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CLIENT NEWS: Ag companies form technologically robust partnership

Ag companies form technologically robust partnership

Hill Laboratories and Ballance Agri-Nutrients have formed an exclusive partnership giving Hill Laboratories sole rights to the Ballance co-op's soil and herbage testing from 1 August.

Ballance general manager of sales, Campbell Parker, says together the companies have plans to use new technology to help Ballance reps and their farmer customers make better nutrient management decisions using robust data that's now at their fingertips.

"Hill Laboratories has recently developed a mobile app, currently in the testing phase, that will transform the soil sample collection process from paper to digital," Parker said.

"Once officially launched later this month, the app will allow our nutrient specialists to request, via their mobile phone, soil tests from Hill Laboratories and submit all related details for testing.

Ballance requests a combined total of around 40,000 soil tests and herbage tests for its farming customers each year.

"The partnership between our two companies essentially allows data to be shared digitally; saving us a whole lot of paperwork and giving us both faster access to current and historical information for the benefit of the farmer," he said.

Parker said the app also uses GPS coordinates to tag soil testing results to the exact locations where samples were gathered.

"Using GPS coordinates our field team can enter soil sample information for each site on a farmer's property into the app, where they can easily access and compare it over time."

Hill Laboratories' general manager of commercial, Bart Challis, said the company developed the app to cater to farmers' increasing reliance on digital tools to manage their operations.

"We recognise that data-driven decision-making is more important in farming than ever before. This app will provide more accurate and timely information about soil components, enabling farmers to make smarter nutrient management decisions."

Parker said, "One of the core objectives behind formalising the relationship with Hill Laboratories is that together we have a much better chance of adding value to our customers.

"Science is the backbone of our products and advice. It's really important that our farmers have access to independent soil testing information, and Hill Laboratories delivers this for us.

"We have had a strong working relationship with Hill Labs for around 30 years, and we are delighted to now partner with them in this exclusive arrangement."

Hill Laboratories is a 100 percent privately owned New Zealand analytical testing laboratory and has three major testing areas: Agriculture, Environmental and Food.

As well as its Hamilton sites, Hill Laboratories has laboratories in Christchurch, Blenheim and Auckland.