One year ago, John Deere revealed its new ExactShot technology. It uses sensors and robotics to place starter fertilizer precisely onto seeds as they are planted in the soil, rather than applying a continuous flow of fertilizer to the entire row of seeds. What is currently happening with this groundbreaking technology, and when will farmers be able to use it? Future Farming asked John Deere 11 questions about ExactShot.
Is ExactShot already available to farmers?
Currently ExactShot is available on a limited release basis for the 2024 planting season. We’ve partnered with a number of farmers throughout the US who will be running the system on their planters for the 2024 season. As we move forward, availability will become more widespread in the US.
In which countries will this new technology be rolled out?
Currently ExactShot is only available in the US, but we will continue to explore how it meets the needs of other farmers around the world.
Can you give an indication of the price of ExactShot?
Official pricing has not been released.
How has interest been in the technology so far?
We have received excellent feedback on the technology. We recently wrapped up our fall farm show season here in the US and during those shows we had the technology on display in the John Deere booth. Many customers stopped by the booth to see the system on display and ask questions about it.
How does the technology exactly work? Can it be retrofitted to existing planters?
For the limited release, the ExactShot system was only offered as a precision upgrade kit (retrofit kit). One of the main requirements for the ExactShot system is that the planter must have the John Deere ExactEmerge brush belt technology which allows the farmer to track the seed from the seed meter right to the furrow, so that the system knows where the dose of starter fertilizer needs to be placed.
I read that ExactShot can help to solve the problem of increasing labor shortages, increase production, and shorten growing time windows? Can you say something about this?
With the reduction in starter fertilizer utilized with ExactShot, customers are able to complete more acres before needing to stop and refill with someone on a tending truck.
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Is there a go-to starter formula?
It is best for customers to work with their local agronomist to see what formulas work best for their soil and nutrient loads.
The announcement gave an indication of the possible results of the application of this technology. Is there more detailed information about research and results available?
Currently, our internal studies have shown that we are able to dose at a rate that equals 66% less gallons of fertilizer per acre and maintain, or even increase in some cases, the yields that one would get with the use of a continuous in-furrow application system. There will be some third-party data coming out soon that backs up these claims.
Is there feedback available from a farmer or several farmers about the use of ExactShot?
We are in the process of gathering that information and will have it available at the 2024 Commodity Classic. Since there were only test farms using the program in 2023, that information will not be available until the event.
What sort of digestible data about the planting process does ExactShot provide to farmers?
ExactShot gives farmers a coverage map, just like they would get today with their current fertilizer system.
Can ExactShot be used in combination with Furrow Vision?
Currently, you cannot run ExactShot and FurrowVision together on a planter, due to the fact they both reside in the same area of the machine.