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The Future of Farming Is Now: Africa Set to “Leapfrog” Farming Practices of Old

By Matt Rushing

“Technology leapfrogging” refers to the adoption of advanced or state-of-the-art technology in an application area where immediate prior technology has not been adopted. Discussions of Information and communication technologies (ICT)  leapfrogging have largely focused on developing countries, which generally lag behind on technology adoption, and unlike the developed countries, are not inhibited by entrenched intermediate technology. New and advanced technology provides developing countries with the opportunity to accelerate economic development…In addition, the advancement of ICTs has reduced costs and imposed lesser demands on the skill of the users due to user-friendly features…1

Last month, AGCO held its sixth annual Africa Summit in Berlin, Germany, where I was honored to give a short presentation about how precision farming can help solve many of the challenges facing today’s growers.

AGCO_Zambia_Farm_Fuse

What is especially exciting for Africa is that the new generation of growers has the opportunity to “leapfrog” farming practices of old and start with the best technology AGCO can offer. For example, they can skip manual planting and fertilizing practices and go straight to mechanical and automated rate and section control, in the same way many developing countries never fully developed a traditional telecommunications infrastructure, but skipped straight to mobile phones.

Although there are challenges such as climate volatility and agronomic know-how, the future is bright and opportunities are boundless to take advantage of the last several decades of agricultural technology leaps and apply them in a fresh environment. AGCO’s Fuse precision farming technologies can help growers reduce waste and maximize yields from the smallest subsistence farmers to the largest corporate farming operations.

To learn more about the Summit and view the event gallery, visit http://agco-africa-summit.com/.

To learn more about Fuse, visit http://www.agcotechnologies.com/about-fuse/.

Matt Rushing is the Vice President of AGCO’s Global Fuse Product Line. Learn more about AGCO’s precision farming technology solutions by visiting www.AGCOcorp.com/Fuse.

1https://journalistsresource.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Technology-Leapfrogging-for-Developing-Countries.pdf

Increasing Precision Agriculture Technology Adoption

By Amanda Wemette

At some point during your education or business training, you may have heard of the technology adoption theory called “Diffusion of innovations” by Everett Rogers, which categorizes technology adopters in five stages: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. This theory has been applied to many industries, from consumer gadgets to business solutions. When it comes to precision farming, the adoption of new technologies can often be met with skepticism and a “let’s see where this goes first” attitude. This is understandable, given the rate at which technology changes and the resources required to implement new farming tech, from purchasing to training.

Diffusion of innovations

Rogers Everett – Based on Rogers, E. (1962) Diffusion of innovations. Free Press, London, NY, USA.

Some technologies, such as automatic guidance, are widely used and in the last stages of the adoption curve. The benefits of automatic guidance are well known and accepted. But what about the constant flow of new precision farming technology innovations? What makes growers confident enough to turn from “Laggards” into “Early Adopters” or “Early Majority”?

As this 2013 study notes, “Farmers appreciate in-field demonstrations, free trials, [and] support services related to the use of new technologies, as they promote the perception that the use of a technology is easy.” Communicating the value, or return, on precision farming products and services is also helpful, as is traditional word of mouth marketing. Hearing from one’s peers helps to validate the buying decision. In fact, word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. This can come in the form of neighbors sharing best practices over dinner, or through reading and viewing customer testimonials. A little assurance can go a long way.

What influences your precision farming technology buying decisions? Tweet @AGCOcorp and let us know.

 

Amanda Wemette is a Sr. Marketing Communications Specialist for AGCO’s Global Advanced Technology Solutions group (Fuse). Connect with Amanda on Twitter @AmandaWemette 

No Strings Attached: The Benefits of Wireless Data Transfer for Growers

By Jennifer Parillo

Current Data Transfer Methods

In comparison to advancements in other industries, ranging from traffic cameras to cell phones, the current methods of transferring agricultural task data have become outdated. Farming decisions are becoming more prevalently based upon data analysis, and the ability to securely gather and transfer data has become imperative. The speed with which this data can be transferred is becoming increasingly critical as well, in order to allow producers to make quick adjustments to time sensitive tasks.Fuse_Go-Task_iPhone_Work_Order_300dpi_08282015

Most precision farming technologies currently employ USB sticks to transfer the data from the machine to the office. While this is, by definition, “wireless”, it is neither the most efficient nor the most reliable means to transport the data. Bluetooth technologies have also been used, but proximity poses a limitation, thus this does not provide a viable solution for producers managing fleets or multiple locations.

Wireless Data Transfer

The transition away from prior transfer methods to wireless means of communicating machine and agronomic data will streamline this process, allowing producers more time to use and analyze the data,   rather than spending their time and resources gathering it. Wireless data transfer is not just the fastest, but also the most secure channel to move the data both to and from the machine. Producers will no longer rely on their team of operators to manage the USB sticks housing their invaluable data, and they will have the data at their fingertips nearly immediately following the task completion. By utilizing secure servers to move the data through the pipeline, the data also cannot end up in the hands of anyone other than its intended recipient; this is of course more important when referring to agronomic data than machine data.

Benefits of Wireless Data Transfer

  • Eliminates distance as a limiting factor in the transfer of data, allowing large scale producers with widespread fleets to manage their operation from wherever they are
  • Reduces risk of lost or missing task data in FMIS from computer not downloading task data file after a job is completed
  • Better enables growers to make operational decisions due to ease and speed of gathering their data
  • Enables a faster and more efficient data sharing process with third party service providers
  • Eliminates risk of lost task data that can result from lost or damaged USB sticks
  • Reduces the amount of necessary steps taken for the producer to turn their raw data into usable information which can support their decision making process
  • Saves money and valuable time by eliminating unnecessary trips to the field and back to the office

AGCO offers unique solutions for wireless data transfer depending on the grower’s machine(s) and needs. Visit the Fuse website to learn more about our solutions, and stay tuned for the release of the new Go-TaskTM app on the Apple® App Store, coming soon.

 

Jennifer Parillo is a Global Marketing Specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group (Fuse).

“Productivity”: The Language of Farmers throughout the Globe

This week’s coverage of the Crop Tour 2016 highlights some of the precision farming technologies that help farmers make their operations more efficient – from Fairmont, MN, to Rostov-on-Don, Russia. The Fuse open approach is making operational gains possible by leveraging partnerships to provide the most productive, accurate seeding equipment in the world.

AGCO’s Darren Goebel, Director – Global Commercial Crop Care, discusses how applying precision farming to planting is a worthwhile investment, by improving yields through more precise singulation. He also discusses how precision farming technologies can offset soil quality differences including soil texture, organic matter, and topography differences.

Click here to read the full story.

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Varying seeding rates increases yield on highly productive soils while not wasting seed on poorer soils.

To learn more about Fuse, AGCO’s approach to precision farming technologies and services, visit www.AGCOcorp.com/Fuse.

Spring Plugfest 2016

By: Ben Craker

A unique event in the ag industry returned to Lincoln, Nebraska; the annual spring “Plugfest” took place the week of May 9th, hosted by the Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory. Plugfest is a twice a year meeting between member companies of the Agriculture Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF). The spring event is held every year in Lincoln and the fall Plugfest is hosted at different locations in Europe, planned for Bologna, Italy in September this year. Read the rest of this entry »