Case study

Ellingson Companies Goes to Market Faster with Leaf’s API

To focus on product and go-to-market plans, Ellingson partnered with Leaf for data integration, conducting 9+ months’ worth of work within 3 weeks


Ellingson Companies is a water and infrastructure management company providing technology-driven construction planning, design, and installation services. Since its founding in 1970, a large component of their business model has focused on farm drainage and tiling projects. Today they are complementing their core business with technology products including  tools to simplify their customer’s data management and determine the return on investment of decisions and irrigation projects. Ellingson is giving growers a clear view of their expected ROI of construction projects and management decisions on each field so that they can better prioritize which actions to take.

“We understand the important role that data plays when our customers make decisions for their operation. But confusing and unorganized data has limited value. We want to provide programs that help farmers make data-driven decisions that improve crop yields, increase operational efficiencies, and get them in the land quicker throughout the season. We believe accessing this data should be easy to access, understand, and use,” said Kyle Kurtz, Lead Software Engineer for Ellingson. 

Supporting Customers with Better Data:

Since its start more than 50 years ago, Ellingson Companies has always put the customer first and provides them with resources to manage their land and determine what their operation needs to be successful. As Ellingson continues to grow and expand their product offerings, they want to incorporate objective, accurate data to help customers predict and prove their return on investment to see the impact of the services Ellingson provides.

In the past, hand-drawn paper tile maps were cumbersome to develop and analyze and were less accurate than computerized interactive maps. Ellingson knew they needed to improve their onboarding and data integration process and quantify the impact of the customers’ data. To accomplish this, they needed to implement integrations with other software companies to access field boundaries, management data, and financial information. 

Without an improved onboarding process and more accurate data, it has been difficult for their customers to make tiling decisions for their operation, prove their need for tiling, or prove tile was needed to a lender or a landowner. 

“Proving ROI has been a challenge in the past. Almost every project we support is financed, especially at the family farm level. With precise data feeding into these interactive maps, we can now help a farmer make educated decisions for their operation which helps them get the loan they may need to get started,” said Kurtz. 

To help alleviate these pain points, Ellingson began work on integrations with OEM platforms and quickly realized that they did not have the developer bandwidth to build individual data integrations for each data source in the industry. To build this internally would require thousands of development hours and continuous maintenance, costing the company in expenses, lost time, and delay on other needed project development. 

Expedite growth with Leaf’s API Infrastructure: 

In order to stay focused on their core product and speed up their go-to-market plans, Ellingson partnered with Leaf for data integration. Using Leaf’s unified API, Ellingson was able to become instantly compatible with all OEM platforms, which greatly accelerated their implementation of the needed field boundaries, yield data, and imagery months to years ahead of their initial plans. 

“We started out focused just on integrating field boundaries. And now, because of Leaf’s unified API and its ease of use, our ability to incorporate yield data and imagery components has been accelerated immensely. Now that we only have to implement the authentication piece with the next provider, we’ve saved months, potentially years, of work leading to this point and I’m excited as we look at our next integration. The time savings will only multiply,” said Kurtz.

Due to this acceleration in their product offerings, Ellingson is now able to bring these products to their farmer customers at critical communication points of this year to connect with the sales team, show demos, and get them needed information.  

“Our partnership with Leaf allowed us to accelerate our product offerings to align and better communicate with our farmer customers. If we wouldn't have been able to get to this point where we're demoing this feature, we would have been another six months behind while we waited for their harvest to be done and the ground to be frozen. If you miss that window, it may be another six months before you can get in front of them for key interaction at the time when they make essential decisions for their operation,” said Kurtz.

Through Leaf’s unified API and ease of data integration, Ellingson was able to adjust the timing of their product offering plan, grow faster, and offer more products to their customers sooner than anticipated. “Leaf’s API expertise has helped us turn months, potentially years, of work into weeks of work and helped us get to market faster, allowing us to focus on building new features and products that we weren’t planning on building this year,” said Kurtz.  

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Accelerating Product Development:

Because of Leaf’s ease of data integration through its API, Ellingson was able to conduct 9+ months’ worth of work within a three-week timeframe, resulting in: 

  • Frictionless user onboarding for their customers. 
  • Immediate support for their software development team to focus on building and enhancing products for their customers instead of additional backend maintenance, data translation, and data integrations. 
  • Going to market with products now vs. next year. 
  • Expanded trust between the sales team and customers. 
  • Improved timing of communication with customers during critical points of the year. 

Besides the API infrastructure, one of the best things about working with Leaf is knowing that the hardest parts of data standardization have already been solved. The Leaf team is great to work with and are just a message away if I have a question. It’s only a matter of minutes or hours to solve a problem, not days or weeks. Our long-term goal is to expand our data integrations and continually grow our product offerings and Leaf is the partner to help us do that,” said Kurtz.  

Get API Keys and Start Building Today!To learn more about how Leaf’s unified API can help scale ag data or to view a live demo, please visit our website or reach out to Mathew Tapley by scheduling a meeting below.

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