Watch Ag Leader’s Luke James give us a demo here:Coverage of the 2013 Farm Progress show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience, Growmark and New Holland
There is a data management dilemma facing modern farmers who are collecting and using increasing amounts of digital data to run their operations and precision agriculture extension specialist Dr. John Fulton with Auburn University says addressing data management is a key issue for production agriculture. “Getting data off the machine automatically is the number one barrier that farmers say is keeping them from moving forward in data management,” said Dr. Fulton during a session at last week’s John Deere Product Intro for the media.
Fulton says bigger machines have led to more data. “There’s more to it than guidance systems, it’s rate control, variable rate, section control – all that technology’s built-in,” he said. “But how big is not really the question, it’s the processing that’s really limiting us” and that will need to be addressed on the software level. “Getting it down to where it’s organized, where I can view it, simply bring it up when I’m on the road,” he said. “The key to success is being able to visualize the data.
Dr. Fulton says farmers have told them in surveys that they need wireless data transfer that is automatic, simple and web-based, and they need local support to make it happen and he thinks the introduction of wireless data transfer for MyJohnDeere.com is an example of what is coming.
Listen to Dr. Fulton explain more here: Interview with Dr. John Fulton, Auburn University extension
AgGateway’s Precision Ag Council is building on its successful work to date on the Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE) Project by launching SPADE2. While the first phase focused on seeding, the second phase will cover crop protection and harvest operations. SPADE2 will also build infrastructure to source the machine and product reference data needed to share crop plans, recommendations, work orders and work records across the industry. These advances will help drive the use of precision ag equipment for a number of basic field operations, enabling growers and agri-businesses to achieve tremendous technological advances, enhanced yield and improved net revenue performance.
The SPADE project will have global impact. The project’s proposed extensions will modify the ISO11783 standards used in agricultural machinery. SPADE is working to allow seamless interoperability and data exchange between hardware systems and software applications that collect field data across farming operations. This ability to share data will simplify mixed-fleet field operations, regulatory compliance, crop insurance reporting, traceability, sustainability assessment and field or crop-scale revenue management. It will also make it easier for growers to share data with their trusted advisors, suppliers and other value partners, and will lower the cost of entry for growers and ag retailers who want to use precision ag technology.
Ted Macy, MapShots President, says “This summer’s InfoAg Conference will be the most significant in MapShots history. We planned this event to give our customers, and those interested in MapShots AgStudio, an advanced look at what we will be featuring at InfoAg.”
The MapShots team will be demonstrating the use of AgStudio for precision soil fertility management, variable rate irrigation and seeding, data analysis, and new business integration tools, including automated crop insurance reporting and AgStudio’s exclusive multiple boundary sets feature.
In addition, MapShots will be demonstrating the AgStudio Select web application. More than just a data viewer, AgStudio Select is poised to become a central part of the AgStudio data management solution.
In an effort to free farmers from vendor-controlled data, Purdue University has launched ISOBlue, an open-source project that aims to provide farmers, via smartphone, with easy access to agricultural data gathered by the industry-standard ISOBUS port located on tractors, harvesters and equipment. FarmLogs, the company that created user-friendly farm management software and mobile apps to help farmers plan, manage and analyze their farms’ operations, is contributing by making a financial commitment and acting as a mentor on the project.
Currently, farmers, agronomists and consultants cannot easily access the useful data that is being generated by farming equipment because of the proprietary data collection systems put in place by agricultural equipment manufacturers. Modern farming equipment generally communicates via a standard ISOBUS network to a proprietary monitor in the tractor or harvester.
ISOBlue’s goal is to free the data by creating a small, low-cost device that forwards the information directly from ISOBUS to the smartphone via Bluetooth. From there, the farmers can easily access the data in real time on their smartphones or elsewhere in the cloud. Unlike other expensive telematics solutions from vendors such as John Deere and Trimble, ISOBlue uses the existing data connection already on the farmer’s smartphone, saving the cost of a dedicated connection. In addition, the device does not require expensive hardware. Ultimately, ISOBlue will provide farmers with cheaper and easier access to their data, which can be used to increase production and cost savings.
FarmLogs will be exhibiting its farm management software at the IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference in Altoona, Iowa on June 26 and 27.
DuPont Pioneer is bringing the next generation of powerful Web-based field management tools to growers with the introduction of Pioneer Field360 Select software. This new subscription service combines field-by-field data with real-time agronomic and weather information to help growers make informed management decisions.
With a subscription to Pioneer Field360 Select software, growers can transform farm data into timely and actionable information. Multiple digital tools for monitoring and predicting field progress and growth stage, plus interactive field maps come together in the Pioneer Field360 Select software offering.
Pioneer Field360 Select software can provide growers substantial information about a field without the grower ever setting foot on the ground. This program is backed by soil, weather and precipitation data spanning many decades. It is also supported by Pioneer Agronomy Sciences data trials to determine growth stages of Pioneer brand corn hybrids.
iPads are becoming a great tool for scouting fields. Purdue Extension has recently released their Corn and Soybean Field Guide in an interactive app format. Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist says the app makes it easier for a farmer to diagnose problems in the field because of the in-depth resources available at their fingertips.
In this Precision Pays Podcast we’ll talk to Kevin Smith – part of the apps development team about how the app can better assist farmers and crop professionals in the field.Precision Pays Podcast
The Precision Pays Podcast is sponsored by Ag Leader Technology.
This planting season, more than 150 farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota are trialing the first offering from Monsanto’s Integrated Farming SystemsSM (IFS) research platform – FieldScriptsSM. With FieldScripts planted on more than 8,300 acres in Illinois, Ground Breakers® farmers there are impressed with how FieldScripts revolutionizes variable rate planting.
FieldScripts integrates Monsanto’s understanding of hybrid performance with the data farmers provide about their individual fields to identify the best hybrids and provide a variable rate planting prescription for each field. The process is led by FieldScripts Certified Dealers, delivered through the FieldView® Plus app on the farmer’s iPad®, and executed with precision equipment on the planter.
Ground Breakers farmer Mark Sturtevant in Carroll County, Ill. has planted several fields with FieldScripts and is excited about bringing together Monsanto’s knowledge of hybrid performance in multiple yield environments with the latest planter technologies, “If we can harness this technology, we’ll be able to increase our yield and profit potential. We’re working to put the right seed, at the right amount, on every acre. FieldScripts is a step in the right direction for the industry.”
While many farmers own variable rate planters, there has not been a simple and accurate way to utilize them. Traditionally, variable rate seeding has been based on soil type or normalized yield, but these methods fall short of revealing the true picture of what is happening in the field or providing a means to plant accurately using that information.
FieldScripts allows the farmer to accurately plant a lower seeding rate in lower-yielding areas of the field, and a higher seeding rate at higher yielding areas of the field, maximizing the yield potential of every seed. Monsanto research has shown that FieldScripts delivers a 5-10 bushel per acre yield advantage across the field as a whole, as compared with fields not planted with FieldScripts. In 2014, Monsanto plans to launch FieldScripts that will be delivered to farmers through FieldScripts Certified DEKALB® seed dealers.
Unmanned aerial systems and remote sensing company Winehawk Labs announced they will release a new model of their successful UAV platform in May of 2013 to coincide with company re-branding. The change in company name, from WineHawk Labs to Precision Hawk, reflects a change in focus from specifically viticulture to broader agriculture where there is a great need for precise data collection and cost-effective platforms for farmers and surveyors.
The new UAV model, the HawkEye Lancaster Mark III, has a fully integrated sensor suite that provides more flexibility in data collection than the previous model. The small and lightweight fixed-wing platform, weighing only three pounds and measuring three feet nose to tail, is completely autonomous, running on the ‘fly and forget’ method. The user-friendly platform allows users to walk out of their back door, toss the platform, wait for it to come back and instantly have the data transfer to a preferred software location. The hyper-intelligent sensors allow for the collection of data on anything from plant research to crop production and protection and account for the current weather conditions to ensure reliable and complete data.
Cornell University professor of soil science Harold van Es says by utilizing adaptive nitrogen management they’re trying to account for the many factors that influence how much nitrogen a corn crop will actually need.
In this Precision Pays Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology, we’ll talk to Harold van Es of Cornell University about Adapt-N.Precision Pays Podcast
The Precision Pays Podcast is sponsored by Ag Leader Technology.
Onset announced a new, enhanced version of the company’s HOBOlink web-enabled software platform that provides 24/7 data access and remote management for Onset’s web-based HOBO U30 data logging systems.
HOBOlink now makes accessing building performance and weather data faster and more convenient than ever. It enables users to schedule automatic delivery of exported data files, in CSV or XLSX format, via email or FTP. And, users now have the flexibility to configure the data export in a highly customized way. For example, a user who has four HOBO U30 systems measuring multiple parameters may configure HOBOlink to automatically export temperature data only – and within a specified time range. This speeds up data analysis time and enables users to focus only on the data that’s important to them.
I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31st. I will also tell my friends and family about World Backup Day – friends don’t let friends go without a backup.
It is very important that you should not only do this today but very regularly. With all the talk we’re hearing about “big data” keep in mind that is only useful if you have it. Catastrophes happen. Don’t let it happen to your data. Here at ZimmComm New Media, we are backup fanatics and archive the masters of all our photos, audio and video files.
I get asked about this quite a bit and have been meaning to write about it. World Backup Day reminded me to get it done.
Here’s our work flow for backing things up.
1. Local computer backups
Each of our computers has a local backup of all data. For our PC’s I have them automatically backup to our shared server. The server is a computer itself that resides on our office network system. We’re currently using an HP Home Server unit that has a capacity of about 4TB of data. Each computer is backed up weekly or in the case of a laptop, whenever it is connected to the network after being on a long road trip. The server has built in syncing software which allows us to create custom settings for each machine’s backup. You can use other software on your computer to sync straight to an external hard drive. I use a program called SyncBack for this.
For our Macs I use Time Machine, which is part of the Mac OSX operating system. Time Machine backs up to a small local hard drive. I have tried many of them and the most reliable seem to be Seagate external hard drives. I travel with one that holds up to 500GB of data. This small hard drive also serves as a great place to temporarily store photos/audio/video until I archive them which I’ll go into later.
Regardless which type of smart phone or tablet you’re using today, this local backup can play an important role with them, not just your computer itself. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad then make sure you sync with iTunes often to keep your device backed up. I can just about guarantee you’ll be glad you did. The same goes with your Android device or whatever you may be using.
2. Cloud computer backups
Besides this local backup we use BackBlaze to back up computer data regardless of being PC or Mac. It is less expensive than other options and very simple to use. Some of those other options include Apple’s iCloud, which I use for syncing all my Mac/iPhone/iPad data, Google Cloud Storage, Dropbox, which we use for sharing all kinds of files easily, and of course services like Carbonite. There are lots of choices for cloud backups today. Their benefits include the fact that your data can be available from anywhere, anytime, if you need it. Continue reading
The minds behind the development of Farmlogs received word that they were getting a financial boost of seed money for the start-up company the week before the recent Iowa Power Farming Show, so they were enthusiastically getting folks to sign up for a one month free trial.
We talked to Co-Founder & CEO Jesse Vollmar (left in photo) at the show, and he said the additional capital is helping expand the company.
“[It will] help build out the team, pick up the pace. We want to reach as many farmers as we can, so the seed funding helps us do that,” Jesse explained.
The rural Michigan native grew up farming, and he said they are finding a way to merge information farmers get in their fields with the public information about other factors that affect their operations. “Pricing data, weather data and how that’s impacting their farm is something we pull all together in one place. A dashboard for farmers to manage all that information online.”
Jesse concludes telling us that you need to farm smart, and that includes smart apps from Farmlogs available to be sent straight to your smartphone. “There’s a lot of decisions that go into being a profitable farmer, and you need to make sure you’re making the right decisions.”
Find out more in this interview with Jesse: Interview with Jesse Vollmar
Many farmers who have been adopting precision farming technology over the last 20 years may have a gold mine of data that could help increase productivity – if they just knew how to organize and analyze it.
Luke James with Ag Leader Technology is doing an educational session at the Iowa Power Farming Show today about how farmers can get more value from their data. “Data can be really powerful if you can put it to use,” he says. “Anything that has to do with how something impacted yield – then you can take it even further and look at profitability.”
James says the Ag Leader SMS software can help growers organize and analyze the data collected from the combination of planting, fertilizer, spraying and harvest.
Find out more in this interview: Interview with Luke James
If you’re at the Iowa Power Farming Show you can find out even more by attending the Ag Leader educational session at 11:30 today or by stopping by the Ag Leader booth #831.
Sage North America announced AgReliant Genetics, LLC has used a customized version of Sage SalesLogix on iPad tablets to achieve 95% CRM adoption among its 300 sales employees and accelerate its sales and marketing processes. AgReliant Genetics cites Sage SalesLogix as a key contributor to its growth.
AgReliant Genetics markets five seed brands in Midwestern corn and soybean states. Each representative works with a customer base of farmers, dealers and retail operations, traveling approximately 50,000 miles a year while working out of their trucks to service territories. Prior to implementing Sage SalesLogix, sales representatives across all five brands used individual selling processes.
The company’s initial CRM deployment showed management the importance of collecting detailed prospect and customer information, managing seed orders in CRM from its fulfillment system, scoring prospects for sales prioritization, and automating marketing campaigns. However, user adoption was just 5 percent due to the inconvenience of carrying laptops in the field.