Trimble Navigation LLC has introduced Connected Farm, a package of hardware and software that allows users to connect their fields and tractors to their offices for increased farming efficiency.

"We're trying to expand the connectivity of agriculture to help manage the entire operation," says Tim East, Trimble strategic account manager in Westminster, Colo. "How do we use what we have and be more productive?"

Information can be transmissed using cell phone modems or wi-fi, or it can be stored on a jump drive and physically transferred, he says.

Connected Farm allows users to transfer data between tractors, for example.

One tractor may be working in a field but has a mechanical problem and can't complete it. Drawing from data from the first tractor, the second tractor driver can pick up exactly where the first one left off.

"You don't want double coverage but you don't want to leave any skips, either," East says.

It also allows managers to monitor and tabulate the productivity of individual pieces of equipment, track hours of operation, and record pesticide and fertilizer applications.

On a larger scale, East says Connected Farm allows managers to gauge productivity and make more informed decisions.

In addition, users can choose how much information — if any — they want to share with third parties, such as governmental agencies, third-party auditors or customers.

Connected Farm is PC based, and the data can be imported into several different software programs, including Farm Works.

Source: The Grower