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NDTO News Article

ND Entrepreneurs Dahl, Batcheller Launch IAS

Two of North Dakota’s agricultural visionaries have announced the formation of Intelligent Agriculture Solutions (IAS), a joint venture with the goal of bringing new, high-technology, low-cost electronics to the agricultural equipment markets.

Howard Dahl, co-founder of Amity Technology, and Barry Batcheller, founder of Appareo Systems, LLC, have brought their lifetimes of experience in the areas of agricultural electronics development and the manufacture of agricultural implements to IAS.  Dahl and Batcheller create a unique team whose combined industry knowledge represents a picture of agricultural electronics and software that is much more comprehensive than most new ventures.  IAS is the perfect example of the agricultural entrepreneurial spirit that exists in North Dakota.

IAS is headquartered in Fargo, ND – in the heart of some of the world’s best agribusiness.  David Batcheller, COO of IAS, says the company’s proximity is good for North Dakota farmers because IAS can continually asses the regional agricultural environment and, as a result, farmers have helped to catalyze some very interesting innovations in agricultural equipment and electronics.  Furthermore, North Dakota agronomists can experiment with new technologies and help IAS deliver the most groundbreaking innovations.

“North Dakota farmers benefit from these interactions because their fingerprints are all over every innovation that has been, and will ever be, delivered by IAS,” said David Batcheller.  “As we work with our friends, family and customers to develop next generation agricultural technology, by default we’ll be delivering solutions that are uniquely tailored to our state’s farmers.”

North Dakota farmers have already begun benefitting from IAS technologies.  One of the first products, the Wireless Blockage Monitor for Air Seeders, was launched at Big Iron in September.

The Wireless Blockage Monitor delivers a reliable, accurate and easy-to-use system for detecting blockages in air seeding implements.  IAS says the product can detect blockages anywhere in an air-seeder by “listening” to the seed flow as it passes over a set of acoustical monitors, similar to stethoscopes.  These sound pulses are transmitted wirelessly to an Apple iPad mounted in the cab of the tractor.

Since the Wireless Blockage Monitor uses sound and force as opposed to sight to detect the presence of seed moving through the seeder, the system is much more reliable in tough conditions encountered by today’s farmers.

Additionally, farmers can save money and be more efficient by using the Wireless Blockage Monitor’s iPad display.  According to David Batcheller, not only are you getting a display for your agricultural equipment, but you’re also getting a versatile, multi-use platform for a fraction of the price of current ag-specific displays.  In addition to watching their seeder, farmers can also use the iPad to email, watch the weather and check commodity prices.

“We believe that the cost and utility of a product like the iPad makes it very hard to argue with as a display technology.  The iPad costs between one-fifth and one-tenth of current in-cab displays,” said David Batcheller.  “Graphically, it is much more capable than those displays, so a technology provider like IAS is able to deliver a much better interface to the customer at a much lower development cost.”

IAS executives are aware of the fact that the thought of using an iPad in the cab of your farm equipment may seem unnatural or difficult to farmers who have become accustomed to current cab displays, but Batcheller says IAS believes the adjustment will pay dividends.

“Although the iPad seems like a device that could be complicated to operate, what we’ve found is that using an iPad for most tasks in the cab requires a lot less clicking around, intuiting the representation of icons and navigation of menus,” David Batcheller said.  “Apple has done a remarkable job in delivering a product that is extremely easy to use.  So long as the application that is developed on top of the iPad isn’t working against its inherent usability, it represents a very fantastic way to receive information from agricultural electronics.”

Batcheller says the timing is perfect for the launch of IAS.  Personal and industrial electronics continue to become more intelligent and the customer’s expectations for greater integration between their equipment and personal electronic devices is growing.

Batcheller said, “We believe that this convergence represents an excellent opportunity for IAS to bring solutions to our customers that both make their jobs easier in the field and bring them value at home.”

For more information on IAS and to learn about other products available visit or email