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What Will Unfold in Our Future? Hopefully Dinner!

What is going to unfold in the future? There are no guarantees, the rapture did not happen (again) last Saturday, but I am pretty sure the sun is going to come up tomorrow. Unwanted bills will continue to clutter your mailbox, no matter what happens and food does not put itself on the table. For that matter, the dishes will not clean themselves either.

All things considered, we can make educated assumptions based on what has happened over the past two decades. Cell phones will become, smaller, smarter and lighter. Farmers will continue to feed the growing global population. Computers will continue become more interactive. My guess is parachute pants will not come back into fashion, unless Doc Holiday shows up in his Delorean yelling at you to jump in!

One certainty is that farming is our future. Without agriculture how would we eat? All commodities from cotton to corn to rice are extremely important for society to progress further. To make our industry more viable, farms are becoming more time, fuel and energy efficient. By spending less time in the field, the farmer has more time to repair the fence on the far edge of the farm that had been on the to-do list all summer, but just hadn’t had the time to repair.

What is changing the agriculture industry to become more viable? How are farmers becoming more time and fuel efficient? The answer is technology. “Precision technology is one of the hottest things in agriculture,” claims Randy Taylor, Kansas State University Research and Extension agriculture engineer. Taylor goes on to say “The (technology) equipment increases productivity by minimizing overlap and skipped areas to reduce use of chemicals, fuel and time.

Out of the many uncertainties in life’s future, the importance of agriculture is an exception to the rule. The world’s population will continue to grow and cannot be sustainable without food on the table. Do you have a fence that needs mending or culvert that desperately needs attention? By investing in AGCO’s technology, you will have time at the end of the day to pay attention to the details.

Check out all that AGCO has to offer at www.AGCOtechnologies.com. How are you going to create more time this summer with AGCO’s technology?

But I Don’t Want to Drive to the Store!

How nice would it be if you did not have to actually steer your pickup truck? After you fire it up, press a few buttons and off you go down the road to the grocery store, without touching the wheel! Boy howdy, that would be convenient, everyone would be multi-tasking to the max. Here at AGCO, we are already working on that for your tractors and combines. While pioneering that road, the Advanced Technology Solutions division has transformed a golf cart into a fully autonomous vehicle.

AGCO hosts a National Training Event each spring welcoming dealers and employees to have a hands on experience of how we are changing the future of agriculture. Here, I was able to sit on a fully autonomous golf cart. The steering system on the beast of a golf cart was Topcon’s AES-25 paired with Topcon’s System 150 guidance. Combining these two forces together creates a fully autonomous vehicle ready to bring you where ever it is programmed to go!

Auto-Guidance is the future of accuracy in precision farming. Ian Yule of Massey University in New Zealand states, “Guidance assistance and auto steer have had a major impact on the agriculture industry. Within 15 years, we have gone from a simple light-bar indicator to fully automated control of tractors and implements.”

In FARM INDUSTRY NEWS, Karen McMahon says that ”recently AGCO and Topcon announced they are working together on technology for autonomous vehicles. At AG CONNECT Expo, the companies discussed their early research and displayed a device called LiDar that can be used with an autonomous farm vehicle.” Autonomous vehicles were ranked in the top 20 technologies that are changing agriculture.

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How are you going to auto-mate your life?

Treat yourself to a System 150 and you won’t be steering in no time!

HIGH fuel prices have you DOWN?

No one likes seeing fuel prices continuing to rise, especially people who use massive amounts of fuel every day, regardless of the price. Forecasters claim prices will continue to rise before they start to go down.  Even with red-dye fuel being less expensive then on-road fuel, you can still feel the hit in your back pocket when you fill up your vehicle.

AGCO has a solution for YOU! By installing our auto guidance solutions on your vehicles, you will instantly start seeing savings right back into YOUR pocket.  With saving money on operator time and machine running time aside, your saving of fuel will be extraordinary. Install a System 150 auto-guidance on your tractor or combine to start SAVING money instantly!

Renee Boivin, marketing manager, Massey Ferguson, states “System 150 will save our customers money on every pass across a field and they can select the level of accuracy right for their operation. With diesel fuel costs rising, System 150 is the perfect complement to our Dyna-Step transmission and Datatronics III, our electronic control system. Each is designed to improve operator and equipment efficiency and productivity.”

To put the proof in the pudding on the fuel savings auto-guidance, Professor Yves Reckleben, managing director of RKL in Rendsburg says, “depending on investment costs for the system in question, and the annual extent of use, the results, e.g. for annual application area of 1,250 acres can range from $32.05 to $102.51 dollar per acre. With that, the savings effect is already more than the annual costs for the system. Avoiding overlapping during fieldwork leads to work efficiency improvements and reduces inputs as well as implement wear.”  To read more of what Professor Reckleben has to say about precision farming in the Spring edition of Agrifuture magazine click here!  http://www.agrifuture.com/

If you are looking to save money on daily tasks such as fuel, operating time, and application there is no doubt that Auto-Guidance is the best option for you, the only question is which system. Here at AGCO, we offer everything from a Lightbar option all the way to RTK accuracy.

Are you going to save money on fuel this summer? Take action and save money on your bottom line today!

Photo via joust67

With The Power of Technology, the Impossible Becomes Imaginable

The current advancements in agricultural technology are changing the way farmers take care of business. With break through seed cloning techniques, crops are now able to withstand less water yet produce higher yields. But in my opinion the real technological break through in farming is the farmer’s ability to receive and record data. Erin Hutchinson from CropLife says “Continuous technological advances in agriculture aim to make us more efficient, more effective, more profitable and better managers; the ultimate goal being to get the highest amount of outputs with the least amount of inputs. It’s about working smarter, not necessarily harder.”

With machine’s capability to diagnostically communicate with each other as well as to the Back Office, farmers have the ability to record endless amounts of data they can use for future reference. Now with the ability to save an exorbitant amount of overhead on seeds, fertilizer, time and currently one input that is getting more expensive all the time, fuel!

AGCO’s solution is AGCOMMAND and it offers farmers a wide variety options on how to save data and money. Customers have the ability to see engine hours, fuel consumption, operator efficiency, field specific information and service needs. If your tractor leaves the ‘Geofence’ an alert can be sent to the farmer’s cell phone via SMS message or email. Utilizing Google maps, the farmer can see precisely where their machines are located along with a fleet summary showing if vehicle is off, parked, stopped, idle, working headland turning, or being transported. Growers also have the option to share their information with their local AGCO dealer, letting the dealer plan an upcoming maintenance and schedule the service call in advance.

Hutchinson continues to say “Diagnostic systems will allow buyers to look at all machine efficiencies daily, monthly and annually including idle time, travel time, spreading or spraying time, fuel consumption, gallon used per acre, etc.” Adding AGCOMANND to your fleet of tractors and combines is a no-brainer! It has never been easier to track your return on investment on your Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson, Valtra or competitor’s equipment!

To learn more, watch a guided tour of AGCOMMAND.

How much money could you be saving using AGCOMMAND?

Today’s Agriculture into Consumer Products

Even before this weekend’s Earth Hour encouraging people to switch off their lights around the globe for one hour and commit to additional energy saving actions, there has been a lot of talk about how humans can become more self sustainable by using our natural resources more viably; in our daily lives with our daily products. Pepsi is one company striving to improve sustainability with innovative technology leveraging agricultural products.

In America, 1500 plastic water bottles are consumed every second. Pepsi has taken a charge at creating a greener water bottle containing renewable materials as switch grass, pine barks and corn husks. PepsiCo hopes to make future versions of the bottle with orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls and other agricultural byproducts from its foods business.

PepsiCo plans to make several hundred thousand bottles in a pilot program next year and roll them out more widely later. They have not stated which brands will get the bottle first. But PepsiCo did say the undercover research and development project spanned four countries and took several years.

“We’re learning our way,” said Denise Lefebvre, senior director of advanced research at PepsiCo. “We want to make sure all the science is absolutely right.” PepsiCo says the bottle looks and feels like existing beverage containers, and protects beverages equally well.

“The beauty of the technology is, we’ll be able to use a lot of different types of biomass,” said Lefebvre. “Our intent is certainly to create a closed-loop system.”

The PlantBottle technology will also appear in Heinz bottles, under a partnership with the ketchup-maker, and possibly in bottles for Honest Tea, a Maryland company Coca-Cola just acquired. The PlantBottle is made partly with natural sugars found in sugarcane ethanol from Brazil. Odwalla, a Coca-Cola juice brand, plans to switch to the PlantBottle within the next few weeks. If you would like to read more about this visit PepsiCo. Source: LA Times.

Technology is helping humans create a use for agricultural products other than for feeding the world. A more sustainable world is created through agriculture with modern technology. Here at AGCO, we are working to create clarity of that vision by measuring our sustainability initiatives and helping farmers pioneer the future in agriculture with improvements in technology.

Do you know of some other ways technology is being used to develop new consumer products from agriculture?