AgTerra Through the Years
The month of March marks a new year for AgTerra. Fifteen years have come and gone, and now we’re on our 16th year! What better way to celebrate than with a trip down memory lane? As a company that has always been rooted in the technology world, AgTerra has had its fair share of successes and failures, both of which has made the company what it is today. Whether it was developing a new reporting system or upgrading components on our hardware, each accomplishment and stumbling block was driven by a single commitment:
To help customers solve problems, both in the field and in the office.
AgTerra was started in March 2003 by Alan Telck. The office was based out of an old sugar mill in Sheridan, Wyoming.
(Our very first logo!)
AgTerra became an ESRI partner, paving the way for software and hardware collaboration with GIS data collection solutions. At the time, ArcPad devices were being used by AgTerra’s customers to collect spatial data for their AgTrac systems.
Joe Campbell also came on the team in 2004 as one of AgTerra’s first full-time programmers. Joe is celebrating his 15-year work anniversary this year!
Adventures with WriteTEQ
In early 2006, AgTerra introduced WriteTEQ as an innovative solution for customers to digitally preserve notes taken in the field.
The WriteTEQ system consisted of a specially designed pen that recorded microdots on a paper form. At the end of the day, the pen was placed in a dock that transferred the data to a computer where the data then had to be verified before it was transferred to the user’s desired database system.
Although the system performed well on many accounts, the verification process was time-intensive and ultimately led to the discontinuation of WriteTEQ in 2013.
SprayLogger Makes its Debut
The original SprayLogger boxes read off of a turbine flow sensor and required a keypad for entering applicator, equipment, target and tank mix information. A data shuttle was used to transfer spray data between the box and a computer. It sounds like a lot of work to us now!
Easier Mapping with MapItFast
GIS mapping software had made great strides over the years, however it was still quite cumbersome and complicated for field personnel. Taking feedback from customers and colleagues, AgTerra set out to develop a truly easy-to-use mapping solution. In 2012, MapItFast was born.
Forms Go Digital
The discontinuation of WriteTEQ led to the release of AgTerra’s new Strider Forms and Reporting system. Users could now fill out forms on a mobile device and send the data directly to a database.
Strider was initially developed as a standalone product, but as more and more customers discovered the value of MapItFast, AgTerra realized that merging the mapping element with Strider forms would create a truly powerful field data collection system.
Today, Strider and MapItFast provide the all-in-one package that customers have come to rely on for all of their spatial and tabular data collection needs.
End of the Turbine Era
Original SprayLogger boxes used turbine flow sensors, which were prone to sticking and malfunctions. In 2013, AgTerra moved to electromagnetic flow sensors made by Sika, which not only eliminated sticking issues caused by the mechanical turbine but also resulted in more accurate flow readings. Electromagnetic flow sensors are still used with today’s SprayLogger boxes.
AgTerra moved out of the sugar beet facility and into a new office building on Memorial Day 2015. The team is still enjoying their new “digs,” which are located within walking distance of historic downtown Sheridan, Wyoming.
Actual view from Google Maps – logo added for authenticity!
Expanding the Product Line
AgTerra introduced two new hardware products in 2017: SprayLogger Backpack and SnapMapper.
The backpack version of SprayLogger was a small box designed to be carried with applicators doing spot spray work in the field. It was designed to track the low flow rates and smaller chemical amounts typically associated with backpack applications.
SnapMapper was initially developed for use on harvest equipment, however due to its universal functionality, it was ultimately marketed as a quick and easy mapping solution for a wide array of applications. The SnapMapper product can map points and lines using a switch or trigger on any piece of equipment.
Making the Best Better
Last year saw tons of new developments in AgTerra’s software and hardware, including a FoggerLogger unit for mosquito abatement application, an easy online form builder for Strider and a new user interface for the SprayLogger website.
Sixteen Years and Going Strong
AgTerra continues to work every day to create solutions for our customers. Here’s to another sixteen years!
Christmas Photo 2018
Alan Telck (far left) loves Christmas photos almost as much as he loves his coffee!