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three men standing in field in front of a John Deere combine

"We took over about ten years ago, and we've been working with Dad (center) now, who is our wise owl, to help us on the business. We've been expanding it steadily, working in partnership with John Deere," says Tim Rethus (left), with brother Luke (right).

Ag Tech   June 01, 2023



Saving money and ensuring sustainability with John Deere Precision Ag.

Brothers Tim and Luke Rethus are third-generation farmers in Wimmera—a region in west-central Victoria, Australia. The Rethus family has farmed there since 1947. Tim and Luke have been working to expand their farm, with help from their father Geoff, and John Deere Precision Ag.

"Precision Ag is about taking some of that subjectivity out of your business decisions. We're using it to make scientific-based decisions with real, true data and that's making our job easier," says Tim.

The farming in their area is very diverse. "It's rain-fed agriculture, so things grow only if the rain falls from the sky. We grow crops in winter. Over summer it's hot…so not much grows. So, we have the opportunity to grow one crop per year. We grow wheat, barley, canola, and lentils. We can do peas, we can do chickpeas, we can grow vetch, we can decide to grow crops for hay—so this diverse rotation is good for our soil and sustainability," explains Tim. And they're using John Deere Precision Ag to ensure they remain sustainable—but profitable, too.

"We've got to be smarter and there's a duty of care as well. This is our land, we've been here three generations, we want to ensure it's looked after for the future," he says.

"The digital tools allow us to micromanage every hectare without physically being there," Tim says proudly. "John Deere has the tightest integration with digital tools, and it covers a wide base of equipment. So, instead of having 20 different platforms, we've got one platform that does 95% of what we need to do." Luke is quick to encourage others, too. "I'd suggest the first thing is get an Operations Center account, just get a login, it's free, start using it, start putting your fields in, start recording and capturing your data. That's probably the easiest thing to do." ‡

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