For the past 2 ½ years, Heritage Agriculture has been giving Arkansas farmers a sky-high view of their fields to help identify potential trouble spots. The family-owned dealership, with five locations throughout the state, uses advanced drone technology to map customer fields.
“We’re very excited about this technology,” says Mike Linton, Heritage Agriculture General Manager. “It can help our customers change the way they go about farming to improve their productivity. We think it’s a game changer.”
Using a laptop computer, Heritage Ag first creates a geo-fence of the field to be mapped. The drone then creates its own flight path. “We can fly a 400-acre field in about 20 minutes,” Linton noted. “The imagery is then downloaded almost instantaneously. By the time we pick up the drone, we can hand out the field map to the customer.”
Linton said the drone’s infrared technology can detect plant stress 12 to 15 days before it could be seen by the naked eye. With that early warning, farmers can inspect the specific area of their field, consult with their agronomist and address any issues before they become major problems.
“We’re one of a handful of ag equipment dealers in the U.S. using this technology,” Linton said. “We feel like we’re an industry leader in helping to bring farming into the 21st century.”
New Board Member
Linton, a nearly 30-year veteran of the equipment industry, became a member of the Equipment Dealers Association’s board of directors this month. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve the EDA and its dealer members,” he said. “I’ll work hard to represent each and every one of them for the benefit of all dealers.”
Linton said he looks forward to tackling the many issues and challenges facing farmers and equipment dealers, including government regulations, manufacturer relations and the current ag equipment inventory glut, among others. “We’re facing so many obstacles. It’s a difficult time to be in farming or a dealer,” he said.
Heritage Agriculture’s Arkansas dealer locations include Hoxie, Carlisle, Stuttgart, Pocahontas and DeWitt. Linton joined the dealership in 1988 and since then has been involved in every facet of the operation, including parts, sales, service and management.
He also has dealer association leadership experience at the regional level, including serving as one of the first board members of the Southeast Equipment Dealers Association, of which he is currently a member.
Heritage Agriculture is a Case IH and Kubota dealership and also sells other equipment brands. For more information visit www.heritageag.net.