“Farmers have a lot of data coming from many directions,” says Scott Shearer, professor and chair of food, agricultural and biological engineering at The Ohio State University. “We need to continue to make it easier for that data to be put to good use … to help producers make more informed decisions about their specific operation.”
What doesn’t make it easier to use that data are roadblocks put in place by proprietary software and extra steps required to download and translate the information. That’s why AGCO is developing its Fuse Technologies open-architecture platform, says Matt Rushing, of AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS).
“Fuse is an open approach to decision support software,” says Rushing, the vice president, product line at ATS. “That enables growers to seamlessly integrate their AGCO equipment with the trusted service providers and software partners they use.
“It’s all about making sure farmers have choices,” Rushing says, which is why AGCO is partnering with a variety of companies that provide decision agriculture software, such as computer-based applications and agronomy services. DuPont Pioneer is one such provider working with AGCO in the U.S.
The two companies reached an agreement earlier this year that allows growers to wirelessly transfer data collected through AGCO’s VarioDoc, TaskDoc™ and AGCOMMAND® systems to Pioneer Encirca (SM) services. Essentially Encirca, a data-driven, agronomy-based whole-farm solution available for corn and soybean farmers, can seamlessly use information from AGCO equipment provided by participating farmers.
“There is a great synergy between both the companies, AGCO and DuPont Pioneer,” says Michael Sharov, senior manager, Encirca services business development and planning. “There were a number of reasons we wanted to partner with them. No. 1, AGCO is one of the leaders in the farm machinery space … and AGCO is also pursuing an open approach. That’s very important to us that farmers be able to choose.
That, concludes Rushing, “will allow each farmer to get the most out of his operation in the most efficient way possible.”
By Vic Rexroade
Released in 2010, AGCO’s AgCommand® solution has been a leading edge farm equipment data recording tool that helps users optimize fleet performance, monitor operating costs and generate reports. Since AgCommand’s release and adoption into the telematics market we have learned a lot from AgCommand’s utilization in the ag industry from our users and dealers. AgCommand is an ever evolving product, and expanding on what we’ve heard from our user base, this past November we released more updates to the website and mobile app.
The current challenge to gathering so much data from an advanced piece of AGCO equipment is how we interpret this data and make it more user friendly. Our solution to this in our November update was to renovate and simplify the user interface in the AgCommand website and mobile app to help each look and feel more appealing to our AgCommand users. We also implemented an automatic Weekly Status Report that will deliver to users a quick snapshot of vehicle productivity, performance, and maintenance. We have also restructured a few of our reports to help users understand data coming from the machine more clearly. By leveraging AGCO’s strength and experience in telematics, we can help our customers optimize their entire fleet and operation, even if they can’t be on site with every machine 24/7.
Be on the lookout for more exciting AgCommand updates in 2015, which will feature enhanced dealer capabilities to better serve our customers’ needs for uptime and efficiency.
To learn more about FuseTM Technologies, visit www.agcotechnologies.com.
Vic Rexroade is a Senior Product Management Specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on Telematics and Data for Fuse Technologies.
A year ago, the AGCO Parts Books to Go™ mobile app initially successfully launched on the Apple iOS platform into 35 countries through the Apple Store. Now even more robust, today’s mobile app launch represents advancement in providing anytime, anywhere access to replacement service parts information on AGCO products.
Already established in the mobile space, the AGCO Parts Books to Go™ is now available in both the Android and Apple iOS platforms, with the new Android version of the app available on the Google Play Store. Its functionality includes similar Interactive Parts Catalog functionality like the Apple iOS app while maintaining the natural Android user experience. Interactive drawings with capability for zooming, panning, and call-outs; parts lists; Google-like searches; cart functionality; off-line capability and multi-language support are part of this newly delivered Android app. The Apple and Android versions are now available for customers and AGCO dealers/distributors.
AGCO is committed to supporting parts service for the duration of the service life of AGCO machines. Besides the Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra brands, content on the Apple and Android app is now expanded to include parts book information for many of AGCO’s other brands— like Gleaner®, Fella®, Laverda®, Hesston®, Ag-Chem®, Spra-Coupe® and more. Language support has also expanded. Initially released in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Finnish and Italian, support is now extended to accommodate Chinese, Turkish, Polish, Russian and the Scandinavian languages.
For more information on AGCO Parts please visit: www.agcocorp.com/brands/agco-parts.html.
Savdeep Sran was so impressed with the new MF4610LP utility tractor from Massey Ferguson that he bought eight of them. Used in the almond and pistachio operation Sran owns with his father and brother, the rugged, low-profile machines were purchased to replace several John Deere tractors.
According to Sran, the family had always run Deere in the past, but after experiencing a few frustrating problems, they decided it was time for a change at their Diamond West Farming Co. in Kerman, Calif. “One of the things we liked about the 4610LP was the simpler Tier 4i emissions control system,” he says.
“Some of the other brands have a lot more that can go wrong. The 4610LP meets emissions standards without a diesel particulate filter that has to be regenerated, and without the need for extra maintenance. We also considered the reputation for service from Quinn Company, which is the Massey Ferguson dealer in our area.
“We’ve had no complaints at all with the tractors,” Sran continues. “They’re pretty fuel efficient, have good lift capacity and are easy to operate.”
Based on the extremely popular MF4600 Series utility tractors, the MF4610LP features several unique alterations to help it achieve a lower overall profile. Among them is a new ROPS design with a lower folding point, which permits an overall tractor height of 69.8 inches when folded. New, smaller tire offerings also reduce the overall height of the tractor.
“Other unique features include steel rear fenders that hug the tires so branches and vegetation slide past without damage to trees … or the tires,” says Warren Morris, AGCO advanced product marketing manager for under-150-HP tractors. “The 4610LP also features a horizontal exhaust that emits to the side of the tractor and away from the operator. The controls for the PTO, hydraulic remotes and 3-point hitch have been relocated just below the fender to the right of the operator’s seat, still within easy reach, while reducing the overall height of the tractor.”
Available in a 4WD ROPS configuration only, the MF4610LP is rated at 99 engine HP and 80 PTO HP, which is the same as the standard MF4610. It also features the same 3.3-liter, 3-cylinder diesel engine and 12×12 power shuttle transmission with an optional creeper.
It’s tough being a pioneer, but John Fiscalini comes from a long line of them. Scale his family tree, and you’ll find innovation in the Fiscalini DNA going back centuries.
The dairy business is the taproot of that family tree. But the mountains around the Fiscalinis’ ancestral Swiss homeland—the tiny town of Lionza—often made the transport of fresh milk treacherous or impossible, particularly during the harsh winters. So the family turned to cheesemaking as more than added value; it was a way to avoid wasting the work of the family dairy.
“I have milk in my blood,” says John, who with son Brian runs the 1,500-cow Fiscalini Farms at Modesto, Calif., in the San Joaquin Valley. “Going generations back, it’s all dairy, dairy, dairy.” Still, John didn’t bring cheese back into the family business until the turn of the 21st century, this time less as necessity than as craft. At the suggestion of the California Milk Advisory Board, John began attending farmstead cheesemaking seminars and “got roped into the sexiness of it,” he says.
The execution was less than sexy. Cheesemaking was new to California, so even finding the equipment proved a challenge, as did finding the right cheesemaker, an essential partner in the process. But John had the dairy part down pat. Attention to cleanliness and comfort of his cows give John’s renowned cheesemaker, Mariano Gonzales, a blank canvas to “work magic,” as John puts it.
“The milk that John produces—it’s very, very clean,” says Gonzales. “There is nothing in there to interfere with the bacteria I use to create the cheese.” After a dozen years working with that clean milk—the blank canvas—the awards have piled up. Fiscalini’s cloth-bound cheddar has won best cheddar in the world twice at the World Cheese Awards in London—very rare for an American cheesemaker. The dairy’s signature San Joaquin Gold, a smoky, Italian-style cheese aged 16 months, took gold at the World Cheese Awards as well.
Keeping It Genuine
To run their award-winning and innovative dairy, the Fiscalinis rely heavily on their tractors. “Well, we don’t baby these things,” John says of his Massey Ferguson® equipment—all utility tractors in the 80- to 90-hp range. From the newest, the MF491, to the vintage MF285, these are tractors already known for longevity and durability; but John and his dealer Rick Gray from Stanislaus Implement and Hardware still offer tips to keeping hard-working equipment up and running:
Genuine AGCO Parts. “Our guys [at the dairy] do a lot of the maintenance and service, but if something breaks down, we don’t want to put an aftermarket part on there or something that’s gonna be defective or not the high quality we expect from AGCO,” says John.
Good relationship with the dealer. “I’ve known John and his family for more than 30 years,” says Rick. “He is more than a customer. He is part of the family.”
John says the relationship with Stanislaus Implement is generational. “Rick’s father took care of my father,” he says. “They take care of you. The value of these tractors is the support behind them, end of conversation.”