John Deere launches digital farming hub

11-12-2020 | |
John Deere launches digital farming hub
John Deere launches digital farming hub

John Deere has launched a new digital platform to help farmers in Australia and New Zealand leverage the data of their technology more effectively.

The new John Deere Digital Agriculture Hub will offer digital information, insights and learning resources. It will help growers to use data in decision-making and offers how-to-videos and case studies with primary producers explaining how digital farming has improved their businesses.

25 videos

With the Digital Agriculture Hub John Deere can communicate new features and offer farmers an evolving tool and a library of information.

“At the moment we have about 25 videos to help customers get started”, Production System Manager Ben Kelly of John Deere Australia & New Zealand says. “How to collect good quality data and how to use it. New technology can be quite intimidating, We want to provide a digital framework that is easy for our customers to understand and implement. We want to keep people engaged by adding new material, because the adoption of technology is a journey.”

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Production System Manager Ben Kelly of John Deere Australia & New Zealand: "The adoption of technology is a journey." - Photo: John Deere

Production System Manager Ben Kelly of John Deere Australia & New Zealand: “The adoption of technology is a journey.” – Photo: John Deere

Big gap in knowledge transfer

According to Mr Kelly there is a big gap in knowledge transfer currently. “There is an opportunity to help farmers get more from their technology”, he says. “We have dealers around the country and John Deere people out in the field to support customers but we also see that there is a need to provide information at the farmer’s fingertips.”

Without proper guidance the current lack of knowledge is a barrier to progress, Mr Kelly points out. “Adoption of technology in agriculture, the actual purchase, is quite high. But the utilisation is what we have to focus on. In the cropping segment, every time a farmer buys a machine, it has more technology on board. We want to help farmers maximise their return on that technology.”

Precision agriculture to define future of agriculture

John Deere expects precision agriculture will define the future of agriculture. “We are very focused on precision agriculture and delivering tools for our farmers”, Mr Kelly says. “But there is a lot of discussion about turning the precision into a decision as well. Making informed decisions is critical and we want to enable this for our customers.”

The real differentiator in the future in agriculture is going to be what you can do with data

The idea is to produce more from less, Mr Kelly says. “Whether that is reduced input, increased output or improved profitability. And the real differentiator in the future in agriculture is going to be what you can do with data. For us it is important to help farmers to leverage the power of data more effectively.”

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The Digital Agriculture Hub will help growers to use data in decision-making and offers how-to-videos and case studies with primary producers explaining how digital farming has improved their businesses. - Photo: John Deere

The Digital Agriculture Hub will help growers to use data in decision-making and offers how-to-videos and case studies with primary producers explaining how digital farming has improved their businesses. – Photo: John Deere

Machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics

Mr Kelly says that the recent boom of agtech has helped to improve the connectivity in Australia enormously. “The next frontier will be machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics. We really have to put all the building blocks in place to make good use of this next frontier in agriculture and progress further.”

Farmers in Australia and New Zealand have been using the John Deere Operations Center platform for almost a decade. With this platform John Deere now offers an ecosystem of information, where information is sent from equipment to the cloud. In the cloud a decision can be made and then new useful information can be sent from the cloud to the equipment and executed precisely in the field.

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.

“Farmers can invite a third party to be involved in decision making within the cloud”, Mr Kelly says. “An agronomist for example. All this is happening in near real time. That is something that hasn’t been there in agriculture in the past. To me that is exciting. Growers can make faster, more informed decisions, and easily include their trusted advisors in the process.”

Five years of connectivity

Growers who buy selected John Deere machines currently get five years of connectivity included for moving data to and from the platform. For existing machines, they can also purchase an annual subscription. The Operations Center platform is updated every eight weeks with new features.

Farmers with any brand of equipment can create a MyJohnDeere account, load in their farm machinery and gain access to the John Deere Operations Center. But farmers with equipment of other brands will have a lower level of automation. The platform can accept data from selected non-John Deere displays, which makes it possible to manage the communication between tractors, software and equipment of major manufacturers.

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John Deere expects precision agriculture will define the future of agriculture. - Photo: John Deere

John Deere expects precision agriculture will define the future of agriculture. – Photo: John Deere

Inter-operability of data

John Deere also focusses on the inter-operability of data. The company has worked with AgGateway, a global non-profit organization whose members develop standards and other resources so that companies can rapidly access information. “All of our data on our current display is in their universal ADAPT format, which enables the data to be used in other software platforms compatible with the ADAPT format”, Mr Kelly explains.

DataConnect initiative

And John Deere is part of the DataConnect initiative. With this farmers and contractors operating fleets of machinery from different brands will be able to securely exchange and view machine data through a common interface. In addition, they will be able to control and monitor their entire machinery fleet using their preferred telematics platform, without having to switch portals or manually transfer data from one system to another.

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Production System Manager Ben Kelly of John Deere: "There is an opportunity to help farmers get more from their technology." - Photo John Deere

Production System Manager Ben Kelly of John Deere: “There is an opportunity to help farmers get more from their technology.” – Photo John Deere

Autonomous landscape in agriculture

“We are moving towards an autonomous landscape in agriculture”, Mr Kelly emphasises. “A digital platform will be the way that we interact with our equipment and the information going forward. We still have to go out and get our boots dirty but this will give farmers management control and peace of mind over what needs to be done, when and how.”

Groeneveld
René Groeneveld Correspondent for Australia