AgPro Podcast: Q&A With One of the Largest Application Dealers

With more than 35 years of experience working in the ag retail and application equipment sector, Arnie Sinclair is now leading the one-year-old Heartland AG Systems, which resulted from a merger of AG Systems Inc. and Heartland Ag–both of which had long legacies of serving ag retailers. ( Heartland Ag Systems )

How the merged companies support customers: 

“Prior to our merger, both companies had opened up new facilities within the last three years (one in Kansas and one in North Dakota), and these were both opened during the time of a depressed ag economy. But I think it demonstrates the commitment the companies have had to our industry and will continue to have. This is in addition to our call center employees, and we currently have over 110 service techs and precision specialists on staff to help meet our customers’ needs.”

How focusing on ag retailers has shaped the business:

“All of our application products, services, and manufactured products that we sell are the result of listening to our ag retail customers’ needs and providing those products and services to assist them in being more productive and profitable in their businesses. So customer focus is a big thing as is listening to our customers.”

Two key drivers for change in the future: 

“Technology will continue to be a driver in the future, whether that is the improved controllers, steering assistance, ways to better manage your fleet or ways to prescribe and accurately apply the product. And second, you’ll see the need to increase the productivity and profitability of equipment. And you’re going to see that with the introduction of wider booms, wider swaths whether it’s a dry applicator or liquid.”

Outlook for the machinery market: 

“I believe we would have seen more of an increase in demand even last year if not for the unusually wet conditions across our footprint. Leasing of equipment continues to increase as our customers look at ways of having equipment to meet the demands of their customers while managing cost of ownership and return on investment. That’s being evaluated with each piece of equipment purchased. I believe the used equipment market probably hit its low point in 2015 and is rebounding. We’re seeing increased activity in our used equipment market just within the last six to eight months, which is very positive.”