Farmobile Editors | Published November 13, 2019
Editors note: Take a look back on this year’s observations from the road trips with Jason Tatge, Farmobile CEO .
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The most exciting use cases for data collection technology come directly from farmers. They are the grassroots creators of agronomic and machine data that enriches their operations, optimizes farm and field efficiencies, provides better insights and allows them to monitor and manage their mixed fleet of equipment — in true, real-time.
Below is extended footage from Jason’s on-the-road conversation with Missouri farmer David Seba, Seba Bros. Farms. They talk about how real-time fleet monitoring gives farmers a whole new level of visibility into field performance, machine logistics and employee efficiency.
Jason: One of the recent use cases [for Farmobile] I’ve heard about, which is pretty interesting to me is… the gentleman said that at first his operators were a little bent out of shape that there was a PUC in the cab. But it came to the point where he said, I don’t think we can get rid of these because now my operators get into a field and they check in with me to make sure that they’re in the right field.
Jason: You know, there’s no address … I guess people don’t realize that there’s not an address on a lot of these fields. Right?
David: Absolutely, and you’re bringing in new operators and you’re doing multiple operations… You’ve got guys that specialize in just spraying, just planting. They don’t know what happened there two weeks before them in another application. They have the ability to check in using Farmobile and look and see. You know, am I doing the correct application?
Because I tell my guys all the time, let’s double check our work. Let’s double check ourselves. Let’s all be accountable to each other. Well, this is the perfect way to be able to do that. It offers accountability to everybody in the operation. It’s interesting — you talk about operators not liking big brother or the PUC, whatever you might call it, in terms of monitoring what they’re doing. And we’ve really tried to go at it from a different direction and say, this is a positive thing. If we’ve got two operators and one’s doing greater productivity than the other then let’s see what he’s doing right?
Jason: Let’s try to understand-
David: Let’s try to understand what he’s doing right. What’s different about what he’s doing? How’s he managing his time? How’s he managing his fill ups or his service intervals? How’s he managing those to be able to get the maximum productivity out of this? Then let’s figure out how to do that and clone it and pass it to the next operator. So it’s become a really positive thing that it’s almost like a contest. So it’s been a great resource there also.
We’re bringing these young people into high tech equipment. And it’s interesting because it used to be you had guys who were great wheelman, they could put a tractor anywhere it needed to go and plant straight rows and do all that … and they had no technology, they like, they wouldn’t trust the auto steer, they wouldn’t trust the, you know, planting at 30 inches over. They wouldn’t trust it because they knew they could plant a straight row.
Now we’ve flipped it and we’ve got guys who love technology and can manage everything on the screen. But they can’t get the tracker through the gate without hitting the post. Or they don’t know how to lay out a field. Something as simple as that. It’s how do we lay this farm out so that we’re most efficient with our machine? This enables us to do that because we can run it on the big screen T.V. in the office and watch somebody that’s previously applied and run through the whole process-
Jason: So this is where you’re going today. This is how we did it last time.
David: You could watch him on screen, do the whole thing and farm 200 acres in a matter of five minutes. And watch the whole thing on screen. It’s like, here’s how I go lay out these terraces. We want to do this North and South, this track East and West. Here’s how we do it. So it’s an incredible learning tool. So it just continues to unfold for us in the applications that we use it in. Both, you know, in the office gathering information and in the field in how we actually do our jobs.
That’s aside from the collection of the data and creating an income stream. So I think that’s the part that I get so excited about being around the Farmobile team and the group. It’s that every day there is a new idea that props up, and how can we take something we’re already doing and make it better? Or how can we take something that we’re not doing and do it and offer a service to a farmer that he’s never had access to before?
So that’s the great thing. And again, in every other industry, in every other manufacturers, supplier, or whatever, it’s like can we can do all this stuff for you? How much is it going to cost me? It all has a price tag attached to it. Farmobile has come at it and said, this is an opportunity for you at minimal cost you can get in, you get engaged in the process and it’s endless what you can do with it. We don’t keep adding on extra fees every time we offer you another service. In fact you’re going to be able to gather more data, monetize it, and have the opportunity to produce an income stream and have access to all your own information too.
Continue reading for more of the conversation in Trip 2: Data fuels farmer power.