Integrating farm management software, precision agriculture tools, and farm equipment can be a challenge for farmers. Often these products come from different companies, and factors such as age variances (i.e., an older tractor and newer software) can thwart syncing capability. But farm equipment and technology provider Trimble is working with farmers to make sure they can keep everything in sync.
For example, Michigan wheat farmer Ed Groholski uses what he calls a “somewhat vintage” John Deere tractor equipped with a Trimble automated-steering program. When he added Trimble’s Farm Works field-and-office-management software to his technology toolbox, he was “very happy” that the program could bridge seamlessly with his tractor’s steering capability. (Farm Works is a division of Trimble. Connected Farm is Trimble’s integrated operations management solution that combines hardware and software.)
“I didn’t have to have a shiny new [tractor] from the factory, and Trimble did it quite reasonably,” said Groholski, a third-generation family farmer. “They did it using FmX data system and the DCM 300 Tremble modem because it encompasses the ability to use Connected Farm.”
Groholski can use one modem and one data plan for RTK corrections, to transfer data on yield maps when harvesting, to manage application data, and for precision planting and other tasks. The modem uses cellular technology that works with the CORS system along the highway provided by the federal government.
“It also gives me the bonus that the cellular [network] will transfer the [farm] data back to my home PC, so when I quit for the night, the data is there waiting for me.”
Farm Works generates many types of reports for farmers that can be used for planning and planting, for tracking harvest yields and profitability, and for managing chemicals applications. For example, Groholski uses Trimble mobile computers equipped with GPS to work with a private agronomist to manage fertilizer and pesticide application and soil sampling.
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