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Posts Tagged ‘open approach’

The Role of Precision Farming in Meeting the 2050 Food Challenge

By Amanda Wemette

Several recent news stories have highlighted a sobering statistic that global food production must increase 50-70 percent by the year 2050 to feed a projected population of 9 billion people[1]. From tech firms and tech investment firms, to governments and a recent book entitled The End of Plenty, the public is beginning to rally behind an issue long familiar to those in the agriculture industry – we must do more with the land we have.

We must do more with the land we have. Source: 2013 Iron Solutions, Inc.

We must do more with the land we have. Source: 2013 Iron Solutions, Inc.

 

Around this subject, popular topics often include:

  • The usage of fertilizers
    and pesticides
  • Water usage
    and conservation
  • GMOs
  • Organics
  • Big Data
  • And more

 

Yet precision farming technology is often conspicuously absent in these discussions about how technology will help the planet become more productive. Those in the food and fiber production industries know technology plays a critical role in the future of agriculture. Diamond V®, an all-natural animal food manufacturer, cites “…food production must be the world’s new high-tech industry. An estimated 70 percent of the future increases in food production capacity need to come from new and improved agricultural technologies.[2]” A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group also confirms the importance of precision farming for the future of agriculture.

Precision farming technology helps growers maximize productivity and increase uptime. It’s about increasing yields and reducing inputs through careful monitoring and optimization. Companies like AGCO have identified precision agriculture products and services as critical components for business success, and—more importantly—for successfully feeding the world. AGCO reaffirmed this mission with the launch of Fuse® Technologies in 2013.

Trends that will shape crop farming through 2030

Trends that will shape crop farming through 2030 (Click to view larger)

Farm technology today is addressing pressing concerns such as labor shortages and environmental factors.  For example, automatic guidance helps growers reduce overlaps and skips in the field, helps reduce operator fatigue and enables longer working hours. Telemetry and fleet monitoring help farmers optimize their machines and their operation as a whole. Downtime is reduced through logistics coordination and by carefully monitoring machine health. Growers can work smarter, not harder to grow more with what they have.

Guidance and telemetry are just two among many solutions available to farmers today that help them to be more productive. There are numerous solutions currently available, and future capabilities are limitless, especially as Silicon Valley and tech investment firms take notice. AGCO is thinking beyond more traditional opportunities too. The company is a proud partner in the Farm2050 initiative, which is dedicated to advancing the future of food through supporting AgTech entrepreneurs and startups. AGCO is also working to increase agricultural production in previously under-utilized lands, leading with the Future Farm opening in Africa, which includes precision farming offerings.

Advancing precision farming technology not only leads to increased efficiencies – it also leads to increased sustainability by reducing waste. For example, farmers apply fertilizers and pesticides in a purposeful manner based on crop need, instead of uniformly spraying an entire field.

There is no “silver bullet” to solve our agricultural challenges. Precision farming solutions are but one component of a very complex system, and should be included in the broader discussion as the public, the media and the technology sector take an interest in the challenge to feed our world.

 

Amanda Wemette is a digital marketing specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on delivering the Fuse Technologies message to customers, dealers, employees and investors. Connect with Amanda on Twitter @AmandaWemette.

 

[1]  According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

[2]  http://www.diamondv.com/about/who-we-are/

Fuse® Technologies at the Future Farm opening in Zambia

By Dr. Bernhard Schmitz

AGCO’s Fuse® Technologies strategy and precision farming products were presented during the recent Future Farm opening in Zambia. Visitors learned about AGCO’s technology offerings that are currently available for the future farm:

  • All technology enabled machines were equipped with Auto-GuideTM
  • All technology enabled machines were equipped with AGCO’s telemetry system, AgCommand®.
  • The open approach of the Fuse strategy was perfectly demonstrated with the presence of Precision Decision next to the Fuse tent. Precision Decision offers services around precision agriculture such as soil sampling.
AGCO’s Fuse<sup>®</sup> Technologies strategy and precision farming products were presented during the recent Future Farm opening in Zambia.

AGCO’s Fuse® Technologies strategy and precision farming products were presented during the recent Future Farm opening in Zambia.

The Future Farm perfectly showcases AGCO’s open approach by exemplifying how different agricultural business partners are brought together to connect and demonstrate the best farming practices for Africa.

To follow the latest updates about the Future Farm, connect with @AGCOcorp on Twitter and follow the hashtags #FutureFarm and #AGCOAfrica.

 

Dr. Bernhard Schmitz is a Commercial Manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on Fuse precision farming products for the EAME region.

AGCO engineers from around the globe participate in Plugfest to improve interoperability of precision equipment and data

By Ben Craker

AGCO engineers from around the globe recently participated in the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) spring Plugfest in Lincoln, Nebraska. The annual event brings together tractor, terminal, and implement manufacturers from around the globe to test compatibility with each other under the ISO11783 standard for agricultural machine communications. Participants at Plugfest bring the terminals and Electronic Control Units (ECU) used in their machinery to test compatibly with other manufacturers. Historically there have been slight differences in interpretation of the ISO11783 standard between companies, sometimes resulting in incompatibilities. The event gives ag equipment manufacturers a chance to test with many different manufactures in one location to identify any issues.

Plugfest 2015

AGCO engineers from around the globe recently participated in the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) spring Plugfest in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The recent launch of the AEF ISOBUS Database website earlier this year at the SIMA show in France has given additional structure to the ISO11783 standard. Manufacturers that participate in the ISOBUS database must have their software and hardware conformance tested by independent third party test labs to verify adherence to the standards. The overall ISO11783 standard has been broken down into multiple, different functionality tests ranging from universal terminal support to automatic section control and georeferenced data logging. Using the database, farmers are able to select from machinery that has been conformance tested to see what functionalities will work with various different tractor and implement combinations.

In addition to the Plugfest event, several meetings took place during the week. The AEF organization is broken up into multiple different working groups, each with their own teams focused on specific projects. The working groups are composed of members from many different manufactures from all over the world; the event gives them an opportunity to meet face to face and work on their areas of focus. This year also saw a meeting between the AEF working group focused on Farm Management Information System (FMIS) communication and the AgGateway SPADE and ADAPT teams. The two groups identified areas where they can collaborate – minimizing the duplication of effort – while working toward better communication between manufactures to simplify the process of moving farmers’ data between different machines and software.

AGCO’s involvement in organizations like AgGateway and AEF and participation at events like Plugfest are examples of the Fuse® Technologies open approach and mixed fleet focus. These groups are continuously working so that precision farming technology will be easier to use when a grower has multiple brands of equipment. The work done by engineers and other personnel from AGCO and other companies moves the entire industry forward toward a goal of interoperability of precision equipment and data.

 

Ben Craker is a Manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on Global Partnerships and Standards for Fuse Technologies. Connect with Ben on Twitter @crakerb.

It’s Your Farm and Your Data: AGCO’s Data Management Approach

By Carla Gasparin

Partnerships through connectivity solutions, and utilizing industry standards, are key enablers for today’s farmers. With Fuse®, AGCO is pioneering an open approach to precision farming built on adherence to industry data standards and a growing list of partnerships. Fuse is AGCO’s precision farming and precision machine management strategy that allows farmers freedom and flexibility in their choices of machinery, farm management and agronomy software, and service providers – while providing unique solutions for managing their valuable data.Data Management

A rapidly growing area of machine technology is remote connectivity, with solutions integrated into products that communicate equipment performance information and wirelessly send agronomic (task) information from the field to the office and from the office to the field. In order to preplan, manage and analyze agronomic data, AGCO offers the wireless transfer of task data from the machine terminal to the office computer through a unique data pipe, separate from raw machine data. AGCO recognizes and respects customers’ data privacy rights and acknowledges that all equipment and crop data generated during a grower’s operation belongs to the grower. An AGCO customer can choose between task and fleet management products and data paths to wirelessly transfer operational information:

  • AgCommand®, AGCO’s telematic machine and fleet monitoring system, captures and wirelessly transfers equipment status, location and performance data to a unique user interface used by farmers and AGCO dealers to provide machine optimization, performance monitoring and machine uptime. Customers and dealers can access data through the AgCommand website and app on an iOS smart device. Telemetry focuses on keeping equipment in the field and ensuring the machine is optimized for the best performance. Focusing on minimizing downtime, AGCO uses technology to make sure farm equipment is not only continually moving, but also running optimized. Products that are never idle and providing the current status is the target. We develop solutions that help farmers to understand where his/her pieces of equipment are, and let him/her knows what operations it is doing.
  • Task data management is possible with a wide selection of AGCO’s partner Farm Management Information Systems including FarmWorks, Claas Agrocom Net, Helm, BASF and Land-Data Eurosoft AgrarOffice. Since 2010 the VarioDoc/TaskDoc offering from AGCO has been based on the ISO 11783-10 standard. AGCO’s task management solutions include wireless transfer of crop data in the form of work orders and work records. This can be done through an exchange server directly from a machine terminal through cellular connection or Bluetooth. AGCO is not locked into a single service provider or FMIS. We are the connectivity partner between the farmers and service providers, so our customers are free to choose which trusted advisors he/she wants to work with. It is important we offer capabilities that link service providers with our customers, more specifically to business data and field operations. It is important to respect customers’ choices, and let them to choose their service providers.

We in AGCO recognize that task and fleet management data are important information that should be handled differently. We want to make sure the farmers are connected to each step of the crop cycle, and also connected to AGCO dealers and service providers. The data collected in one operation can be used to create information that will be used in the next operation, from planning and planting, to growing, harvesting and storage. Fuse Technologies address each step of the growing cycle, focusing on adding new technologies on all AGCO equipment.

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

 

Carla Gasparin is a Manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, working in  Product Management for Global Off-board Technologies for Fuse Technologies.

The Fuse Strategy: Partnership focus and openness through industry organizations

By Ben Craker

It is hard to read through any farming magazines without seeing an article about new technology or how big data is driving the next revolution in agriculture. The period we are in now is often described as a hinge point where the market will fundamentally shift as the result of new disruptive technology. The information age of farming is upon us with new players in the ag sector from places like Silicon Valley. The machines farmers use to grow the food and fiber to feed the world are advancing at a pace like never before with new technologies seeming to be announced almost daily. This change in the industry is what led AGCO to develop FuseTM Technologies, our next generation approach to precision agriculture.

A key focus of the Fuse strategy is partnering with industry leading companies. AGCO has a history of working with leading technology companies to integrate advanced technology components and features into our equipment. Examples include Raven rate and section control products on RoGators and TerraGators, Beeline for the original Auto-Guide system, Topcon in more recent years for machine guidance, terminals, and telematics. The Fuse strategy formalizes the partnering process and provides direction for how AGCO will partner with tech companies. This allows AGCO to focus on the development of the machine and a few core features, while still integrating best in class technology from innovators and leaders in the industry.

One of the most exciting developments in the partnering strategy has been the recent formation of the Intelligent Agricultural Solutions (IAS) joint venture with Appareo. This unique to the industry partnership will provide AGCO direct access to a leading technology company to help in the development of advanced sensors and communications while helping to fuel future research and development. The capabilities of the IAS team and their passion for creating new technologies that will fundamentally change the precision farming industry are very exciting and work has already begun on some truly innovative ideas.

AGCO is also participating in Farm2050 with companies like Google, DuPont and Flextronics to help AgTech startups get access to capital, design, manufacturing, distribution and general industry knowledge to bring new technologies to the market to help meet the world’s growing demand for food and fiber. The mission of the group is to enable new startups to quickly get to market and really accelerate technology in the ag industry. Farm2050 is a little different than the traditional venture capital group in that the participants are providing something other than just funding to the startups – companies like AGCO are providing agriculture industry expertise. AGCO’s participation in this group is a great example of how we are looking for the next generation of technology to integrate into our machines as part of the Fuse strategy.

Participation in industry organizations is also a good example of how the Fuse open approach and partnering strategy is benefiting the industry. Through groups like the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) and AgGateway, AGCO is playing an active role in making farmers’ lives easier. AGCO employees have worked alongside employees from some of our fiercest competitors to standardize machine to machine communication through the ISO11783 standard. Since the original roll out of the standard and introduction of ISOBUS equipment the group has continued to improve on the standard and will be launching additional tools at the SIMA show in France at the end of the month, delivering independent verification of functionalities within the ISO11783 standard.

Similar work is going on within the AgGateway group where people from a wide variety of companies involved in the ag industry, from seed and chemical companies to software providers and ag retailers, have come together to help advance eBusiness in agriculture. A key part of that is making sure everyone is speaking the same language. The AgGateway Precision Ag Council, of which AGCO is an active member, is building on the ISO11783 standard to help make it easier for famers to manage all the data they log on their machines or create in a Farm Information Management System (FMIS). Today almost any grower can tell you about the difficulties of getting one brand to talk to another or trying to coordinate information between different FMIS platforms. Later this year AgGateway plans to roll out a tool to help streamline this process and enable growers to really start creating meaningful information they can use to drive fact based decisions in their precision farming operations.

So whether is it is leveraging long standing partnerships with precision farming companies, looking for new innovative technologies to integrate into AGCO machines or participating with groups working to standardize the data flow in the precision agriculture world, it is an exciting time to be involved in precision agriculture. By focusing on partnerships and openness, in addition to its own technological advancements, AGCO is positioned to be a leader in the greatest advancement in agriculture since the introduction of the internal combustion engine.

To learn more about the Fuse strategy, and read our latest news and announcements, visit agcotechnologies.com.

 

Ben Craker is a Manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on Global Partnerships and Standards for Fuse Technologies. Connect with Ben on Twitter @crakerb.

 

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