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Connectivity in the Field – Bluetooth or WiFi?

Do you ever have issues with your Bluetooth head set not getting the best reception, even though your phone is in your pocket?!? Have you ever had your smart phone run out of batteries before your day is over? Are you worried about other people accessing information you are transmitting between your devices via Bluetooth or Wifi? Below you will find  Pros and Cons of the two different ways for devices to communicate with each other.

For wireless machine to machine communication – Bluetooth is the easiest and least expensive way for seamless communication. Bluetooth is secure as you have to “pair” the devices before they can communicate with each other. Bluetooth also takes up less energy to connect, thus saving a little more battery life on your smartphone. It is restrictive in distance, 10 meters, which is great for driving your pick up down the road, but what about combines communicating with each other in the field? Bluetooth has been around since 1994 and recently has been making leaps in bounds for stronger wireless communication.

Wireless Fidelity a.k.a Wi-Fi is available at almost every street corner, rural café, and truck repair shop. Does Wi-Fi have a chance in taking over what Bluetooth has been building on for almost 20 years? Wi-Fi was introduced 3 years before Bluetooth, but began with different use cases. Wi-Fi is more complex than Bluetooth and requires configuration of hardware and software, Wi-Fi will also soak up more of your precious battery life. Both communicate over a 2.4 GHz frequency level; Wi-Fi is more expensive but can also communicate of distances up to 100 meters. Have you thought of using Wi-Fi for a connection between two devices, but not for the internet? With a few extra steps, this could be the answer to your problems of needing a longer distance base for wireless communication.

Can you see yourself wanting your machines in the field to communicate with each other? Would you prefer to use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi? WHY?!?

Who wants Agriculture Apps?!?

Hey there! I recently picked up an iPad2 and I am addicted to all the different Apps that are available, even more so than on my iPhone! Everything from sports to financial news and most importantly Agriculture! While most farmers are not walking around with an iPad around the shop or in the field  all the Apps below are also available on the iPhone. Every farmer wants to know the future weather patterns; the Weather Channel App is interactive and intuitive. It provides “layers” on the radar map for everything from “feels like” to “UV index”.

Most importantly, the Ag Apps! In no order of importance I have listed my Top 5 Apps that help the everyday farmer around his/her day to day tasks as well as commodity news and updates.

1)      AGWEB – Their news is broken down by Crops, Business, and Livestock. Providing detailed information on the biggest headlines that can help you grow your business.

2)      Spray Lite – Spray Lite customizes to your farm! The app provides entries for detailed information regarding your farm, where you sprayed, what chemical you applied and what crops you are growing. The settings are adjustable to focus on a specific operator, including the spray pressure, water rate, and speed of application. Over all a great crop management App.

AgriBusiness

3)      AgriBusiness – This is the most detailed informational Ag App I have found. Subcategories include BioFuel, Corn Markets, Dairy, Fertilizer, Fruit, Forestry, Rice, Nuts, Tobacco, and Wheat. Some subcategories break down regional information into as many as 110 different countries!

4)      PrecisionEarth – Using the GPS in your phone, this App can map out field boundaries and utilize Shapefiles. It also has the functionality to Import Imagery, Analysis Results, and Export Shapefiles. Entering grower, farm and field information, has never been easier!

5)      Tank Mix Calculator – Who wants to do math all day? I know I sure don’t. Select the acreage, tank size and gallon per acre, then select the chemical (over 170 to pick from) and you are off to the field! This is a real time saver, not to mention eliminates mathematical errors that could kill your crops!

These are only a few of my favorites; farmers are designing their own to suite their needs. If you could design an App to help you run your farm what would it include?!?

Precision Agriculture Changing Your Life

Not more than a decade ago, farmers were just warming up to the idea of hydraulic and electric guidance to steer their tractors, implements and combines in a consistent, straight line. Ag dealers were finding that “they require precision ag specialist to keep up with the new developments and best serve their customers” says Chad Elmore, managing editor of Farm Equipment. Here at AGCO, our dealers are dedicated to serving your technology needs.

Support after the sale is a crucial part of the equation; AGCO is proud to help serve you, the customer, at your earliest convenience. Elmore continues to say, “today, precision farming techniques are accepted by many in the ag industry and products that make up that segment are being updated continuously.” AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions is constantly working to provide our customers with cutting edge technology to save you money and more importantly, time,  so you can spend time with the ones you love – not just the tractor you love!

Dave Swain, Technology Marketing Specialist – HHP Tractors says, “More farmers are running multiple machines in different areas and they need to know what’s going on with each piece of equipment. Telematics will play a big role in agriculture. There’s a lot of data being generated by machines that can be used by the farm operator to make decisions ranging from equipment stylization to maintenance.”

Our AgCommand telematics service monitors engine and transmission status, machine location, combine operation information along with other data. The user can see the information on their computer through the internet or receive SMS messages via cell phone.

AGCO has many different telemetry and guidance products to help you become more efficient in your farming tactics. Please visit your local dealer or our website at  www.AGCOTechnologies.com to see how we can help you increase your margins and spend more time with your loved ones!

What will you spend your saved time on?

Would you like to be considered for the AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions Consumer Research Panel? Apply on Facebook to voice your opinion! We are looking for several more applicants from all around the world.

Advanced Technology Solutions Customer Research Panel

ATS Consumer Research Panel Does precision farming help you on a day to day basis?

Do you use AGCO technology or other brands of technology to help you save time and money on your farm?

Do you consider yourself a leader in agriculture technology in your region?

Do you have an opinion on farm technology and want to be heard?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we welcome you to join our Customer Research Panel. Just go to AGCO’s Facebook  page, answer a few questions and you are almost there! AGCO will then get in touch with you, via Facebook, if we feel like we can mutually benefit from your feedback. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Are you interested in joining the team?

Agriculture Apps

There has been a recent stir about farmers using Apps to help them on the farm. It makes sense right? If a stock broker can check the market with the touch of a button, why can’t a farmer check the moisture level in his soil? Well now he can! Ever since Verizon rolled out the iPhone 4 earlier this year, more agriculture Apps have been popping up than ever.

If you have the ability to download and utilize Apps and have yet to do so, you will be by the end of this article. There are Apps for everything from playing Scrabble with your friends around the globe to locating the lowest gas price in your vicinity. These have been around for a few years, but Agriculture Apps have recently been catching on and spreading like a wild fire.

Here are my top 5 favorite FREE Agriculture Apps.

1: SoilWed – GPS based, real-time access to USDA-NRCS soil survey data, formatted for mobile devices. This application retrieves graphical summaries of soil types associated with the user’s current geographical location. Images are linked to detailed information on the named soils.

2: PureSense: Allows user to access information from underground sensors that detect moisture levels near the roots of crops.

3: Dupont Tankmix: Allows you to easily calculate the amount of product you will need to treat a specific field area, the amount of product you need to apply to a specific tank size, the amount of water you will need to treat a specific area or the amount of product you will need to get the desired volume to volume ratio.

4: AGWired: The first agricultural media app for the iPhone. The app offers one-touch access to all the latest news and information in the agribusiness and agricultural marketing world posted on Agwired.com

5: ArcGIS: ArcGIS is a great way to discover and use maps. You can query the map, search and find interesting information, measure distances and areas of interest and share maps with others.

These are just a few in the growing sea of Agriculture Apps. Farmers now have the ability to look up crucial information on their phone, in the field. To think 10 years ago one couldn’t even get DSL in rural areas, mobile technology has come leaps and bounds from where it was just a few years ago. If you could invent an Ag App, what would it be?