Keeping Your Mixed Fleet Connected as Technology Progresses

One of the challenges that the precision agriculture industry faces is staying ahead of the rapid advancement of technology. It is important to remember the basic principle of precision farming: reduce input cost while maximizing profits through technology.

AGCO at Agritechnica 2017
March 6, 2018 by Fuse

Keeping Your Mixed Fleet Connected as Technology Progresses

One of the challenges that the precision agriculture industry faces is staying ahead of the rapid advancement of technology. It is important to remember the basic principle of precision farming: reduce input cost while maximizing profits through technology.

If you have heard of “The Law of Accelerating Returns” or “Moore’s Law,” you may have noticed the agriculture sector is no exception. The recent advancement of precision farming technology seems to move faster and faster each year. Just ten years ago, variable rate and section control paired with a foray into prescription-based mapping were considered leading technologies.

Jump ahead into 2018, and data collection and interoperability with the mixed fleet are emerging trends in precision technology. Technology is moving towards IOT (Internet of Things) cloud based solutions. Future development will incorporate more cloud based and mobile technologies. One of the challenges that the precision agriculture industry faces is staying ahead of the rapid advancement of technology. With new technology emerging, it is important to remember the simple basic principle of precision farming: reduce input cost while maximizing profits through technology.

As a manufacturer, it is important to fully recognize that new technology integration helps facilitate this basic principle. According to AgGateway, in a recent survey, 84% of growers have responded that it is moderately or very difficult to compile and analyze field operations data (“precision ag data”) from various sources. Through AGCO’s open approach to precision farming, we are able to overcome these challenges by partnering with organizations and tools such as Farmobile, DigiFarm, the FarmFacts wayline converter tool, and others. These partnerships allow growers to incorporate AGCO machines into their mixed fleet operations.

Farmobile

Farmobile provides a gateway that allows machine information to be collected and stored on the cloud wirelessly.  The gateway is brand agnostic meaning growers with a mixed fleet operation are able to collect, store and download both machine and as-applied information from various brands.  Farmobile provides a simple and affordable data collection solution in mixed fleets.  There is no need to change the Farm Management Information System (FMIS) software due to a brand specific machine being utilized. Machine utilization and agronomic reports are automatically generated to provide comparative analysis across the mixed fleet.

DigiFarm

Our partnership with DigiFarm facilitates the resources to provide NTRIP RTK correction with the use of an iPhone app.  By using the DigiFarm Beacon, the current data subscription on the iPhone is used to provide data coverage via Bluetooth.  The Beacon takes the place of expensive 3rd party modems and costly monthly data plans.  Mixed fleet operations can take advantage of providing NTRIP RTK correction from harvesting to planting by simply unplugging the Beacon and relocating to the other machine.

Wayline Converter Tool

Tools such as the FarmFacts NEXT Wayline Converter Tool also allow for AGCO integration into mixed fleets.  Waylines and boundaries created in other auto-guidance systems can be converted to be used with AGCO machines through the use of the online portal.  Operations that utilize control traffic farming (CTF) management systems find this integration beneficial as wayline data is converted over instead of having to be regenerated in the field.  Another benefit for mixed fleet growers that may use another branded auto-guidance system, is that waylines can be converted from one system to another.  By using the wayline converter tool, time and effort is saved in the field.

Other challenges that growers face are in regards to data interoperability.  Proprietary file formats and challenges with compatibility of file types are becoming more of a concern.  AGCO has partnered with industry organizations such as AgGateway and DKE which provide integration solutions to software manufacturers.  Technologies such as the AgGateway ADAPT enable data interoperability between various machine brands and FMIS software provides; while DKE provides an agrirouterTM cloud based data exchange between mixed fleets.

Looking back it’s amazing how far the industry has advanced with technology and mixed fleet solutions.  In the future, utilization of data will become more pronounced.  Analytics and analytical models will become more evident in driving both purchase and agronomic decisions.  Our strategy pillars incorporate an open approach, mixed fleet, data privacy and mobile technology. These pillars of AGCO’s Fuse strategy are evident with our partnerships and new emerging technology.

Written by Jonathan Riley

Jonathan is a Field Fuse Marketing Specialist for the Northeast Region of North America. Jonathan holds a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics from the University of Maryland. Click here to follow Jonathan on LinkedIn. To hear more from our precision farming experts, search the hashtag #TechTuesday on the AGCO blog or on Twitter.

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