Technology Provides A New Level Of Scrutiny

Margy Eckelkamp
Margy Eckelkamp
(Farm Journal Media)

The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.

Technology has transitioned from an add-ons to fully integrated with a large majority of high horsepower tractors and combines being outfitted with automated steering from the factory, as just one example.

Another integrated technology that has gained momentum, is telematics. Telemetry systems provide tracking, machine usage/load, and other key data in fleet management.

For retailers, the impact on fully using telematics and analyzing the data to make decisions can yield big payback. For example, Southern Sates Cooperative improved the efficiency of their sprayers and spreaders by 8% since fully deploying the technology in their fleet management program.  Vehicle location is an important tool. Remotely tracking assets has led to greater efficiencies in serving customers. 

It’s not just about when you are using the machine, but how the machine is being used, and what’s next for that machine.

An example of telematics helping manage workflow is at some fertilizer plants, Southern States has set up a geo-fence, so the plant manager receives a real-time alert via text message when tender trucks are heading back to the plant, so they can start blending loads.

And there are more and more telemetry systems being distributed across agriculture. Just this morning, Farmers Edge announced that Nufarm in Australia will be distributors of its product lineup, including its telematics product lineup.

I recently talked more about telematics, and how it pays back with Chip Flory on AgriTalk:  



Latest News

Two Major Grain Companies Announce They Will Stop Doing Business in Russia

Within two days at the end of March, two grain companies said they will cease operations in Russia.

6 Spring Ammonia Season Reminders

The next couple of weeks will be busy with ammonia application in Illinois. Here are a few reminders to keep in mind when working with ammonia

9 Steps to a Perfect Corn Stand

More ears at harvest is the key to higher yield. That requires starting with a picket-fence stand with photocopied plants, achieved by adjusting your planter as conditions change from field to field and within fields. 

FieldAlytics Engage: Farmer-Facing App Clears The Communication Pathway

“This is a powerful app designed to strengthen service providers’ relationships with growers by housing essential information in a single source,” says Ernie Chappell, president of Ever.Ag Agribusiness.

Plagued By Drought and High Input Prices, Cotton Acres Could Crumble This Year

Just ahead of USDA's Prospective Plantings report, the largest cotton growing state in the U.S. is seeing another year of drought, and with fields resembling the Dust Bowl, crop prospects are dwindling by the day.

Farmers Really Want to Plant Corn Not Soybeans, Says FBN Chief Economist 

Kevin McNew says the company's survey of 2,000-plus growers shows they will plant 92.5 million acres of corn and 84.5 million acres of soybeans. Both estimates are counter to what USDA projected in February.