AKRS Harvest Academy programs help producers stay efficient

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Technology is here to stay when it comes to farm equipment, and a special program is helping producers brush up on their knowledge before harvest begins.

We caught up with Kyle Afrank, who is the precision ag director for AKRS Equipment. We visited a harvest academy sponsored by AKRS. “With our harvest academies, we are really trying to refresh, train, and teach our customers as we prepare for the harvest season,” Afrank said. “A lot of times, we run these combines one to two months out of the year. We haven’t sat in these machines for ten months. So, how do we prepare ourselves for the first day of harvest? How do we make sure we are running this technology correctly? There is quite a bit of technology on these machines, and we need to understand how it works so we can use it correctly.”

Afrank says understanding the technology on today’s combines can help producers be more efficient. “I relate it to our smartphones,” Afrank said. “We get good at using our smartphones because we use them every day. When we think of our displays, and our on-board computers on these machines, it’s really a smartphone. But it’s that struggle of being unfamiliar with it. A lot of it is just remembering how to navigate through the displays.”

Pure Nebraska visited the Kiplinger Arena in McCook to see one of these harvest academies. “We’ve offered this at eight different locations across Nebraska in the last month,” Afrank said. “We’ve covered the southeast, the northeast, north central, and now here in McCook for our final harvest academy of the year. Within these academies, we are going to run stations around our headers, and new changes there. We will also take a look at service points. We will walk around the machines, look at adjustment points, and talk about such things as service intervals.”

Although the McCook event was the last harvest academy of the season, they are going to be offered in the spring as well. Those will highlight planting and spraying. “People can always find more information about the harvest academies on the AKRS.com website,” Afrank said.