Precision specialists often wear many hats — technician, salesperson, business owner, farmer. Bruce West barely has enough closet space for all the hats he wears as owner of West Enterprises, an independent dealer in western Illinois.

Bruce was nice enough to give us a peek behind the curtain during one of his busiest weeks of the year. 

He drives about 250 miles a day visiting customers across the state. He starts a busy morning off with a visit to an organic farm, to check out a customer’s new Treffler precision tine harrow in action for the first time, killing weeds after soybean planting.  

Next up — he stops by some longtime strip-tillers, who are interested in adding Speedtubes to their planter. Bruce checks out their setup and sees what they need so he can build a quote for the order.

Then after a quick stop at Subway…he visits a no-tilling father-son duo, to make sure everything’s going smoothly with their new Ag Leader Right Spot sprayer technology. Bruce is always trying to stay ahead of the curve — I asked him what the next big thing in precision ag will be. 

“We all talk about autonomy, whether it’s the individual tractor or swarm technology, that’s the thing we’re talking about. But that’s still probably 5-10 years away. We’re looking at some things in the interim. Right now it appears to me the optical related items are the next big thing. I also feel that mainstream is going to mean more of the pulse and sprayer type products, using PWM technology for nozzles to control droplet size and improve accuracy of coverage. That’s going to be more of a mainstream thing in the next 1-3 years.” 

We’ll have more insight from Bruce during the next edition of Day in the Cab in the upcoming summer issue of Precision Farming Dealer.