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Massey Ferguson launches bale management app

The app allows hay producers to identify each bale via an attached RFID chip, then track the bale and its production information from the field on a tablet or smartphone.

Hesston by Massey Ferguson, the hay equipment brand from AGCO, gave North American producers their first look at the new Bale Link bale management app during World Ag Expo 2020.

The app allows hay producers to identify each bale via an attached RFID chip, then track the bale and its production information from the field on a tablet or smartphone. The app is available for Android and iOS.

RFID chip woven into baling twine

During baling, a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip is attached to each bale, woven into one of the six strands of baling twine. BaleCreateTM baler software in the Hesston by Massey Ferguson large square baler captures the serial number of the RFID chip, along with bale weight and length, number of flakes, moisture, date and time baled, GPS location where the bale was created and additive applied (if any).

The bale information is transferred from the baler to secure AGCO servers using the AGCO Connectivity Module (ACM). The ACM is a telematics module found in many AGCO machines.

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The Bale Link app is to help hay producers more efficiently manage inventory, storage and shipping. - Photo: AGCO
The Bale Link app is to help hay producers more efficiently manage inventory, storage and shipping. - Photo: AGCO

After baling, the producer scans the RFID chip with an RFID reader (hand-held or mounted on the bale loader or stacker), which retrieves the bale’s unique serial number and communicates the bale ID to the Bale Link app through a Bluetooth Low Energy Connection.

The bale data is retrieved from the AGCO server via cellular service then displayed on a tablet or smartphone. Historical data also can be stored on the tablet or smartphone for offline viewing.

Matt LeCroy, AGCO tactical marketing manager for hay and forage:

When it’s time to load for delivery, loads can easily be filled with hay that fits the criteria the buyer requests

“With the Bale Link app and a scan of the RFID tag on a bale, you’ll be able to access all the production information for that bale,” says Matt LeCroy, AGCO tactical marketing manager for hay and forage. “When bales are stacked for storage, they can be grouped based on any aspect of the production criteria. When it’s time to load for delivery, loads can easily be filled with hay that fits the criteria the buyer requests. Bale Link will be a great time saver for the producer and will provide the hay buyer with a system for traceability, as well as assurance the hay matches specifications.”

Identify, group and manage hay by field, stack or truck load

The app allows the user to identify, group and manage hay by field, stack or truck load, and to generate a report showing the data for each bale within the respective group. The information can be emailed as a summarized PDF report which is accompanied by a detailed CSV data file.

Commercially available for 2022 hay harvest season

The app will be field tested with select customers in 2020, with limited commercial availability in 2021. For the 2022 hay harvest season, Bale Link will be commercially available and offered for use on both Android and iOS operating systems on tablets and smartphones.

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