13:05 PM

Stigge Tills New Ground with Ag Software

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Man has been planting crops for a good, long time (Since about 9500 BC, according to some). So how do you innovate in a space where the soil has been turned over so many times?

Software, of course.

Drew Stigge, a Data Analyst and Precision Ag Salesman for Plains Equipment Group in Lincoln, Nebraska, for over six years, is a student in Bellevue University’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program. He is using the skills he picked up and refined in his coursework to help farmers maximize their yield.

“What I enjoy most about my job is helping growers leverage the agronomic data that they have been gathering to help them make changes in their organization or operation which could in turn have a positive impact on their bottom line,” he said.  “It’s most satisfying to me to show them the analytics for the first time and they see the opportunities they have set before them.”

There has been a growing emphasis on the agronomic data that growers have been collecting, but Stigge believes that the many companies are missing out on providing information on how the grower can make positive changes in their operation for gains.

“What we have created is a way to provide analytics of the data to show growers where making certain changes in their operation can either lead to savings or gains to their bottom line,” explained Stigge.  An example of this, Stigge said, is how fast a grower plants corn through the field.  Because speed impacts how the planter is being pulled through the field, which in turn effects where the seed gets placed in the seed bed, this ultimately can affect emergence of the corn plant in a positive or negative way.  “One of my growers has followed my advice,” Stigge said, “and has gained over $11,000 on this one change alone by changing his speed 0.25-0.50 mph.”

“There are many more analytics that we can create to get the grower to think outside the box with their operation.  Because of the neutral stance we take on these recommendations, we purely want the grower to get the most out of what they’re doing.”

Stigge earned his Associate’s degree at Southeast Community College in Lincoln. After doing some research, Stigge discovered Bellevue University would meet his needs in his quest to earn his bachelor’s degree.

“I knew that I needed to find a path that would allow me to take classes online for completion,” he said. “I have always been curious how things are built or created regarding software and technology and the CIS program is structured in such a way that it allows the individual to choose the path that most interests them.”

Stigge praised the efforts of Dr. Karla Carter who led his Ethics in Information Technology course.

“She stood out to me because she would take the time to discuss the topics that I presented for assignments,” Stigge said. “She would try and take the topic and make me see it from different viewpoints to try and take an objective view.”

Now, Stigge is just two classes away from completing his degree.

“Earning the degree will mean validation more than anything,” Stigge said. “It will prove what my parents have said to me my whole life about achieving anything I desired.”

That degree will represent a fruitful harvest, indeed!