The ag version of a rags to riches story just occurred last week when Monsanto announced that it will purchase Precision Planting, Inc., for $250 million. Precision Planting, located in Tremont, Ill., is Monsanto’s first purchase of a precision technology company.
Gregg Sauder and his wife Cindy started Precision Planting in 1993. They took their new technology designed to improve planter performance to the major farm shows. I remember seeing the Sauders and their family in a modest tent at Farm Progress Shows years ago. Gradually, the products grew in popularity and the Precision Planting booth expanded.
In recent years, the company developed popular precision planting products like SeedSense (http://farmindustrynews.com/planters/money-saving-monitor ) that offered a wealth of planting information that had not been available. This year, the company added another first for agriculture. They designed an iPad app called Field View that allows the iPad to act as a secondary monitor and processor, as well as a mobile scouting and office computing tool (http://farmindustrynews.com/precision-farming/precision-planting-launches-ipad-monitor-application ).
Monsanto reports in its news release that Precision Planting will be part of Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems unit. Monsanto’s chief technology officer Robb Fraley was quoted as saying that because Monsanto is focused on yield, it is positioned to advance the latest planting technology applications and work with its seed dealers, Precision Planting dealers and leading equipment companies to achieve this.
Sauder stated, “Monsanto delivers yield through genetics and traits. Together, we can develop the advanced planting technologies that accurately deliver the optimum genetics to each square foot of soil.”
The purchase should be completed this summer. Visit www.monsanto.com  for more information.