John Deere launches ‘information-enabled agriculture’

John Deere recently announced a suite of innovative precision farming products at an event held at the company’s European Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Launched under the umbrella of ‘information enabled agriculture’ and the company’s new agricultural web portal MyJohnDeere.com, the products – including the new Wireless Data Transfer and Field Connect sensor systems – are the latest tangible elements of the John Deere FarmSight strategy.

“With these innovative John Deere technologies, information enabled agriculture has now become a reality,” said Georg Larscheid, John Deere’s integrated solution implementation manager, at the launch.

As the key enabler of this new approach, the Operations Centre in MyJohnDeere.com allows farmers and contractors to manage their land and their machinery fleet from a central location. After logging onto their own secure site, they are able to allocate their equipment to specific tasks, track the work progress of the machines and adjust work orders to match actual weather conditions.

In addition to machine information, the Operations Centre now provides field information, with both displayed on a map. With these enhancements, customers can view the documentation data coming from the John Deere GreenStar 2630 display in the vehicle cab. For example, users can then analyse and compare yields to decide which varieties should be planted next season, or they can print out reports for invoicing purposes.

As a result the Operations Centre enables users to get a quick overview of ongoing operations to make sure the right equipment is in the right place at the right time, as well as to make sound business decisions based on accurate agronomic information. MyJohnDeere.com users can also securely share data with trusted third parties, such as crop consultants, contractors and dealers, at any time and from any location.

To support a seamless data flow between the GreenStar 2630 display and MyJohnDeere.com, as well as facilitate the documentation, John Deere has introduced the new Wireless Data Transfer (WDT) system. During the harvesting season, yield data can be sent wirelessly to the portal and is available as soon as the combine operator finishes the field. WDT also allows the user to transmit information to the GreenStar cab display and prepare the equipment for the next job. This includes set-up data or prescription maps for sprayers, spreaders and drills, for example.

WDT is available to farmers and contractors who operate machines equipped with JDLink telematics, a GreenStar 2630 display including an ethernet cable and a suitable subscription. It can be activated in two ways: either automatically when the machine operator enters a new field, or when the driver activates the system to start the data flow.

One important element of the concept is to allow all-makes connectivity. While JDLink Ultimate is for John Deere machines only, JDLink Select is available as a universal solution to retrofit to non-Deere machines as well as used equipment.

In another new FarmSight development, the John Deere Field Connect sensor system for field scale irrigation will be available from this autumn. It is designed to aid water and irrigation management and agronomic decision making, as well as optimise crop yields, quality and input costs.

Field Connect uses field-installed probes to provide accurate, real-time soil moisture data at four different depths, and can then wirelessly transmit these using both cellular and satellite communication networks to the farm computer or a mobile device. The system can also monitor other environmental data on temperature, rainfall and solar radiation, for example, to allow more timely and accurate control of water and nutrient applications via the internet.

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