cool. You were one of the top five finalists, how did you do?
Calby: You know word is, keeping it on the down low I guess, but word is that we were a close second. There was some pretty cool technology going on there and a lot of times its guys build that stuff out of the shop. It was pretty cool to be nominated of course and of course we’re always trying to do things. It’s not about the nomination right, but it’s about making sure that we’re bringing solutions to those farmers.
Mick: For sure, and farmers need solutions, and they want to keep it simple like you said. Now how about supply. You know the supply chain issue; things are not available. We order something well maybe you can get it in 23 sometime. How are you doing, if somebody wants your products how quick can you get to them?
Calby: I would talk to your territory manager for sure. But we are still delivering right now and within 2022. I think we’re about a couple months out right now. We’re hiring extra people to make sure we take care of our backlog. The combination of the supply chain and sales increasing, nothing makes it challenging.
Mick: For sure, yeah. The world we live in has changed significantly. Intelligent Ag’s Calby Beckstrand on. Again, you can find a lot of your information on your website.
Calby: Yep, you can see all of our products on our website including our new Recon SpraySense™ at https://intelligentag.com/spraysense/ . If you have any questions, you can find our contact information on there as well.
Mick: Just talk to your local retailer about Intelligent Ag. He should be a selling Intelligent Ag stuff. Calby, well you have a great 2022 thank you for a great visit on the technology that you provide farmers. Appreciate it.
Calby: Absolutely thanks Mick.
Mick: You are welcome.