The Planter Monitor that Started it AllThe DICKEY-john® story began in the mid-1950s in Chatham, Illinois. Grain farmer Bob Dickey realized that he couldn’t be sure his seeding was being done correctly, forcing him to regularly jump down off his tractor and perform spot checks. Bob brainstormed a solution and, together with his friend Jack Littlejohn, developed the plans for a planter monitor with a mechanical switch.
For the first year, Dickey and his wife operated the company out of their farmhouse. An ad in Prairie Farmer magazine drew growers from hundreds of miles away, eager to see this new technology. As word spread, product sales grew. Bob and Jack eventually named their company “DICKEY-john®” (the "john" in DICKEY-john is always lower-case, denoting “Littlejohn”).
Pictured above: Bob Dickey
More Innovations and Product Firsts
Through the years, we’ve expanded our DICKEY-john® product lineup with game-changing sensing solutions that deliver tangible advantages for farmers and the OEMs that make agriculture’s essential machinery. Our rich heritage of product innovation includes these industry firsts:
- First planter monitor
- First grain moisture analyzer
- First Doppler radar velocity sensor for agricultural use
- First seed sensor
- First electronic planter controller
- First handheld instrument capable of measuring viscosity
- First high-res handheld moisture analyzer (149 MHz technology)
Always Looking Ahead
Today, DICKEY-john® services customers on six continents across the globe. We continue to invest in research and find new ways to bring the latest technological advances to sensing solutions. Our goal, as always, is to help farmers and OEM professionals solve today’s challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s.