Stepping Forward on Precision Agriculture Standards

The lack of data standards in precision agriculture has hampered broader adoption of high-technology products and techniques for years. But the proliferation of new technology in the cab and at the office, combined with the development of wireless communication, is bringing to light the need for equipment to speak the same language.

One of the biggest challenges to creating standards is the highly competitive precision agriculture market. Manufacturers are understandably defensive of their own proprietary technology, but the result has been equipment that doesn’t move data seamlessly without a lot of additional development.

Last month, manufacturers took an initial step toward creating that universal data compatibility during the 5th Ag Gateway Annual Conference in St. Petersburg. The group of leading organizations — which include John Deere, Raven Industries, Trimble, Monsanto and SST Software — have formed a council within the Ag Gateway organization to identify the issues and put a roadmap in place that will lead to data compatibility in precision ag.

Founded in 2005, Ag Gateway is a consortium of agriculture companies and organizations that provide an international source for facilitating implementation and collaboration in the use of information and communication technologies for agriculture. It works with members to develop eBusiness standards and databases, helps to enable the members to implement the technologies. Ag Gateway initiatives in seed and crop protection connectivity have been completed, and several others are in process.

The idea to use Ag Gateway as the facilitator for the precision agriculture project came from Chip Donahue of John Deere, who had been involved in the group as a retailer representative when he worked at Brandt Consolidated in Pleasant Plains, IL.

It was spurred by Deere’s own internal commitment to make technology that eases data transfer. “On a global basis, Deere wants to go to an ISOBUS standard on machines and provide plug and play capability,” says Donahue. The capability would allow users to plug an implement into machine and have the machine instantly recognize it, similar to how peripherals install on a personal computer. Deere also identified seamless data movement as an important capability. “We started talking internally about how we could be doing a better job on that front, and how we could identify standards that allow more interoperability between systems.”

This led to the idea of bringing the industry together on standards evaluation and development, and use Ag Gateway as the format and forum to work collaboratively. Donahue found plenty of industry partners willing to work through Ag Gateway on a precision ag council. Heading the council are Kelby Kleinsasser of Raven Industries and Ian Harley of Trimble’s Farm Works Software Division.

The first step for the group will be to identify and evaluate current standards to determine where gaps exist and to decide whether what’s currently available could serve as a platform for the standard to be developed. Evaluating ISO11783, the ISOBUS standard for ag equipment, will be a key early task.

Another important initiative is the data dictionary. For instance, a hybrid with a specific identifier ideally would be recognized the same way by all equipment and software from planting to harvest and post-harvest analysis, making data about the hybrid more easily analyzed. Identifiers would also include clear definitions of terms such as farm fields and field boundaries to ensure consistency and ease of data analysis.

Ag Gateway will also help with the implementation phase, getting all manufacturers large and small on board and using the standards. “Some of the smaller players without the resources of the larger companies will need help to implement the tools we create to ensure we achieve interoperability of equipment,” says Donahue.

The effort will take a significant effort in time and resources, but true compatibility will be worth the work. “We now have people around the table that are 100 percent committed to the process,” says Donahue. “Kelby and Ian have a good perspective of the industry from both the hardware and software side, and they will help bring others to the table.”

For more information on this effort, visit www.aggateway.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Equipment Stories
BusinessSentera Joins Forces With Another Drone Distributor
September 13, 2016
Sentera has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dynamic UAV Solutions North America, LLC, a new distributor in the commercial Read More
eBee SQ Drone
EquipmentsenseFly Launches High Precision, Large Coverage eBee SQ Drone
August 31, 2016
Swiss professional drone manufacturer, senseFly, expanded its portfolio today with the launch of the new eBee SQ fixed-wing agricultural drone. Read More
Automonous Tractor
EquipmentAutonomous Solutions, CNH Industrial Unveil Concept Autonomous Tractors
August 30, 2016
Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) and CNH Industrial have announced the unveiling of concept autonomous tractors. ASI is CNH Industrial’s technology Read More
John Deere ExactApply
EquipmentJohn Deere Introduces ExactApply Nozzle Control For Sprayers
August 30, 2016
Producers and ag service providers can gain greater accuracy over their spray applications with John Deere ExactApply intelligent nozzle control Read More
Trending Articles
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Education and Big Data
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
Mitchell Technical Institute students with drone
IntegratorsMTI Precision Ag Students Use Drone Technology
September 19, 2016
After weeks of sitting in the classroom, several Mitchell Technical Institute students were able to spend a few hours outside Read More
Robotics AGCO Fendt Guide Connect
Market ImpactReport: Ag Robots And Drones May Be A $10 Billion Market By 2022
September 7, 2016
Robots and drones have begun to quietly transform many aspects of agriculture. In fact, the IDTechEx Research report on Agricultural Read More
SDWG Bret Weisenburger
BusinessMZB Technologies, Climate FieldView Announce Data Integration for 2017 Season
September 6, 2016
MZB Technologies announces a data connectivity agreement with The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., providing increased precision agriculture Read More
Deere R4023 cab
BusinessReport: Smart Agriculture Market Worth $19 Billion By 2021
September 6, 2016
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Smart Agriculture Market – With Forecast (2016-2021)” report to their offering. Read More
SDWG Bret Weisenburger
IntegratorsThe Top 10 People In Precision Agriculture
August 15, 2016
Precision agriculture — with all its wacky technologies and advanced algorithms and such — remains a people business. So, without Read More
Latest News
FUSE Farm Graphic
DataAGCO Is Founding Member Of The DKE Data-Hub Initiative
September 26, 2016
AGCO Corp., a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has announced its participation as a founding member of the DKE Read More
Ian Yule, ISPA
ResearchLeading Ag Technology Researcher Appointed ISPA Preside…
September 26, 2016
Massey University’s Professor Ian Yule, one of the world’s leading agri-tech researchers, has been voted president of the International Society Read More
BusinessADAPT Conversion Toolkit Making In Roads With Equipment…
September 22, 2016
A leading group of equipment manufacturers will soon release products that greatly enhance a grower’s ability to manage data across Read More
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Educati…
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge Awarded $6.1M Investment From Sustainable …
September 21, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has announced that it will receive $6,107,563 Read More
BusinessGMO Aphids to Battle Weeds? It’s Not as Far Fetch…
September 21, 2016
No, I am not talking about optimizing aphids for a global agricultural armageddon. That would be silly. I’m talking about Read More
Young Corn Field
Best PracticesNitrogen: The Key to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
September 20, 2016
Precision ag can play a key role in reducing agriculture’s impact on greenhouse gases by limiting the nitrogen rate. Read More
W. Wade Robey, Raven
Industry NewsRaven Adds New Director Of Engineering
September 19, 2016
W. Wade Robey, Ph.D., joined Raven Applied Technology in August 2016 as Director of Engineering. In this role, he leads Read More
Mitchell Technical Institute students with drone
IntegratorsMTI Precision Ag Students Use Drone Technology
September 19, 2016
After weeks of sitting in the classroom, several Mitchell Technical Institute students were able to spend a few hours outside Read More
BusinessOPINION: Climate Corp. is the Jewel in Bayer’s Monsanto…
September 15, 2016
PERSPECTIVE: Over the next few days and weeks in the ag media space the major players will examine this latest Read More
Sugarcane India
Market ImpactPlantations International Brings Precision Farming Tech…
September 14, 2016
Hong Kong-based plantation and farm management company Plantations International has announced it is moving its contact centre from the Indian Read More
Corn close up
Start-UpsLewis & Clark Ventures Raises $20 Million For Agric…
September 13, 2016
Lewis & Clark Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on Series A and B stage investments, has announced $20 million Read More
BusinessSentera Joins Forces With Another Drone Distributor
September 13, 2016
Sentera has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dynamic UAV Solutions North America, LLC, a new distributor in the commercial Read More
New Zealand agriculture
Market ImpactPrecision Ag Technology Helping New Zealand Agriculture…
September 12, 2016
New Zealand has an enormous opportunity to use technology as a means to support the economic growth of its agri Read More
Robotics AGCO Fendt Guide Connect
Market ImpactReport: Ag Robots And Drones May Be A $10 Billion Marke…
September 7, 2016
Robots and drones have begun to quietly transform many aspects of agriculture. In fact, the IDTechEx Research report on Agricultural Read More
EventsPrecisionAg Vision Conference: Find Your Future in Phoe…
September 7, 2016
As the summer winds down and harvest begins in earnest, the time for immersing ourselves in future planning is getting Read More
SDWG Bret Weisenburger
BusinessMZB Technologies, Climate FieldView Announce Data Integ…
September 6, 2016
MZB Technologies announces a data connectivity agreement with The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., providing increased precision agriculture Read More
DigiFarm
Start-UpsDigiFarm Puts The Precision In Precision Agriculture
September 6, 2016
While the general public adjusts to the idea of self-driving cars, in the agricultural world it’s old hat, writes Joe Read More