How Smart Farming Improves Sustainability throughout the Crop Cycle

Sustainability is the driver for the 17 United Nations’ development goals in order to improve global challenges by 2030. Smart farming is the propeller for sustainable agriculture and the key differentiator in solving one of globe’s biggest problems: hunger.

April 23, 2019 by Fuse

How Smart Farming Improves Sustainability throughout the Crop Cycle

Sustainability is the driver for the 17 United Nations’ development goals in order to improve global challenges by 2030. Smart farming is the propeller for sustainable agriculture and the key differentiator in solving one of globe’s biggest problems: hunger.

One of the globe’s biggest problems is hunger given the fact one in nine people (815 million) are undernourished. With the population expected to reach nine billion people by 2050, there is a need to produce more food and fiber despite a dwindling amount of new land available for cultivation. The United Nations created the sustainability development goal of Zero Hunger due to the expectation of 2 billion people being undernourished by 2050. AGCO’s mission is to provide high-tech solutions for farmers feeding the world and AGCO recognizes the importance of having sustainable farming practices and smart solutions that benefit our growing global population. With 26% of today’s global population working in agriculture, providing smart solutions to our growers is key in bringing success to their operation while providing opportunities to combat hunger.

Consumer interest in food traceability is increasing with 59% of consumers wanting to know that the foods they purchase and consume are produced in a sustainable way. This is why collecting data from the beginning of the crop cycle provides transparency, responsibility, and accountability. Sustainability in agriculture occurs when data and smart solutions are maximized to their fullest potential of providing analytics, reducing compaction, increasing efficiency and reducing waste.

What Smart Solutions Does AGCO Provide?

AGCO is the only OEM that is fully agricultural based that has invested in the entire crop cycle.

Beginning with soil, AGCO offers White Planters® and Sunflower® no till air seeders and drills that help reduce soil erosion and carbon emissions. Sunflower also provides Strip-Till Tools that reduces erosion and, if a grower is using fertilizer, potentially reduces fertilizer usage by up to 25% while maintaining crop yield.

During the planting of seeds, AGCO offers multiple solutions such as Precision Planting’s® SmartFirmer® that provides  soil moisture, soil temperature, organic matter and cation exchange capacity to growers allowing them to improve seed and fertilizer distribution. Utilizing AGCO Auto Guide and the NEXT Wayline Converter Tool as an asset to a grower’s machine lets the grower plant the seeds evenly with minimal overlaps thanks to data from pass to pass in the field. As the plant grows, using AGCO Rate and Section Control allows the grower to avoid over application of nutrients and pesticides.

When it comes to harvesting, the IDEAL combine has self-calibrating sensors that can change the concave clearance and the height of chaffer and sieve, as well as ground, rotor and fan speeds in order to reduce grain loss. Storing the crop in the right conditions and tracking the crops through GSI® Watchdog and GSI Vision lets the grower be mobile to make the necessary adjustments needed for no crops to be wasted. None of this can be done without the constant transfer of agronomic and machine data to the grower and the operation.

All throughout the crop cycle, data is constantly being moved to provide the necessary tools to help with the decision making process. For example, a grower may see a nutrient deficiency in a certain part of their field. Using AGCO Agro Link or AGCO agrirouter, they can create a transfer of a nutrient management prescription that will improve yield in the nutrient deficient area while not requiring excess nutrients in other parts of the field. Not only will the grower be able to benefit from agronomic data, but with machine data from AGCO Connect, information can be given on where their equipment is located in real time and when fueling should be scheduled which can help reduce fuel emissions and downtime.

How Does AGCO Educate Our Growers in Sustainability and Smart Farming?

AGCO is proud of our future farms based in Switzerland, Zambia, and in the United States that focus on conducting controlled agricultural experiments with the purpose to provide key learnings on improving farm operations and crop health. For example, this year in our Swiss Future Farm based in Tänikon, Switzerland, we are conducting a variable rate nitrogen trial in wheat to reduce nitrogen fertilizer usage while maintaining yield. Through these variable rate trials, we maximize our efficiency through AGCO Rate and Section Control. At our Zambia Future Farm, currently, we’re conducting agronomy trials focused on no till and strip till to improve tillage processes in the region while educating the local growers on how to improve their operations.

In a world where growers are moving away from traditional agriculture and towards digital agriculture one must be prepared for challenges that may arise throughout the crop cycle. To most people outside of agriculture, soil is just dirt, however, to a grower, it is potential. It is the opportunity to grow more than just one crop, to combat hunger, and provide sustainability to their operations.

If you are interested to learn more about AGCO’s position on sustainability, visit https://www.agcocorp.com/commitment/sustainability/focus-areas/customers.html and https://www.agcocorp.com/commitment/sustainability/focus-areas/communities.html.

To learn more about Fuse, visit http://www.fusesmartfarming.com/.

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