Tools & data

Background

How farmers use John Deere Operations Center

While other manufacturers are taking the Agrirouter, universal data highway option, John Deere is not only staying with, but also expanding, its Operations Center on-line system. We asked 3 farmers how they use and benefit from John Deere Operations Center.

Cloud-based computing is gaining ground in agriculture as more software is being hosted and accessed on-line. At the same time data compatibility and co-operation among manufacturers and suppliers is also improving, helping data to be shared more easily.

While other manufacturers are taking the Agrirouter, universal data highway option, John Deere is not only staying with, but also expanding, its Operations Center on-line system. This is free service available to not only its own customers, but users of other brands as well.

Why go it alone when others are collaborating with Agrirouter? John Deere says it prefers to use a direct link and not go through a router. The ‘green giant’ is renowned for keeping things under its own roof, so it’s no surprise this also applies to data transfer.

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John Deere’s Operation Center is a central, on-line location for farmers and contractors to connect to their machines and fields. - Photo: John Deere
John Deere’s Operation Center is a central, on-line location for farmers and contractors to connect to their machines and fields. - Photo: John Deere

Benefit of keeping everything in-house

One benefit of keeping everything in-house is that customers are dealing with a large, secure company they already know. But it does have the potential drawback of perhaps not being as comprehensively compatible as other services.

Nevertheless, mixed fleet owners do have several options to import external data into the Operations Center. Many third party terminals can connect using their own respective format. Alternatively data can be transferred in ISOXML format from a USB stick.

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  • JDLink telemetry wirelessly transfers Data and operating information from tractors and machinery. - Photo: John Deere

    JDLink telemetry wirelessly transfers Data and operating information from tractors and machinery. - Photo: John Deere

  • Anyone, not just John Deere customers, can access the free Operations Center, which also handles data from other makes of machinery. - Photo: John Deere

    Anyone, not just John Deere customers, can access the free Operations Center, which also handles data from other makes of machinery. - Photo: John Deere

DataConnect direct cloud-to-cloud connection

Users of mixed fleets can now also use the DataConnect direct cloud-to-cloud connection to import and transfer data, in real time, between the John Deere Operations Center, Claas Telematics and 365FarmNet platforms. Data is wirelessly transferred between these systems, removing the need to do this manually with a USB stick.

Currently DataConnect will transfer data on the machines’ current and past locations, fuel tank level, status in the field and working speed. Users can choose what digital platform they use to view this information with machines represented by icons in the respective brands’ colours. DataConnect can also be used for harvesting logistics and organise logistic chains.

It’s also possible to link to other software providers, with the Operations Center now working with 250 companies across the world. Individual users choose what additional software to which they wish to connect.

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  • Cloud-based software, accessed though any internet-enabled device, shows machines’ locations and a wide range of information. - Photo: John Deere

    Cloud-based software, accessed though any internet-enabled device, shows machines’ locations and a wide range of information. - Photo: John Deere

  • It is also possible to create field maps to view and analyse agronomic data, for example yield variances across the field. - Photo: John Deere

    It is also possible to create field maps to view and analyse agronomic data, for example yield variances across the field. - Photo: John Deere

On-line Operations Center

John Deere’s Operations Center in the MyJohnDeere.com precision ag web portal serves as the central online location for farmers and contractors to connect to their machines and fields. The latest apps can be used to keep track of work progress and manage machinery and field information, get agronomic advice and monitor machine productivity by working together with, and being connected to, the dealer, farm adviser and other suppliers.

Operations Center out in the field

Slatina, Romania

Ilie Popescu farms 3,000ha of arable land from his base in Slatina, Romania, with his sons Catalin and Andrei. Here cropping includes wheat, oilseed rape, sunflowers and grain maize (corn) as well as soy beans and peas.

The family business, Oltpiess SRL, is also involved in grain trading and has a 100,000t capacity store on the site, as well as a 4ha photovoltaic park.

Operator errors cut by 90%

Andrei Popescu says using the Operations Center to manage machines has cut operator errors by 90% and is producing savings of about 5% overall. “I receive live information about our machines on my phone all the time. We work two shifts and this makes it much easier and to simpler manage staff,” he says.

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Andrei Popescu: “We work two shifts and the Operations Center makes it much easier to simpler manage staff.” - Photo: Andrei Popescu
Andrei Popescu: “We work two shifts and the Operations Center makes it much easier to simpler manage staff.” - Photo: Andrei Popescu

He uses the Operations Center to create the jobs, including machine settings and A-B lines, which he wirelessly transfers to the tractors. All the operators need to do is pull up the job and start work.

“After the work is complete I can make an agronomic analysis of fields, yields as well as check the performance and any differences from fertiliser and pesticide applications,” he adds.

Machinery Fleet

Tractors:

  • 2 x JD 9 Series
  • 4 x JD 8 Series
  • 3 x JD 6 Series

Combines:

  • 5 x JD S Series
  • 1 x JD WTS

Sprayers:

  • 2 x JD self-propelled sprayers

Other equipment brands include Horsch, Kuhn, Lemken, Amazone and Kverneland.

East Lothian, Scotland

Haig Hamilton, farms at West Fortune Farm in Scotland with his mother, father and two brothers, growing wheat, oilseed rape, winter barley, spring barley and potatoes. They own 320ha of arable land, rent 200ha, contract farm 200ha and carry out contracting on a further 680ha.

Operations Center hugely improved communication

The business has seven full time employees and Haig says a huge benefit of using the Operations Center is the way it has hugely improved communication. “It makes it so much easier to share information and I can quickly see where machines are working and how jobs are progressing. This saves time and ‘phone calls,” he says.

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Haig Hamilton: “It makes it so much easier to share information.” - Photo: Haig Hamilton
Haig Hamilton: “It makes it so much easier to share information.” - Photo: Haig Hamilton

StarFire 6000 receivers for automatic steering

He has 11 StarFire 6000 receivers for automatic steering on all the potato equipment. Other equipment is equipped with John Deere terminals and JDLink to transfer the data. These machines include a Grimme Varitron harvester, Claas 780 combine and Sands self-propelled sprayer, which is also fitted with John Deere steering.

“When we ridge up the potatoes we share those initial A-B lines to all the tractors. I think this is what our operators would rate as the best feature, and I agree. It did take a while to set-up the whole system, but our dealer, Sheriffs, has been first class. It took about 18 months of learning, but now the system makes everything so much easier,” he adds.

Machinery Fleet

Tractors:
  • JD 8400R
  • JD 7R 330
  • JD 7310R
  • JD 6250R
  • JD 6215R
  • 2 x JD 6175R
  • 2 x 6155R

Combine:

  • Claas 780 with JD 2630 and JDlink

Other machines:

  • Grimmie Varitron 470 with JD 4640 and JDlink
  • Sands 36m self-propelled sprayer with JD Steering and JDlink

 

Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany

Stefan Vogelsang runs a mixed livestock farm at Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany with his wife, mother and father and one trainee. Here they milk 200 dairy cows and keep 120 sows and raise 1,000 pigs.

He grows 160ha of crops, including wheat, barley and corn, mainly for feed for his own animals, along with a further 50ha of grassland. Robots are used to milk and feed the dairy cows and out in the fields his tractors are equipped with manure sensing, GreenSeeker nutrient sensing as well as automatic steering and section control.

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Stefan Vogelsang: “Now I can see the tractors and optimise the settings on my ‘phone.” - Photo: Stefan Vogelsang
Stefan Vogelsang: “Now I can see the tractors and optimise the settings on my ‘phone.” - Photo: Stefan Vogelsang

“Using the Operations Center has saved a huge amount of time,” he says. “Now all it takes is one morning in the office to manage the records for two weeks’ work. Previously I would need to go in every day.

“Managing work and machines when you are out of the office can be stressful. But now I can see the tractors and optimise the settings on my ‘phone. We started using the Operations Center about six years ago. It did take time to set up, but that was a good investment because I am now benefiting from every day. I even used my phone to help our trainee with a tractor setting when I was abroad on holiday!”

Machinery Fleet

Tractors:

  • JD 6830
  • JD 6910
  • JD 7730
  • JD 6100

 

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