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AGCO Discusses the Future of Precision Farming on 21st Century Television

Since the launch of AGCO’s FuseTM Technologies strategy last summer, Fuse has continued to gain traction in global media—from product announcements to new strategic partnerships.  Last month, Eric Hansotia, Senior Vice President Global Harvesting and Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS), and Matt Rushing, Vice President of Product Management, ATS and Electronics Functional Group globally, discussed the future of precision farming and the challenges facing today’s growers on 21st Century Television.

AGCO Fuse Technologies on 21st Century Television

AGCO’s own Eric Hansotia & Matt Rushing discuss the future of precision farming on 21st Century Television.

21st Century Television is an award winning business show that provides its business viewers an in depth opportunity to find solutions to industry problems from some of the top business leaders from across the world. With more than 5000 companies participating on over 500 shows, 21st Century Television airs on cable networks that reach over 100 million viewers worldwide. The Fuse Technologies segment aired in nearly 50 countries across 4 continents.

On the show, Eric and Matt provided an overview of Fuse Technologies—AGCO’s global corporate initiative that addresses all aspects of precision farming technology and how farmers can optimize their operations through AGCO products and new services. They discussed how improvements in precision farming technology will be key for solving today’s farming challenges.

To view the video, click here. For more information about Fuse Technologies, visit www.agcotechnologies.com.

Technology Experts Were at Agritechnica to Showcase Precision Farming Products

By Bernhard Schmitz

AGCO’s new technology strategy, FuseTM Technologies, was a major component of AGCO’s presence recently at Agritechnica, the world’s largest exhibition of agricultural machinery and equipment. Held in Hanover, Germany, from November 12-16, 2013, the show attracted 450,000 visitors from across the globe.

Fuse Interactive Smart Farm

The Fuse Technologies interactive smart farm operated on a video game platform and showed how Fuse products help growers in each phase of the crop cycle.

Show attendees could experience Fuse products and learn more about the strategy in several ways. The Fuse booth was located at the center of the AGCO floor plan, where visitors could interact with touch screen stations to learn about the Fuse connected strategy.

The Fuse booth also included the interactive smart farm display that showed how Fuse Technologies helps growers through each phase of the crop cycle. Eric Hansotia, Senior Vice President of Global Harvesting and ATS, and Helmut Endres, Senior Vice President of Engineering Worldwide both visited the Fuse booth and interacted with the Fuse smart farm screen.

After learning about what Fuse is and how it helps growers, visitors could venture out to each brand area—Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, as well as Fella—which featured technology stands staffed with experts ready to answer attendees’ precision farming questions.

Show attendees could interact with each brand’s precision farming products, especially some of the new products that made their debut at the show such as VarioGuide Light and the latest AgCommandTM integrations.

Additionally, AGCO’s own Matt Rushing, Vice President of Product Management, Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) and Electronics Functional Group, was on-hand at the Massey Ferguson stand to explain the Fuse Technologies strategy: click here to see the video.

To see photos from Agritechnica 2013, visit our Facebook page.
To learn more about Fuse Technologies, click here.

Dr. Bernhard Schmitz is the Commercial Manager of ATS Products for EAME based in Neuhausen, Switzerland.

Ground Control

The quality of machinery—the iron, its design and functionality—will always be important. More often in the years ahead, though, customers will want to know what the machinery can deliver in the way of precision farming capabilities.

“Even with the exceptional productivity gains farmers have made in recent years,” says Bruce Hart, AGCO’s director, ATS Global Marketing, “there will continue to be expectations of greater gains to come. Things like uptime will need to be increased, so will in-field efficiency, yield per acre—even in less-than-perfect conditions. One of the biggest differentiators in the future to help with this will be electronics.”

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In some ways, that future has already arrived. Ken Salsman considers that nearly every time he cuts hay using his Hesston® by Massey Ferguson WR9770 windrower equipped with autosteering. “I really like the accuracy,” says Salsman, who farms about 500 acres near Macon, Mo. “Each swath is the same as the one before. The bales can get lopsided if you don’t get the same cut every time you go through the field. Plus, I can cut for six to 12 hours and not feel nearly as tired as when I’d run four hours before we had this system. I save fuel because I’m not overlapping.”

Now, even more revolutionary and helpful tools are being incorporated into farming operations. The latest advancement allows the machines to recognize and communicate their own maintenance needs, while also helping make real-time adjustments in the field.

Much of that can be accomplished through AGCO’s new AgCommand™, a telemetry system that tracks the location and activity of machinery either via computers in the office or through a portable tablet or computer.

AgCommand has already gained traction with agricultural businesses such as cooperatives and agronomy service companies.

“Technology like AgCommand has shown us how inefficient we can be,” says Terry Schmidt, an agronomy manager with CHS, Inc., in southern Minnesota. “As a result of using the program, we went from having eight fertilization units to seven and yet covered more acres the very next year.”

Schmidt is working with AGCO toward the day when all 29 of the application units he now manages for CHS in the region can be dispatched through AgCommand. That, he says, would allow for even more efficiency in terms of getting the right machine in the right location without any confusion or delay.

The ability to monitor and control machinery remotely will also make it easier for farms to employ machinery operators who don’t necessarily have to understand what every screen in the cab is doing. That’s an important factor in an era where farmers can struggle finding qualified employees.

AGCO is also working to make sure AgCommand remains easy to learn and compatible with a variety of equipment, even with other brands.

Now that these pathways for the technology are being paved, the emphasis is shifting to working with the data that’s being collected. For example, readouts from the planter or cultivator might show that field conditions are actually still too wet to be worked—and may advise a two-day wait. Or the suite of technologies built into the system will have the ability to advise the best hybrids to use in changing conditions.

Missouri farmer Ken Salsman, 65, doesn’t doubt the potential of the technology. He recalls writing a paper in college on the future of agriculture that suggested tractors will drive themselves one day.

“I didn’t think I’d live to see that actually happen,” says Salsman. “But with autosteering, we’re seeing it now.”

Read the full story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/ground-control/.

At Your Command

As recently as a decade ago, most farmers didn’t give much thought to the notion that their tractor could have GPS-guided automated steering. Most sure didn’t think they needed it. Now, producers rave that automated steering has taken a lot of stress out of farming’s long hours, while increasing efficiencies.

The experts at AGCO are certain the same kind of appreciation will come as a result of AgCommand™, the company’s new telemetry system.  AgCommand can log and transmit numerous bits of information about an operation’s machinery to a web site easily accessible to the farmer or others involved in the operation.  AgCommand is only a part of AGCO’s larger Fuse™ initiative that encompasses all aspects of AGCO’s technology offerings. It will enable farmers to optimize their farms through current and future AGCO products and services. To learn more about Fuse, click here.

The data becomes a big tool for the farmer and can translate into improved equipment and overall operational efficiencies. Here are just a few examples:

A farm manager in the office (or the machine operator) might receive a message via the AgCommand web site that one of their tractors is experiencing wheel slippage. If there is slippage, maybe conditions in the field aren’t right yet for cultivation. The producer may have to check for compaction in areas where slippage occurs.

Monitors on the combine might tell the operator or manager—in real time—that they are experiencing grain loss. The combine setup can be adjusted before any more grain is lost.

A farm’s machinery dealer can be tied into the AgCommand monitoring system. They can see when service intervals are going to hit—when more filters and fluids are going to be needed and have them on hand. If the farmer does his own servicing, the dealer can automatically ship supplies directly to the farmer.

For more information and to download the AgCommand mobile app free, go to http://www.myfarmlife.com/first-gear/next-generation-tools/.

Auto-Guide 3000

The newest assisted-steering technology from AGCO, Auto-Guide 3000, offers integration across a range of agricultural equipment brands.  Auto-Guide 3000 is part of AGCO’s larger Fuse™ initiative that encompasses all aspects of AGCO’s technology offerings. It will enable farmers to optimize their farms through current and future AGCO products and services.  To learn more about Fuse, click here.

The new system is also compatible with all GLONASS satellites, in addition to WAAS, OmniSTAR XP, G2 and HP subscription, and RTK GNSS signals. In fact, its high quality and reliability were driven by extensive testing at nine different AGCO manufacturing sites around the globe.

“Auto-Guide 3000 has been the most extensively tested guidance product that has come from AGCO to date,” says Matt Rushing, vice president, product management, AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) and Electronics Functional Group (EFG). “It’s a solution that both customers and dealers can place a high level of confidence in.”

Ease of use is key, notes Rushing. “AGCO has taken steps to design its next generation of guidance solutions to be simple to operate.” With Auto-Guide 3000, he adds, “it’s also fully scalable from sub-meter to centimeter accuracy.”

It’s getting to the point that assisted steering is a standard requirement for most large farmers in North America. Steering and guidance are the most basic precision-ag functions and are the foundation for almost every operation in the growing cycle.

One of the greatest benefits of the Auto-Guide 3000 is that it can be integrated right into the same C1000 tractor monitor that the operator uses to control his tractor, White planter or Hesston® by Massey Ferguson baler. The system also features straight-line, pivot and contour modes, and works with the C2100 monitor in Massey Ferguson combines.

This eliminates the need for an extra monitor in the cab and helps the operator focus on the field, since all the information he or she needs is in one location. However, notes Rushing, for more advanced characteristics and functionality, an optional monitor is available that offers a larger screen and more dedicated functions.

Auto-Guide 3000 is currently available as a factory-installed option on select Massey Ferguson and other AGCO-made tractors and combines, and on Hesston by Massey Ferguson self-propelled windrowers. It’s also offered as an aftermarket add-on.

For more information about the new Auto-Guide 3000 system, contact your local AGCO dealer or visit myFarmLife.com/autoguide.