While traversing the grounds at the Midwest Ag-Industries Exposition last week in Bloomington, Ill., it didn’t take long to find out what was on the minds of dealers and manufacturers, beyond the beautiful weather that accompanied the event.
Telemetry — or data recording and management systems — was touched on by major machinery manufacturers like John Deere, AGCO and Case IH, as well as precision equipment producers like Raven and Ag Leader, especially as they pertained to application equipment.
As one manufacturer told Precision Farming Dealer, “telemetry is the next frontier and we’re getting closer to it everyday.”
For sprayers, the ability to manage a fleet and remotely monitor the location and operation of machines through telematic systems, are features that will increase farmer efficiency, manufacturers say.
Dealers don’t disagree with the benefits, but some wonder how the integration of software platforms will play out. The ability to take sprayer data from multiple sources and present it to customers in a relevant way is crucial, they say.
How long it will take to get telemetry systems to be compatible with one another is an unknown.
One large application equipment dealer at MAGIE says he hopes that sooner rather than later, telematic software compatibility will be the ammunition precision farming dealers can use to their advantage.
“I think customers are really going to want those systems to be able to talk to each other,” he says. “That will be key.”
At this point, getting that technological conversation started is still a challenge.
For growers, that could be a hurdle that needs to be cleared for them to fully buy into the benefits of telemetry.
Where precision farming dealers can do their part is by learning about and staying up to date on multiple systems, especially if customers have mixed machinery fleets.
Being well versed in several telemetry systems — beyond the primary brand carried by the dealership — can cut down on customer confusion when it come to questions about their product.
As one technology specialist at MAGIE says, “If a prospect is looking at one brand and they have a mixed fleet, dealerships will have to be comfortable with a variety of brands to make a solid recommendation.”
Clearly, training and education will play large parts in the ability of precision farming dealers to effectively sell telemetry systems.
If and when those systems become compatible, those precision farming specialists who took the initiative to learn about multiple platforms will already have a profitable conversation going with customers.