Data management is said to be the next frontier for precision farming. When you merge the electronic communication systems that tractors and combines use today with yield monitors and telematics, farmers will quickly become inundated and overwhelmed by data. Dealers, too, will feel the pressure. Fortunately precision farming suppliers are working to ease those challenges.
Recently, Topcon Precision Agriculture (TPA) introduced SGISfarm for the agriculture information market. SGISfarm is designed to provide a software solution to add value to TPA’s precision farming hardware products. It provides mapping and drawing tools that customers need for displaying and working with data.
Joe Tevis, TPA director of agronomic products and services, said, “SGISfarm was developed to allow Topcon to offer full farm solutions and complete the value proposition of its many hardware products, including all of its consoles or controllers. This specialized farm data management software specifically targets precision farming for the owner-operator.”
This new system utilizes field data collected from soil testing, GIS mapping and yield monitors to help farmers make better crop input decisions. It features a simple, reliable process for creating variable rate crop input maps by focusing on basic but proven recommendation methods. These methods are then “pre-packaged” as templates eliminating the need for users to learn the complex process of writing equations.
SGISfarm is “capable of creating variable rate maps for virtually all of the common controllers used for application and seeding control. It is also compatible with the harvest monitors of other brands of combines,” Tevis says. SGISfarm also offers “tight integration” with a number of machines from AGCO, a Topcon strategic partner since 2009.
“With the high cost of seed, it is an excellent tool for use with variable rate seeding, turning data of choice into VRC seeding maps for AGCO White planters as well as those planters equipped with DICKEY-john controls,” he says.
Topcon acquired the SGIS agronomic desktop software business from AGCO in August, 2011. SGIS has been serving the needs of agriculture retailers and customers since 1993, enabling and simplifying variable rate application for agronomists and custom applicators (SGIS was formed as part of Ag-Chem, the sprayer manufacturer AGCO acquired in 2000).
Under TPA, SGISfarm joins SGIS Pro, which helps professional agronomists import data from many different source types, such as yield maps or soil samples, and guides the user through correction and customization of the information.
The SGISfarm products can a help a grower figure out how much money went into a certain plot of land, or give them the ability to a lot more data analysis before hiring an agronomist.
“For a farm equipment dealer, we’ve kicked around some ideas on the ways they can use SGIS,” says Rich Haynes, software support specialist for TPA, during the SGISfarm’s launch at in February at World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif. “Dealers who have SGIS Pro can help their customers with SGISfarm by keeping all of the data in one place and help them manage it for a fee.”
SGISfarm is also appropriate for dealers who don’t want to go through the learning curve required to be proficient with SGIS Pro.