Posts Tagged ‘Ag’
By Abby Burton
AGCO was invited to testify in front of the House Agriculture Committee that took place October 28, 2015. In announcing the Full Committee public hearing, Big Data and Agriculture: Innovation and Implications, Chairman K. Michael Conaway explained that the hearing would be a forum for stakeholders to explain what big data means to their business and how it is changing the agriculture marketplace.
As one of five expert witnesses, and representing the only machinery company on the panel, Matt Rushing, vice president, Global Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) Product Line at AGCO, offered perspective into the area of agriculture data: what it is, the potential it holds for helping growers increase productivity, some challenges the industry faces and, most importantly, the exciting opportunity to help growers leverage their data effectively.
In Rushing’s written and verbal testimony on behalf of AGCO, he explained how new, precision agriculture technologies are creating tremendous amounts of data that has so far not been utilized by most growers. Being able to harness this generated data has the potential to be the next big driver in productivity gains. Smart, connected machines and growers’ ability to effectively manage and use farm data is at the forefront of the next farming revolution. With these changes, states AGCO’s testimony, shared standards for accessing, processing and ownership of this data must be agreed upon.
The testimony highlights some challenges, and what AGCO is doing in the space. With challenges such as technical barriers and adoption, it is up to leaders in the ag industry to develop and advocate for technology that achieves a secure, standardized yet adaptable environment, and keeping data sharing choices open, so growers can use it how they want to maximize its potential. Ownership is a key piece of farm data discussion. AGCO asserts that the farmer owns and should have control and responsibility for the data generated by his or her operation. In an effort to further respect growers’ data privacy choices, AGCO has separated its data pipelines; one for machine data, and on for more sensitive agronomic data. The agronomic data pipeline is not aggregated, evaluated or stored by AGCO other than to facilitate the transfer between the machine and the software chosen by the grower.
“Agriculture data is the ultimate grower tool to minimize risk and increase profitability while enabling them to become better stewards of the land,” said Rushing in the testimony. “AGCO’s focus is on helping growers make sense of their data, and we were honored to be asked to testify representing the machinery side of the industry,” he said.
AGCO’s testimony closes in saying it is an exciting time to be a part of the agriculture industry, and calls attention to “an unprecedented level of cooperation among farmer advocacy groups, industry associations, biotech companies, equipment manufacturers and technology providers – all coming together to help growers utilize data to feed the world.”
To download a white paper of Matt Rushing’s testimony, click here.
Click here to view the recorded hearing.
For more information about Fuse, AGCO’s open approach to precision agriculture, visit www.AGCOtechnologies.com.
Abby Burton is a marketing communications specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on delivering the Fuse message to customers, dealers, employees and investors.
A visit to Kenya prompts the production of a video to demonstrate the merits of buying genuine AGCO filters and how to spot counterfeit parts.
In March 2014 Jeff Challis, Business Manager, Parts Sales, Africa and Middle East and Pete Winterbottom, Manager, Aftersales Marketing, EAME visited Kenya to meet with our Massey Ferguson distributor FMD and visit some of their key customers. These customers varied from important municipal customers such as Nairobi Airport to owners of large tea and sugar plantations. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the virtues of genuine parts. Jeff demonstrated this by dismantling a genuine filter and comparing key features with a popular spurious filter. From the outside both filters looked the same but Jeff quickly highlighted that underneath this veneer there were some significant differences. Jeff’s demo had such a positive impact that FMD said they wanted to train and equip their own staff to do the same demo when on the road visiting customers. To assist with this, the EAME Aftersales Marketing team produced some practical demo kits including genuine and spurious filters along with flip chart slides. Jeff took the kits back to Kenya and also Sudan in early 2015 to train the local field sales teams to use themselves.
As an aide memoire for the local teams, we filmed Jeff at the Stoneleigh training centre conducting the demo. A group of UK service technicians that were on a training course in an adjacent workshop at time of filming stopped what they were doing because they too were so intrigued to see and hear what Jeff had to say. So much so that we decided to publish the resultant videos on YouTube for all to see.
We’ve created 2 versions of the demo; a 3 minute and 15 minute version which can be watched on YouTube or downloaded from asset bank. We’re now considering the possibility of creating different language versions in order to spread this key message: – When it comes to Parts ‘The Genuine Choice’ is the only choice!’
To learn more about AGCO Parts please visit: http://www.agcocorp.com/parts-service.html.
Imagine taking a brand-new tractor, worth tens of thousands of dollars, and purposefully trying to break it. That’s what the folks at the AGCO manufacturing facility in Jackson, Minn., do just about every workday.
It all happens at Jackson’s Quality Gate Five. The $1.97 million-facility can hold and check two tractors at once, one on the “jounce” and PTO testing station, and the other on a chassis dynamometer.
For the jounce test, a tractor’s rear wheels or tracks are positioned on pads that rock back and forth. This test is used to verify that there are no loose fittings, hoses or electrical connections. Afterward, the tractor is physically inspected to make sure nothing came loose as a result of the shaking, which is so violent no one is allowed to be in the cab.
While still at the first station, the PTO is tested at various speed and load levels, and its output measured across the rpm range. Each tractor is then moved to the second station and the chassis dynamometer. Here, a multi-roller bed is used to verify different functions like the steering, brake, transmission shift quality, DEF functionality and limited powertrain performance.
Six winches hold the tractors in place as they speed up to 33 mph and rev to as high as 400 HP. The dynamometer reads the engine rpm, what gear it’s in and how well it shifts, and when it shifts, how low the rpm goes.
“What we learn,” says Eric Fisher, the plant’s director of operations, “also affects what we do upstream.”
Overall, according to Fisher, the work in Gate Five takes about two hours, and includes 250-plus tests and the analysis of more than 150,000 data points. In just the first month of operation, the inspections, he says, “yielded a 25% reduction in defects, and that’s just a start.”
“Like its customers, AGCO doesn’t embrace technology for its own sake,” says Bob Crain, AGCO Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas. “There must be a return on investment.”
The expansion and upgrades at the Jackson plant, as well as those throughout the company’s global facilities, offer just that, says Crain, “in the company’s relentless pursuit of its stated goal—to be No. 1 in customer-perceived quality.”
In its heyday a century ago, scores of horses were used to do dozens of jobs at Biltmore. Today, one utility tractor—with 99 HP—performs multiple jobs at one of the country’s most beautiful agricultural operations.
Biltmore has long been a Massey Ferguson® customer. Their small fleet includes Massey Ferguson tractors dating back 35 years. The nearly new MF4610 is the most recent jack of all trades making life easier in a diversified operation.
“Masseys are easy to operate and affordable to work on. They do the job,” says Kevin Payne, Biltmore’s farm manager. “The 1979 MF1100 is as strong as when it was new.” And he should know. Payne has worked at Biltmore since the year that MF1100 was purchased.
Payne loves the smooth but powerful shuttle transmission on the MF4610. At Biltmore, Payne and crew can be hauling cattle feed in the morning, cutting thick sudangrass by afternoon and moving rolling chicken coops by evening.
“The shuttle transmission is really nice when you are picking up feed pallets or baling, then loading hay,” says Payne. “It is a whole lot quicker doing anything where you are moving from forward to reverse frequently.”
The MF4610 does it all with a 3-cylinder engine that generates torque as well or better than comparable 4-cylinder engines. “I use this tractor to disk ground, and it moved through the field like the disc wasn’t even back there.”
This year’s SIMA Paris International Agri Business Show was a triumph for AGCO’s core brands. Massey Ferguson debuted two new tractors and showcased the MF 5610 tractor that journeyed to the South Pole. Challenger’s MT775E was the winner of the “Machine of the Year XXL” award. The new Fendt 300 Vario was named “Machine of the Year” in the category for tractors below 150 hp. And the new Valtra T Series won the “Machine of the Year” award in the 180–280 hp category.
SIMA is one of the largest indoor agricultural industry shows in the world. This year, the event focused on a theme of “Innovation First!” and brought together 1,700 companies from 42 countries with an emphasis on three key topics: people and territories, equipment and crops.
AGCO embraced innovations in communication by sharing this year’s SIMA experience through social media. Those who weren’t able to attend the show could follow the #AGCO25 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, and additional news and videos can be found on the company’s social media portal created specifically for the event.
AGCO, now in its 25th year as a global leader in the agriculture industry, had a powerful presence at SIMA as an exhibitor. The company is living the “Innovation First!” concept through its cutting-edge Fuse™ Technologies — a platform that brings together machines, technology products, support, training and dealer services to ensure that farmers’ operations are optimized, coordinated and seamlessly connected through all phases of the crop cycle.