Swiss Future Farm
The ambition of the Swiss Future Farm is to become a local and global knowledge center for practical use of digital farming, including a showcase for AGCO's precision agriculture such as Fuse Technologies and Fuse Connected Services.
Swiss Future FarmThe ambition of the Swiss Future Farm is to become a local and global knowledge center for practical use of digital farming, including a showcase for AGCO's precision agriculture such as Fuse Technologies and Fuse Connected Services.
AGCO is expanding the Future Farm concept out of Africa and creating the first AGCO “Fully Fused” Future Farm in Europe. Our novel Future Farm is located in Tänikon, Switzerland, which is 45 minutes from AGCO’s Europe & Middle East headquarters and the Zurich Airport with good logistics to most European countries. The operation consists of 81 hectares, whereof 55 hectares are arable land, 20 hectares grassland and 6 hectares biodiversity area. Livestock husbandry accounts for 65 dairy cows, 55 sows, 50 goats and 50 sheep.
Swiss Future Farm (SFF) is a public-private partnership and represents a great opportunity to work with open-minded partners who have shared objectives to promote digital farming in practice:
- The Swiss government is the owner of the farm and offers collaboration with their research organization, Agroscope, who is located on the farm premises.
- The regional government of the Canton of Thurgau is leaseholder and its agricultural college is the operator of the farm. Tänikon is now one of three farms they operate in the canton. The canton is also contributing to the crop planning with their agronomic consultancy service.
- AGCO’s Swiss distribution partner, GVS Group, owns and operates the machine fleet on the farm. GVS Group will utilize SFF for machine training courses and demonstration of AGCO brands and technologies.
- AGCO is providing access to our latest technology and can collaborate with different partners in the technology and service area to demonstrate the use and benefits of specific applications in precision ag.
AGCO employee, Nils Zehner is working on the Swiss Future Farm as member of the operating team. The activities on the farm are also supported by the EME Fuse and engineering teams and have Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe and Middle East Dr. Rob Smith and Global Fuse Vice President Stefan Caspari as senior leader sponsors from AGCO.
The SFF project kicked off in September 2017. Going forward, we will develop a “Fully Fused” Future Farm where we can demonstrate the value of our Fuse Technologies and connected machine and farm service solutions in a controlled practical farming environment in conjunction with AGCO mechanization solutions and our distribution partner. The main objectives of SFF are:
- Demonstrate the practical hands-on use of precision ag and digital farming utilizing Fuse Technologies and Fuse Connected Services. This included the use of Farm Management Software and of 3rd party sensors and technologies to establish a full data overview integrated into the daily operations.
- Work with our partners to build in metrics which measure the impact of our initiatives from a defined baseline and demonstrate how we can impact a commercial farming operation with precision agriculture practices.
- Educate young farmers in the Swiss government apprenticeship scheme in Thurgau and surrounding cantons. Support training as part of a three year degree program.
- Be a base for our EME Fuse team and the GVS technology experts to utilize and disseminate knowledge to the wider country teams through “Train the Trainer” technology courses.
We started the use of RTK Guidance Systems, Section Control, and Variable Rate Control for autumn tillage and seeding. We are adding the use of drone and satellite imagery, soil analysis and yield mapping on the land and will continue to expand this in the coming crop cycles. In addition to the practical field activities, in Q4 2018 the SFF plans to open with a modern farm operation center, a state of the art technology training facility and Fuse digital farming experience area.
The ambition of the Swiss Future Farm is to become a local and global knowledge center for practicable use of digital farming.
Written by: Nils Zehner
Nils Zehner is an agricultural engineer within the commercial Fuse EME department at AGCO.