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Turn Farm Fields Into Giant Billboards
We recently got a phone call from John Jamison of Poolesville, Maryland, who believes the idea of “crop advertising” has big potential.
  He has applied for a patent on the idea of instructing a planter to plant seeds at designated GPS coordinates on a map to create a design visible from overhead as plants grow.
  “I think it could be a great way for farmers to get additional income and might create a whole new industry,” says Jamison. “All you’d need is a commercially available software package and a planter that has the capability to plant in variable patterns. ”
  Jamison’s idea is to plant “Pepsi” or “Coke”, for example, on the side of a hill next to a highway or airport, creating a giant billboard. You could plant 2 different wheat varieties to provide the contrast, or even plant different color crops.
  “On CRP ground, you could use a GPS-guided sicklebar mower to mow the field at 2 different times to get different stages of growth. On desert ground, you could use a chisel plow to etch a picture,” says Jamison.
  “You could make a mosaic in the field, and even put multiple fields together. That might be necessary in areas where airplanes are so high up that you can’t see individual fields, but you could see a conglomeration of fields.
  “The Atlanta airport gets about 65 million passengers per year and Chicago 45 million. If just 30 percent of airline passengers saw your ad, you’d have millions of views. If you were able to charge advertisers 10 cents per view, it could be very lucrative.”
  Turns out, Precision Agri Services in Minster, Ohio has already been experimenting with the idea of making pictures in a corn field. You can see one design - the company’s logo of a tractor pulling a planter - in the photo above. Richard Schlipf, company president, planted 2 different corn hybrids to create the giant emblem.
  “We did this just to see if it could be done and had no idea if it would work,” says Schlipf. “We planted 107 and 110-day hybrids. We used a drone to take photos just as the 107-day hybrid tasseled but before the 110-day hybrid tassled, to see how it looked from the air.
  “We used photos of the emblem at winter farmer meetings to teach customers about the multi-hybrid planting system we’ve developed. It helps to illustrate that if you have different soil types in a field you can plant those soil types to different hybrids. We’ve been experimenting with a special ‘multi-hybrid’ seed meter that can switch between 2 different hybrids at the same time.”  
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Jamison, Poolesville, Md. (ph 301 366-8530; Farmerjohn83@ymail.com); or Richard Schlipf, Precision Agri Services (ph 574 518-4693; rich@schlipfprecisionag.com; www.schlipfprecisionag.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6