There is a new buzzword beginning to circulate in agricultural circles – connectivity; the ability to access data whenever and wherever it is needed.
Machinery companies are leading the way with mobile solutions that enable tractor operators to collect and transmit data on field work instead of relying on paper-based notes and records.
The latest New Holland T8 Series tractor, for example, integrates the marque’s Precision Land Management (PLM) platform so that the farm’s agronomy software packages can be accessed remotely using MyPLM Connect and Data Sharing partners such as an agronomist.
IntelliView Connect enables an enterprise manager or dealer personnel to see what the operator sees on the in-cab terminal display to set up the tractor and/or implement for an inexperienced operator or to diagnose problems.
Updating the PLM Intelligence operating system can also be carried out remotely, over the air, as with a smart phone or tablet computer – no more waiting for the dealer technician to call in with his laptop.
Development of the MyNew Holland portal has improved integration with the company’s various online resources which, together with the app for portable devices, provides 24/7 access to service support and helpful information and management tools.
At the same time, the ISOBUS electronic data exchange system between tractor and implement has been upgraded to Class III, enabling more advanced features to be introduced, such as tractor control by the implement.
The new T8 Series, which gains a powershift version of the flagship model with 415hp draft output, 435hp max, also has a new four-post cab and a new IntelliView display on the seat armrest console, with set-up memory for individual implements.
Tractor and implement settings held on remote Cloud computers can be downloaded to the latest John Deere 7R and 8R tractors becoming available next year. John Deere maintains that universal storage of Cloud-based data is unique in agriculture – and not yet possible in the automotive industry.
AutoSetup gets around the need to manually prepare a given tractor and implement combination each time it is put to work. Once prepared, the initial set-up can be uploaded with an identity and then recalled and downloaded with a single click.
The system even detects when the tractor enters the field and displays the pre-planned job automatically; all the operator need do is confirm.
Setting-up parameters include pto speed, hitch and hydraulic valves and implement settings such as sprayer boom height and nozzle selection or slurry tanker tyre pressure.
Agronomic data such as field boundaries, guidance lines and application maps can also be included in the Cloud download package and documentation triggers for data such as fertiliser and crop protection applications.