Posts Tagged ‘precision ag’
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. 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.
Around this subject, popular topics often include:
- The usage of fertilizers
- Water usage
- 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.” 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.
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.
 According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
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.
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.
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.
By Rafael Antonio Costa
For the first time in 22 editions, Agrishow – one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive agricultural technology trade shows – saw a decline in total sales volume over the previous year (1.8 billion in business). According to show organizers, high interest rates and political/economic uncertainty were responsible for the loss of business. Yet despite the downturn, the show was still exciting for AGCO customers, with two AGCO brands (Massey Ferguson and Valtra) bringing new launches to the show:
- Sugar Cane Harvester (BE1035e)
- New rotary combine class 6 (BC6800)
- New rotary combine class 6 (BC6800)
- Planter Fertilizer (MF 700 CS)
Technology played an important role at both stands, especially at Valtra for the new sugar cane harvester launch, including:
- Automatic guidance through Auto-GuideTM 3000 – critical to a sugar cane harvesting operation, and comes standard.
- AgCommand® – also comes standard, and enables dealers to monitor the sugar cane harvesters for their customers (with their permission).
The new harvesting machines will have a tracking service included as part of the AgCommand technology, which will allow the AGCO Ribeirão factory to better support the first machines in the field and ensure our customers have the machines working at the maximum efficiency possible – a key component of the Fuse strategy.
A “war room” was assembled at the factory site to support the 35 machines forecasted to be produced this year. In the war room, specialists track the status of the sugar cane harvesters sold with AgCommand® installed. The room counts on a 42’’ TV and a workbench with the Auto-GuideTM 3000 system installed, to speed and facilitate technical support.
To see photos from Agrishow 2015, visit our Facebook album.
To learn more about Fuse, visit http://www.agcotechnologies.com/.
Rafael Antonio Costa is a Product Marketing Manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group in South America. He is based in Mogi das Cruzes, Sao Paulo.
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.
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.
Carla Gasparin is a Manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, working in Product Management for Global Off-board Technologies for Fuse Technologies.