Winfield has announced significant upgrades this fall to its R7 Tool that will likely be gaining some attention. The Web-based precision planning tool for the farm has been launched as an iPad app and has all the same functionality as the original tool.

“When you push the buttons, it hits all the same databases, and it’s truly doing the exact same thing as the web-based version. It’s not just a field viewer like some other apps,” said Dave Gebhardt, director of agronomic data and technology, Winfield.

R7 has been available for Winfield dealers since fall of 2011, and it allows growers without extensive yield and soil sampling records to try out variable-rate seeding and fertility. Growers work with their dealers to develop those prescriptions by using historical satellite images to identify management zones.

Two additional upgrades coming soon include the integration of profitability and field response maps, which will help growers understand their profit potentials.

“It helps a farmer talk through each field with their agronomist, to help understand the efficiency and profitability of that prescription versus what their yield goal expectations were,” Gebhardt said.

Winfield has also announced that it now has an established pricing structure for dealers. Those that have signed up for the free trial period, which totaled about 350 dealers, will now need to sign a new pricing agreement in order to offer R7 to growers. Gebhardt says he thinks Winfield will end up with around 200 dealers participating under the new agreement, with plans to expand in the coming years. Each retailer will then establish pricing for its own  local precision ag program for their customers.

The company has made a significant investment in enhancing R7, so it may not be a surprise to some dealers that the pricing structure is now in place. The agronomic data in the tool is drawn from 200 Answer Plots throughout the country, and Gebhardt says the tool uses a 10-year archive of satellite images to develop the prescription maps for growers. And a team of around 25 Winfield employees focuses solely on the development, training, and field support of R7 throughout the country.

Gebhardt also hinted at some major projects coming up in the next few years that will allow R7 to be integrated into other software platforms.

“We know that our data and information can still help people that are already using other software platforms. So we’re going to really focus on how to integrate the insights and data and services that come through R7,” Gebhardt says.

Winfield is recently underway on a major project with Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Solutions (IFS) group. Gebhardt said that his team is working on integrating Monsanto’s Fieldscripts into R7.

“That’s an example of what we’re trying to do to make life easier for farmers and our dealers,” says Gebhardt. “You can obviously work directly with Monsanto through their agents to order FieldScripts, but if you’re in R7, our goal [for 2014] is to be able to order and get FieldScripts through R7 as well.”

For more information on the R7 Tool, contact your Winfield dealer, or visit winfield.com.

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