Drew Lakner, Lakner Farms
Drew Lakner is a 5th generation farmer working in his family’s operation. Lakner Farms has been working with the Innovation Center for several seasons and has come to count on the reliability and dedication we deliver. As Drew says, “The Innovation Center crew is willing to come out and help whether it’s 7 o’clock in the morning or 11 o’clock at night. Anytime an issue arises, there’s no hesitation. Their crew supports the products that they sell and they stand behind you and support you the whole way.”
A few years ago, we approached Drew with the opportunity to test some brand new technology at the time: multi-hybrid meters to add to his planter. This would give Lakner Farms the precision they needed to plant different hybrids on highly variable soils for both corn and soybeans.
Drew has been very happy with the results. He explains, “We’ve seen increased yield and also reduced costs due to being able to plant an offensive or defensive blend where we need it.”
At the Innovation Center, we like to stay on the cutting edge of precision agriculture to help our growers be as profitable as possible. We love working with forward-thinking growers like Drew who are not only willing to explore precision ag, but will take their operation to the next level by implementing new technologies. Drew explains, “We’d never done anything like the multi-hybrid planter before but we were comfortable with trying it because the crew was there to support us the whole time. We’ve been able to run day and night to help maximize the efficiency of the new system.”
We’ve tackled some pretty complex cases at the Innovation Center, but Drew approached us with an idea that we’d never seen before. After Drew had seen what the multi-hybrid technology was capable of, he wanted to use it to write a message in a field.
The prescription called for Drew to plant two different soybean varieties that would appear as different shades of brown, making his message very clear. What was the message? Well, when Drew went to scout his crops late in the season, he flew a drone overhead to show his girlfriend. The message Drew had planted several months earlier read, “Marry me?”
We understand that each operation is unique and has different needs. Our goal is to ensure we are pairing the right equipment and technology for each grower and their operation. Even for challenges we’ve never seen before, such as using new technology to plan and create a heartfelt gesture for a grower, we do whatever it takes to figure it out.
We call that a successful prescription for what matters most.