John Deere has announced a suite of innovative 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 new agricultural web portal MyJohnDeere.com, the products 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.
Machine & field information utilising John Deere Wireless Data Transfer
As the true enabler of information enabled agriculture, the Operations Centre in MyJohnDeere.com allows farmers and contractors to manage their land and their fleet of machines, all from a central location. After logging on to MyJohnDeere.com, 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, both displayed on a map. With these enhancements customers can view the documentation data coming from the 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. They can also print out reports for invoicing purposes.
As a result the Operations Centre enables farmers and contractors to get a quick overview of ongoing operations to make sure the right equipment is at the right place at the right time, as well as to make sound business decisions based on agronomic information.
To support a seamless data flow between the GreenStar 2630 display in the cab and MyJohnDeere.com as well as facilitate the documentation, John Deere has introduced Wireless Data Transfer (WDT). In the harvesting season yield data can be wirelessly sent 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 for 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. Besides JDLink Ultimate for John Deere machines only, John Deere therefore also offers JDLink Select as a universal solution to retrofit to non-Deere machines as well as used equipment.
The implementation of Wireless Data Transfer includes three key customer benefits:
Operator support with John Deere Remote Display Access
- Enhanced performance due to easy, remote data exchange and time saved downloading and uploading data. The availability of real-time information also enables customers to make the best possible decisions, faster.
- Error-free documentation: no issues with the wrong data being on a USB stick, for example, plus the ability to facilitate machine set-up by transmitting the relevant data wirelessly.
- Automatic transmission from the machine means secure data transfer, with no risk of data being copied or getting lost.
John Deere has recently released its Remote Display Access (RDA) function in Western and Central European countries and selected CIS markets. RDA enables the dealer or farm manager to remotely view the GreenStar 2630 display and Generation 4 CommandCentre in the cab of a tractor, combine, self-propelled sprayer or self-propelled forage harvester, and assist the operator with machine operation and setting adjustments.
RDA is an integral part of the JDLink telematics fleet management solution, available for both John Deere and non-Deere machines. JDLink Ultimate uses the machine’s integrated CAN-bus to remotely control machine functions and record key performance data.
For example, JDLink reports and customer recommendations are available to analyse machine utilisation, machine settings, working hours and average engine load. This enables the dealer or farm manager to suggest for instance that an eye should be kept on machine idle time, or the increased use of automatic guidance systems (AutoTrac) and eventually the adoption of a more fuel efficient driving habit. The dealer can also carry out targeted operator training, even with third parties involved. Likewise off-site experts can, with access approval, remotely view the operator’s screen for real-time troubleshooting and operator advice in the field. Farm management support by data sharing
Maximising yields and operating returns requires expert knowledge and collaboration along the entire production chain. Therefore, system openness for partner integration into the ag web portal MyJohnDeere.com is a key requirement that the John Deere FarmSight concept builds upon.
Not only can customers empower their own staff with individual access rights, but they can also include their dealer in areas such as machine optimisation and other John Deere FarmSight services. Beyond that, customers can also include and securely share data with trusted third parties, at any time from any location. As an example, a farm manager and his trusted agronomic consultant can share documentation data and prescription maps. At the same time the farmer can share field boundaries and documentation maps with a contractor.
While the Operation Centre within MyJohnDeere.com offers basic agronomic functions for every customer, it also aims to give them the opportunity to synchronise with their own farm management software, so they can benefit from additional features and meet country specific requirements (e.g. for invoicing, soil sampling and cross compliance). New field management solutions - John Deere Manure Sensing
At the 2014 FIMA fair in Zaragoza (Spain), the awards jury recognised John Deere’s Manure Sensing system on a Kotte slurry tanker as a key innovation. Jointly developed with Kotte Landtechnik, Fliegl Agrartechnik and Vervaet BV, Manure Sensing uses state of the art NIR (near infrared) technology to optimise site-specific nutrient application rates.
This not only helps customers to maximise crop yield potential while minimising the input cost of mineral fertiliser (by knowing instead of guessing the exact amount of additional nutrients required to precisely meet the targeted balance); it also enables easy and accurate documentation for compliance purposes and thus makes a significant contribution to environmental sustainability.
Based on complementary data from yield mapping, soil sampling, N-sensors, etc., the required application rate (target rate and/or limit rate) can be set in the GreenStar 2630 cab display prior to the application. The NIR sensor measures key ingredients of the slurry (dry matter, total nitrogen, NH4, P2O5 and K2O) in real time. The system then adjusts the final slurry flow to deliver the exact quantity of nutrients required.
If a John Deere tractor is used to tow the tanker, the application process can be additionally enhanced by John Deere’s Tractor Implement Automation (TIA) system, which enables the application rate to be adjusted automatically based on the tractor speed. New field management solutions - John Deere Field Connect
Moisture levels vary from field to field and plot to plot. As an intelligent solution to this problem, John Deere Field Connect uses field-installed probes to monitor moisture levels at various depths in the soil. It then sends the information wirelessly to the farm computer or a mobile device, so the user can make timely irrigation decisions from any location. With this site-specific information, growers can more efficiently calculate the correct irrigation inputs, resulting in both energy and water savings as well as additional yield.
Utilising both, cellular and satellite communication networks, the system gateway’s dual communication modes enable consistent and reliable communications from the field – even for remote areas without cellular coverage. The John Deere Field Connect web interface also includes various graphs and tools to enable a detailed analysis of soil moisture levels.
With additional environmental sensors that measure air and soil temperature, wind speed, humidity, solar radiation, rainfall and leaf wetness, growers are informed precisely what goes on in their fields, both above and below the surface.