A Texas farmer describes how he uses POINT®, REAP™ and PULSE™ to get a live picture of everything that’s happening during harvest.
Allen Meissner knows a lot about change. A fourth-generation farmer outside Bartlett, Texas, he farms 6,000 acres of corn and wheat with his dad, Billy Meissner, and runs a cow-calf operation.
As crop science and technology have evolved, so have the Meissners’ operations. In his grandfather’s time, for example, the family grew mostly cotton. That all changed in the early 1990s as corn hybrids became more drought-tolerant.
Today Allen Meissner uses other advancements to make the family farm more profitable and efficient. Last spring he began using our POINT®, REAP™ and PULSE™ products to minimize administrative burdens on employees during harvest time and to access a total view of his farm right from the seat of his combine.
“While I’ve had Scale-Tec’s load cells and scale heads on my grain carts for years, I just recently learned about POINT, REAP and PULSE,” says Meissner. While POINT can be used by itself to accurately weigh grain in the field, Meissner liked the idea of being able to see and manage his entire harvest no matter where he was on the farm, so he decided to take advantage of all three applications during his wheat harvest this May.
Easy Setup to Ease Administrative Burdens
“The setup was pretty easy,” says Meissner, who runs seven trucks, two combines and two grain carts during a typical harvest. After setting up POINT on his grain carts, Meissner connected the scale indicators to REAP, our cloud-based harvest inventory management platform. REAP allowed Meissner to access and organize the weight records from POINT, all while keeping track of storage destinations and field totals. Meanwhile he could instantly sync all this data with his and his farm staff’s iPads.
PULSE, which automates the recordkeeping process by sensing load transfers from the grain cart to a truck, has eased harvest-time burdens on Meissner’s employees. “PULSE makes it more convenient not having to remember to hit a ‘record’ button,” he says. “It eliminates room for error, and it was really easy to train our employees. They just select the truck and go.”
“PULSE provides a real in-field benefit,” explains Nick Von Muenster, our president at Scale-Tec. “It takes some burdens off employees at a critical time when everyone is working long days with a lot of stuff to remember and do.”
With the REAP platform, Meissner can enter the total amount of grain storage capacity at each facility. “As the day goes by,” he explains, “I can check when I need to switch bins or see when an auger needs to be moved long before the trucks leave the fields.”
“If I know I’m going to a 60,000-bushel bin, I know it’s going to be full before the guy at the auger does,” Meissner remarks. “I don’t have to rely on him calling to tell me to switch the bin. That allows us to plan ahead and move the auger sooner.”
Manage the Field from the Combine Seat
Meissner says he appreciates the powerful combination of POINT, REAP and PULSE, which gives him real-time data right from his iPad. “I can dump grain on the cart until it has just the right amount and then turn the combine off,” he says. “This way the truck never carries too much grain or too little grain. I can dump the perfect amount on the grain cart every time.”
“Being able to keep an eye on storage from the combine is a game changer for us,” Meissner adds. “It’s going to make us more efficient, as it lets me keep a constant eye on things.”
Meissner says POINT, REAP and PULSE have overhauled the way he runs a harvest. “In the past, the grain cart driver would have to always call the grain elevator operator [to verify weight data],” he says. “It never failed that every year something would get screwed up on at least two or three fields with missing loads, for example.”
But with REAP, Meissner can look at historical data, verify it and make corrections where necessary. “REAP even records the GPS location where every load was dumped,” he says.
An Ecosystem of Benefits
“Using POINT, REAP and PULSE together is an ecosystem combined for one end result,” says Von Muenster. “If you just need a basic scale on your grain cart and don’t need advanced inventory management, just get POINT. But then a year or two down the road, you can subscribe to REAP for inventory management and then get PULSE for auto-reporting of weight.
“It’s not an all-in-or-nothing approach,” Von Muenster adds.
Meissner is looking forward to using POINT, REAP and PULSE with his corn harvest in the fall.
“Scale-Tec’s technologies give me peace of mind as well as a completely live picture of what’s going on around the farm during harvest,” he says. “If I want to know what’s happening right now, I can refresh the page and see everything in real time.”