Posts Tagged ‘precision ag’
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 »
To help producers overcome farming’s many challenges—as well as adapt to favorable market conditions—AGCO has recently introduced Fuse® Connected Services. Backed by AGCO Parts, AGCO Service and AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS), Fuse Connected Services combines the right machines, technology, parts, service and support to help customers optimize their operations and maximize uptime. It is a key delivery mechanism of AGCO’s overall approach to precision agriculture.
According to Eric Hansotia, senior vice president, global crop cycle, ATS and dealer tech support at AGCO, Fuse Connected Services is designed to help growers improve overall farm efficiency through preventative maintenance, machine condition monitoring and year-round consultation—all of which are designed to lower input costs, increase equipment uptime and improve yields.
“Using Fuse Connected Services, a producer can control and/or monitor his entire operation, either on his own or with the help of his AGCO dealer. This means making sure machines are up and running when they need to be, coordinated in the right place at the right time, with a seamless ability to use and transfer data,” Hansotia explains, noting that two levels of Fuse Connected Services will be introduced through North American AGCO dealers over the next three years.
Level one of the new service enables customers to conduct self-monitoring, data transfer and operation support from the global Fuse Contact Center via phone, live chat and email. The second-level package offers proactive, remote condition monitoring by dealer experts, off-season inspections and reviews, operational consultation and operator training.
“Unlike some manufacturers,” explains Hansotia, “AGCO believes that machines and precision farming systems need to ‘talk’ to each other, no matter the color. Consequently, Fuse provides mixed-fleet farming operations with improved access to farm data and better connections to trusted service providers.”
Plus, says Hansotia, AGCO not only understands the producer’s need to choose the partners that work best for his or her operation, the company also respects the right to data privacy. “Fuse is also the only solution that provides two distinct data ‘pipes’—one for machine data and one for agronomic data,” he says. “Farmers don’t have to share their farm data with AGCO to use our products or connect with other trusted partners.
“At AGCO,” Hansotia continues, “we acknowledge that the grower owns all equipment and crop data generated by his or her equipment. Through Fuse Connected Services, we want to make sure our customers have the best tools and support to manage their operations via whatever product or partner they choose.”
By: Amanda Wemette
Precision agriculture technologies can provide multiple benefits to producers through input savings, improved time, labor and equipment management, and environmental benefits. Automatic section control (ASC) technology, available for use on sprayers, planters, spreaders, and other application equipment, works by automatically turning sections of equipment off in areas where inputs have been previously applied or in unwanted zones (e.g. environmentally sensitive areas such as grassed waterways).
Research at Auburn University found that ASC can provide a 4.3% average savings on inputs with a payback period of less than 2 years for most application equipment. These savings are a result of reduced overlap at headlands and within point rows. In return, farmers can expect savings between $1.50/ac/yr to $25.00/ac/yr for this technology depending upon crop, management, and field shape and size.
Automatic guidance systems, which reduce overlap and input usage, can save approximately 10% on input savings with farmers seeing a possible 15% to 30% overall savings when using both ASC and automatic guidance systems together. Additional benefits of automatic guidance systems include reducing the concentration time needed during driving, which in turn leads to less fatigue and an increased ability to focus on other tasks.
Yield maps can be used not only to evaluate current and new management practices, but also as a data source for development of site-specific management strategies (e.g. management zones, variable-rate seeding and nutrient prescription maps, etc.).
Furthermore, the adoption of variable-rate technology to vary inputs can provide additional savings and yield benefits to producers by placing the ideal amount of inputs in the right place.
With machine and fleet management, you gain a higher level of understanding about the efficiency, performance and logistics of your entire operation from a computer or mobile device – putting fleet and asset information at your fingertips and enabling you to make big-picture decisions about your operation.
Amanda Wemette is a Sr. Marketing Communications Specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on bringing AGCO’s Fuse precision farming technologies and services to market . Connect with Amanda on Twitter @AmandaWemette.
To see the benefits of precision agriculture, try our simple payback calculator.
For more information on AGCO’s precision farming products, data management policy and Fuse Connected Services, please visit www.AGCOcorp.com/Fuse.
By: Ben Craker
Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Kevin Harwood and Ryan Considine, the hosts of Mutual Mobile’s Tech Table podcast. Mutual Mobile is a consulting firm specializing in mobile solutions and is one of AGCO’s key partnerships for delivering best-in-class precision farming technology solutions to AGCO’s customers and dealers. Normally the podcasts feature guests discussing topics related to Android, iOS, the web and where new technology is headed. For my recent visit the hosts branched out a little to learn how farm technologies are changing, and the impact the Internet of Things (IoT) will have on the day to day life of the average farmer. We talked about how products like Auto-Guide™ and VarioGuide have become must-haves for farm operations of nearly any size.
Data, of course, was a main topic of discussion. We talked about the coming evolution in the way farms are managed, such as how innovative products like Go-Task™ and VarioDoc allow farmers to get information to and from machines easily so they can pass it securely to the software tools and trusted advisors they choose. Enabling data to flow to the right places for quick and accurate analysis will enable growers to manage their fields on a nearly plant by plant basis. We also discussed how the stream of information coming off machines and into tools like AgCommand® will allow new levels of uptime and productivity. Should farmers elect to share this machine information with their dealers, a new level of uptime can be unlocked through remote monitoring and analysis of machine performance.
So if you are interested in technology and the future of farming from data to drones, check out the February Tech Table podcast from Mutual Mobile to see what we discussed. There is also a great archive of other podcasts covering a wide variety of technology innovation with topics like the connected car, the Internet of Things and technology in healthcare.
For more information about Fuse, AGCO’s open approach to precision agriculture, visit www.AGCOcorp.com/Fuse.
Ben Craker is a Manager of Product Management Data, Partners and Standards for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group. Connect with Ben on Twitter @crakerb.
By: Melissa Runge
We have all seen the stereotype of a farmer being portrayed as an older gentleman with a pitchfork in his hand, right? Indeed, if you were to glance at the 2012 US Census of Agriculture report, it would quickly become apparent that some of those stereotypical characteristics are in fact true. This study reported the average age of a principal farm owner in 2012 was 58.3 years old which is up from the average age of 57.1 years in 2007. This increase in the average age of principal owners has been a trend for more than 30 years, with no perceptible reversal in sight. While most farmers are older than the average population, that doesn’t mean he is carrying a pitchfork; think more along the lines of an iPad.
What does this mean for the farming business? It means those who are farming are getting older and younger farmers are not lining up to enter the business. Times are changing and equipment manufacturers have an obligation to farmers to provide products that ensure this business stays relevant and exciting while not only providing value to existing customers but also attracting new customers. As with most generations, the younger set considers cash as the most important perk of a job. In 2013, Ernst & Young conducted a survey to determine which characteristics were prevalent by generation. This survey included 1,215 cross-company professionals and grouped them into three categories: Millennials–ages 18-32, Generation X–ages 33-48 and Boomers–ages 49-57. Overwhelmingly it showed that cash is still the king of perks.
All of this research suggests that younger generations aren’t lining up to enter the business of large acreage farming for one reason: LACK OF CASH. Not only is it expensive to start a farming operation, if grandpa wasn’t in the business, young people are even less likely to jump into farming. According to a 2016 report from Iowa State University which estimates the costs of crop production in Iowa, the average cost to farm an acre of land was between approximately $600 and $800 per acre. This includes the cost of machinery, seeds, chemicals, labor and land. These ongoing costs are quite substantial and do not include any startup costs, and taken together, they are proving to be intimidating to a young farmer.
AGCO understands the need to attract these potential customers, the young farmer, but also to make our existing customers, including the seasoned farmer, more successful. One way this can happen is through technology. Let’s face it: technology is here to stay and we must embrace it no matter what industry or generation we are in. We are all guilty of getting lost in our phone or computer from time to time; however, for Millennials this is how business is conducted. According to that same Ernst & Young survey, Millennials are regarded as the most tech savvy generation (78%) compared to Generation X (18%) and Boomers (4%). As AGCO continues to grow our Fuse Technologies product portfolio and dealers offer Fuse Connected Services, it is imperative that we keep these characteristics in mind.
By not only introducing new and updated Fuse technologies including guidance, telematics and applications to optimize the farm, the introduction of Fuse Connected Services provides customers service and support to ensure these products are being used correctly. These technologies and services are allowing farms to become more and more technology-driven, which suits the younger, future farmer demographic while also optimizing the farms of existing farmers to improve yields and profitability.
The end result for our customers of all generations will be the same– INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY AND INCREASED PROFIT which in turn will attract more new farmers into the business and keep farming relevant and exciting.
For more information on AGCO’s precision farming products, data management policy and Fuse Connected Services, please visit www.agcocorp.com/Fuse.
Melissa Runge is the global program manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group.