Formed in 1998 with the consolidation of Durand Cooperative and Mondovi Co-op Equity Association, Countryside Cooperative offers its farmer-members a wide range of precision ag services in westcentral Wisconsin. The full-service co-op provides feed, agronomy, grain, energy, retail and input purchasing services, which include spray and spread application, crop nutrients, seed and crop insurance.
Growing crops and servicing the spray/spread application needs of Wisconsin farms can present some unique challenges. Fields are typically smaller compared with other Midwestern states, and many farmers practice inter-cropping for conservation purposes.
To optimize service to farmers, Countryside Co-op’s fleet operations sought new ways to monitor all machines in their commercial fleet, increase machine visibility, enhance operator performance and training, and improve the overall application services experience for farmers.
According to Ross Pudenz, agronomy and grain operations manager, it was imperative to generate a uniform data set from a mixed fleet environment.
In 2018, Countryside Co-op installed a promotional Farmobile PUC™ data-collection device on a farmer’s equipment. What began as an interest in grower connectivity quickly advanced to a fleet-focus.
2018. Experimented by installing a PUC on a farmer’s equipment.
2019. Joined Farmobile’s commercial fleet trial program with 10 data subscriptions.
2020. Grew to 46 subscriptions with PUCs on the entire spray/spread fleet.
Countryside Co-op has been instrumental in helping Farmobile to identify how data is used in the ag retail environment to discover real numbers, real costs and real returns of a commercial application fleet.
The pilot program data has already resulted in Countryside eliminating 6 low-performing machines from their fleet, thus reducing operational overhead on equipment.
The cooperative has also identified a very visible method for monitoring machine use and total tachometer hours. This is especially important for tracking the current state of Countryside’s leased machines, managing overall fleet costs and negotiating future lease contracts. It’s all about matching operational needs with resources.
Improved operator best practices. Real-time monitoring and historic playback serve as eduction tools for future operator training programs.
Easy automatic data delivery via API Countryside uses Farmobile API services to connect with approved and permissioned third-party farm management systems to document as-applied activities.
Ensure quality application of product. LIVE fleet monitoring creates boundless efficiencies including the ability to verify or spot machine anomalies like spray pressure, operating speed, etc.
Countryside Co-op is focused on using data to optimize individual machine performance. For example, in their initial 2019 pilot trial, they discovered machine idle time ranging from 30 percent to 54 percent. The ongoing goal is to continue conducting further analysis to drive fleet efficiencies.
– Ross Pudenz