AgGateway offers precision ag standards for seeding operations

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AgGateway's Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE) Project has posted documentation that fills a critical gap in providing data exchange between diverse devices and systems used by farmers for seeding operations. The document is available for industry use and comment. Equipment manufacturers are expected to immediately begin utilizing the AgGateway SPADE data exchange processes to better support growers as they leverage their data to increase production efficiency.

The specific documentation references the AgGateway Extensions to ISO 11783 Part 10. It can be accessed from the home page of www.AgGateway.org; the project team is also accepting public comment on the document. AgGateway standards are open for all to access and use, and they can be used globally. Comments on the AgGateway documentation can be submitted to Member.Services@AgGateway.org.

"This work represents a comprehensive review of ISO 11783 in the context of seeding use cases from both a machine technical perspective and an agronomic perspective," said Kyle Schmidt, Systems Engineer for AGCO Corporation's Advanced Technology Solutions division. Schmidt served as the lead editor on the document. "We now look forward to completing this same work for crop protection application and harvest."

The seeding operations documentation is now part of SPADE's Ag Data Application Programming Toolkit (ADAPT), which was recently demonstrated at the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation's (AEF) PlugFest and the AgGateway Mid-Year Meeting. ADAPT is a set of software tools designed to simplify field operations data exchange by farm management software companies, farm equipment manufacturers, Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS) and other stakeholders. It addresses a pressing need in agriculture: interoperability, or the ability of farm systems to "talk" to each other.

The SPADE team worked closely with AEF, the governing body for ISO 11783, and has submitted the seeding operations documentation to AEF.

"Our AgGateway SPADE team has found the working relationship with AEF to be very satisfying and mutually beneficial," said Joe Tevis, Ph.D., director of agronomic products and services for Topcon Precision Agriculture, and SPADE Project Chair.

Today's farm equipment often collects vast amounts of data on field activity, capturing applied product information (how much, where, when) for seed, fertilizer, micronutrients and crop protection products and for harvest yields. The information obtained from this raw data can be used by the farm data owners to more accurately apply crop inputs and improve their overall production efficiencies, which often results in better use of resources and improves the quality of the food supply.

But to date, it's been difficult for farmers and their trusted partners to easily access and apply that data, so most of it goes unused.

"Stakeholders in agriculture currently spend a lot of time and effort converting between multiple proprietary data formats in order to effectively utilize the data that has been collected. The SPADE work will make a huge difference in breaking that data format logjam," said Andres Ferreyra, Ph.D., manager of special projects in Ag Connections, Inc.; and the SPADE Management Team Lead.

The SPADE project team, a group of more than 30 agricultural companies, has been working for more than two years to document seeding, crop protection application and harvest-related processes. The team will be meeting in Atlanta the first week of August to continue this work, focusing on completing crop protection and harvest documentation later this year.


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