One of the greatest advancements in agriculture has occurred since 1994, the year when tractors and combines had the first auto steering capabilities and yield monitoring.
These technologies have been refined and expanded since. You cannot work on machines under a shade tree any more, as your tractor can call the dealership to say it is having a problem.
A wonderful explanation of space age technology on the farm, in the audio programs below.
AUDIO: Profit Matters 12-4-19
AUDIO: Leo Bose, Case IH
Leo Bose serves as advanced farming systems marketing manager for Case IH. I spoke with him last month at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention.
Leo Bose: Advanced farming systems are precision technology. In the case of precision technology, we look at it as auto steer and things of that nature. I started with the company back in 1994, to give you some perspective. That’s when we first put our yield monitor from the factory in our actual combine. To watch it then grow to the early 2000s, having guidance in our Magnums and Steiger tractors. Now we’re seeing about eight out of 10 units coming out of Fargo, North Dakota or Racine, Wisconsin with auto guidance complete.
We see the adoption rates climbing. In 2016, we showed that autonomous concept – The ACB vehicle had the cab off of it. We wanted to show that moonshot, right? The future of technology; we call it chaos on the cab. How do we take that technology and make it more precise for users? Everything’s going on, whether it’s spring planting or fall harvest. Just like this year, 2019, there’s a lot of challenges there. How do I now automate more items in the cab, the simple things of even turned in the vehicle at the end of the head land. Now we have a tool called AFS Accu-Turn: Hands-Free, End-of-Row Turning. Now all I have to do is concentrate on getting that planter raised up or down.
In fact, we can now do a script, so we can have that planter raise and lower automatically as well. So all of the operations will take place on their own.
Ken Root: Once you tell it you’re awake.
Leo Bose: Exactly. We still need that operator in the seat, (as) we have an operator presence system. We want to make sure that the operator’s there.
We have a tool, AFS Connect. What I’m showing you here today is all of our marketing units that we have within our fleet. I’m going to go to the map view. It takes a little bit of time here. I’m going to zoom out here in the U.S., so we have all of our marketing units and now I can quickly see where that unit is or if I want to look at some quick current status.
In this case, I have 12 units that are less than 25-percent fuel. I can easily go in and look at a new AFS Connect. Magnum brings me right to that location. I could text that to somebody and now we just take that data and try to make a decision. That’s really what AFS Connect does, whether it’s farm fleet or data.
Ken Root: Are you able to take data from the tractor or combine directly to a dealership and have them monitor the vehicle health from their facility?
Leo Bose: Spot on. You’re exactly right, Ken. The customer has that choice; the customer could choose to have that dealer view that unit. What that would then allow the dealer to do is to take a look at any alerts, or the health of that vehicle. So whether it’s optimizing that unit throughout the field. Maybe I want to try to look at, on the axial flow combine, sieves cleaning system, rotor speed. I can now look at those different parameters and coach that customer, especially (after) the year we’ve had this year. Now I can take that next level with service and support.
What that means is the dealer can now remote into that customer’s tractor cab. That customer can accept or deny, and now that dealer can see exactly what that user’s seeing on the AFS Pro 1200 display. They can coach them through anything they see in the field. That took a lot of the drive time out of the equation because normally I’d have to come out and see the unit or it’d have to be on the phone to kind of get what the problem is. Now I can see exactly what the customer sees. That new technology in our EFS Connect Magnum tractor allows us to do that.
Ken Root: You have to have well-trained employees as well.
Leo Bose: I give credit to our Case IH dealer network. We offer a plethora of training courses, whether it be on the service and support side or the after sales side and parts organization. They come to our company sponsored training courses and they’re certified for that work on that machine. They now have not only tools, but the knowledge to get the repair done quickly and efficiently, and then drive that customer back to operation.