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Research farm specifics revealed

The future site of the Precision Planting research farm in Pontiac is shown Monday afternoon / CIFN photo.

PONTIAC – Farmers from all over the world will be able to utilize a 200-acre research farm coming to the west side of Pontiac this year.

The Precision Planting venture will include agronomy testing on most of the ground, while a small area will be reserved for ride and drive activities.

“We’ll have equipment on display so farmers can actually use it,” explained Jason Webster, commercial agronomist for the company. “We think this is going to be a nice location for us.”

The land stretches all the way from Interstate 55 on the west side to Countryside Lane to the east while a mobile office will be placed at the center of the farm. Research studies will focus on corn fertility, high-speed planting and tillage practices. Some plots will be irrigated to help boost yields and cover crops will be examined as well.

“The opportunities are endless,” Webster added.

A highlight for the research center will be the unique hands-on demonstrations, allowing farmers to climb in the equipment and try it out. For example, growers will be able to experience planting at 12 miles per hour while looking at planter performance on a cab display. According to Webster, any Precision Planting Premier dealer can schedule a field day on the farm this summer for their customers.

“This is what’s going to make agronomy well rounded,” Webster said.

A hot topic at winter meetings is Precision Planting’s new seed firmer with optic sensors which can record soil moisture at planting time. Adjustments can be made directly from the cab. A new cab display was also revealed by the company at this year’s Winter Conference held near Tremont.

Webster was the speaker at a Lunch and Learn event hosted by the Pontiac Area Chamber of Commerce at the Hampton Inn of Pontiac Monday. The chamber is teaming up with the local Farm Bureau to host more ag-related events in the future. Another Lunch and Learn is planned for June.

Pontiac city officials have expressed excitement at the likelihood of the new Precision Planting facility bringing more visitors to town.

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