Technology Provides A New Level Of Scrutiny

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: