Many growers and crop advisors consider site-specific yield measurement as the best way to start with precision agriculture. The technology reveals differences in terms of quantity, and in some crops differences in quality as well. Every farmer knows that those differences are there, but to what extent remains uncertain until they can be measured objectively. Despite the farmer’s knowledge and experience, the amazement about the real differences within a field is often very big.
Possible in virtually every crop
By measuring the crop yield site-specific you not only harvest your crop, but also a huge amount of useful data about the quantity and quality of the crop. Where the first steps in precision farming with GPS were made about 25 years ago, yield measurement technology nowadays is commercially available for virtually every type of crop.
With the arrival of yield measurement systems for root crops about 5 years ago, it became possible to monitor yields in (for The Netherlands at least) big and moneymaking crops. Usually inexpensive weigh cells underneath webs or tanks/bunkers are used which makes the technology suitable for many pulled and self-propelled harvesters including potato, onion, sugar beet, chicory, celery, cauliflower, carrot, cabbage and flower bulb harvesters.
The majority of Agritechnica visitors is of course drawn to the – literally – big new tractors like the John Deere 9RX and the Fendt 1000 series. Not surprisingly, Agco said the Fendt 1050 was the most photographed product at the Agco booth. Another tractor, but with the size of a small car and parked somewhat secluded in hall 26, also attracted much attention. Not by that many visitors, but moreover by a lot of engineers from (tractor) manufacturers, including the above mentioned global players. I’m talking about the autonomous Greenbot tractor developed and manufactured by a Dutch company called Precision Makers. In fact, the roots of this vehicle lie at Dutch Wageningen University. It undoubtedly opened the eyes and ears of all tractor manufacturers. I definately see an analogy with ‘start-up’ car maker Tesla and the ratrace to introduce the first autonomous car between Apple, Google and the established car manufacturers.
For those of you who looked beyond the big machines and tractors, different trends were undeniably visible in the area of precision farming and smart farming, or should we call it (big) data farming? Almost all manufacturers of slurry / manure application equipment displayed NIR (Near Infra Red) spectroscopy solutions for inline nutrient content determination. John Deere and a number of partners (again) won a gold medal for their Connected Nutrient Management concept. Dutch company Veenhuis showed its Nutri-Flow NIR application and German company Zunhammer introduced VAN-Control 2, also with NIR. At the end of this year the first commercially available NIR systems will go into practice.
The neccesaty of collecting, transmitting and processing of big data was another unmistakable trend. Several companies showed telematics systems to send data wirelessly from field to office. The collection and transmission of data from implements and machines via the telematics system of the tractor was presented amongst others by Claas and by Kverneland (in a bèta version). Claas’ system goes by the name of TONI (Telematics ON Implement). Tractor manufacturers increasingly put effort in TIM or ICT solutions: Tractor Implement Management and Implement Controls Tractor. In Hall 15, the number of drones (UAVs) on display was enormous.
In its so-called Industry Note 513 from October Dutch Rabobank focuses on the impact of big data on farming. According to the report (Dutch) “From intuition to information”, data intensive farming can generate over 10 billion dollars extra value in arable farming. With the massive amounts of data, it is possible to base decisions on facts rather than on intuition allowing for increased economies of scale, says the bank. Data-intensive farming will also change an put stress on the relationships between farmers, their suppliers and their customers.
Smart farming requires cooperation
According to the report, the development of smart farming methods calls for close cooperation between farmers, suppliers, agronomists, developers of technologies and customers. In the absence of a proven revenue model, the farmer and producer of all self-contained data, might not get the majority share of the value created with the data. Cooperatives should play a more important role and should also ensure that the farmer instead of his suppliers benefits most from the value of analysing and combining the data. In the US, South America and Asia this will most likely result in the accelerated development of large agricultural cooperatives.
Potential value big data over $10 billion
Rabobank estimates that the transition to data-intensive farming can generate over $ 10 billion additional value per year for farmers worldwide. This figure is based on an estimated revenue increase of 5 percent to 80 percent of the acreage of the seven most popular crops (corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, canola, barley and sunflowers). The actual value will be higher because the same benefits also apply for smaller crops such as sugar cane, potatoes, sugar beet, vegetables and fruit.
The new report now available on ASDReports (www.ASDReports.com), is a comprehensive global market report with market data tables and figures providing an in-depth analysis of the Precision Agriculture/Farming market. The report presents detailed insights of the Precision Farming market along with key trends in the component and technology market, mapped across each application segment and geographical regions. BIS Research estimates the global market size for precision farming to grow over $6.34 bn by 2022 at an estimated CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 13.09% from 2015 to 2022.
The latest report from BIS* Research identifies the potential of the Precision farming market, covering more than 50 players contributing at different levels of the value chain in the market. The report has been completed with a deep dive analysis of the entire ecosystem, incorporating key market drivers, challenges, and opportunities for the current and forecast years. The market for precision farming is still at an incipient stage and therefore the report provides an exhaustive segment of market dynamics identifying the enablers for growth and pain points of the market. Also, the opportunities that could yield higher revenue for the market have also been discussed. Keeping in mind the dire need of securing the natural resources, the inextricable link between precision farming and sustainable development has been identified as the key driver in the report. The convergence of Modern Technologies and IT (Information Technology) with agriculture is further pushing the demand of precision farming techniques in the market. The fact that agriculture and its practices are deeply rooted in the mind-set of the farmers and producers instilled the need of identifying the restraints to the market. The paucity of awareness and absence of dedicated education of precision farming among the farming sector is by far the major pain point for the market, raising apprehension among the farmers.
Lack of standards
On the technological front, lack of standards and data management has surfaced as other issues revolving around the precision farming industry. There are several substitutes to traditional agriculture floating around in the market such a soil-less farming and stacking such farming techniques with precision farming to increase yield is one of the key opportunities for the market growth.
The Precision Farming Application and Technology market segment is meticulously drafted to cover the key applications of precision farming such as yield monitoring, variable rate application, soil monitoring and others. The segment also provides insights on the components used under precision farming practices namely, automation and control components, farm management, and sensing and monitoring components along with their market figures. Of the 6 key applications, the market figures indicate yield monitoring and soil monitoring to be the largest revenue generating applications in the precision farming market.
However, with a CAGR of 14.94% from 2015 to 2022 farm mapping has been identified as the fastest growing application segment. The geographical analysis for precision farming market has identified North America to be dominating the market in 2014, thanks to the willingness of farmers to adopt new technologies and maturity of the market. The trends suggest that with U.S. on the forefront, North America will continue with its dominance during the forecast years. Also, with the world’s most populous countries China and India, APAC will emerge as the fastest growing region in the market at a CAGR of 18.29% from 2015 to 2022. The report profiles key players from diversified industry verticals in the precision farming ecosystem with a detailed section of the competitive landscape of the market.
Väderstad Appareo service tool Agritechnica 2013
AGCO and Appareo Systems announced to enter a joint venture, building on the existing IAS (Intelligent Agricultural Solutions) business structure. This collaboration will focus on more advanced electronic technology centered around data collection, wireless communication, advanced sensors and intelligent machine control. Also part of IAS is AGCO’s technology strategy Fuse Technologies that was introduced one and a half year ago. Appareo Systems is a leader in the custom design, development and manufacture of innovative electronic and software solutions for aerospace and agriculture original equipment manufacturers. At last year’s Agritechnica the company showed an iPad app developed for Väderstad to order parts straight from the field without parts numbers.
It is another step forward in connecting precision farming equipment to agronomic Big Data. AGCO and Appareo follow Monsanto that took over The Climate Corp and Precision Planting and the cooperation between DuPont Pioneer and John Deere of a year ago.