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Ag’s appetite for mobile information grows

Syngenta recently relaunched the mobile version of its FarmAssist website to provide a better user experience that allows visitors to navigate through information more easily.
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USDA to Join US Panel Reviewing ChemChina’s Syngenta

USDA to Join US Panel Reviewing ChemChina’s Syngenta | Ag app |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to join the U.S. government panel that is reviewing state-owned ChemChina's planned $43 billion acquisition of Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta AG, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The move will subject the deal to additional government scrutiny. It comes after lawmakers wrote to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew in March to ask that the USDA be involved in the review so that the potential impact of the transaction on domestic food security could be better assessed. To read more click here.

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Soybean replant app ends guesswork

Soybean replant app ends guesswork | Ag app |

A new Soybean Replant App for iPhones and Android devices helps growers make data-driven decisions to replant or stick with the current crop, said Shawn Conley, University of Wisconsin-Madison soybean specialist.

The app calculates plant stand, i.e. population, by averaging five plant-count samples taken randomly within a soybean field during the VC, V1 or V2 growth stage. The app then provides expected yield percent at harvest with or without replanting.

“You simply snap five photos and the app does the rest,” Conley said.

The calculated values give growers the hard data needed to decide if replanting makes economic sense. The app also provides the historical median frost date for the closest township within Wisconsin, so growers will know if a replanted crop should mature before the median frost date. That way growers can know if it’s worth the time, money and risk to replant, before committing to that plan.

“(It's a) powerful easy-to-use app," Conley said.

The app is the result of a joint effort between the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board.

Visit for the iPhone app and for the app for Android devices.

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Technologies geek - Les réseaux freinent le développement des objets connectés en agriculture

Technologies geek - Les réseaux freinent le développement des objets connectés en agriculture | Ag app |
Aujourd’hui, les objets connectés se limitent bien souvent aux montres, caméras et autres dispositifs fonctionnant en wifi. Mais ce n’est que la première génération d’objets connectés. Très bientôt vont arriver des objets connectés de taille réduite, moins gourmands en énergie. Et communiquant moins d’informations mais sur de plus grandes distances. Où en sommes-nous dans le monde agricole ?
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Will Robots Replace Herbicides on the Farm?

Will Robots Replace Herbicides on the Farm? | Ag app |

Weed control today is hardly perfect. Hand-weeding is tedious. Chemical control is costly and can succumb to resistant weeds over time. So why not build a robot to get the job done?

That idea may seem frivolous or futuristic, but German engineers at Deepfield Robotics have already designed a functional prototype. It features a camera and sensors that are trained to identify small weeds, with a rod that stamps the weeds underground. So far, the bot can punch out 120 weeds per minute with an 80% accuracy.

“For weed treatment, that's okay because the idea is to run multiple times over the field,” says general manager Amos Albert, general manager. “If it misses the weed one time, maybe next time it recognizes it.”

The robot, about the size of a compact car, is relatively small by design, according to Deepfield Robotics.

“Too heavy machines cause undesired soil compaction, and it is difficult to transport them on public roads,” they report. “Furthermore, when using heavy equipment, up to 90% of energy consumption is required for tilling tasks and to repair damages caused by the high soil compaction.”

The process takes quite a bit of calculus and computing to work, and the researchers say there are still technological challenges to overcome. They will conduct additional testing in 2016, making the question more valid than ever – will robots someday replace herbicides on the farm?

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App will identify bugs and outbreaks in real time

App will identify bugs and outbreaks in real time | Ag app |

Researchers at the University of Manitoba and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are developing a new app that will make it easier for farmers to practise integrated pest management (IPM).

The free, user-friendly app, which should be available in 2018, incorporates three separate tools for pest identification, forecasting and crop management. The pest ID tool is currently in the most advanced phase of development and contains ID keys for 69 insect pests of canola. It will eventually have additional insect pests of other crops, 160 to 200 weeds, and several diseases in its database as well.

The farmer will be able to bring up the app on an iPhone or Android device in the field, choose the type of pest — i.e. “canola bugs” — and scroll through multiple, high-definition images of different characteristics — such as wing shape, or type of crop damage — to help identify the bug. Once the farmer confirms its identity, the app has a guide to more information about how to manage the pest, or offers the option to email extension staff or an agronomist.

Information in real time

The forecasting tool provides real-time data that’s generated and updated fields are scouted by growers, agronomists and extension staff who can upload the information into the database. Risk maps reflect the current situation and the algorithm can incorporate climate and other data to help guide management decisions.

The crop management tool allows farmers to keep a history of pests, weeds and diseases they have had in their fields, how they dealt with them, and the outcomes, so they can make better management decisions in the future based on what worked for them.

The app will also have a notifications feature so that any new risk map, warning, research finding or relevant information is available to the farmer as it’s produced.

“We’re trying to make the app work for specialists and non-specialists,” says Dr. Ana Dal Molin, who is working on the project together with Dr. Barb Sharanowski at the University of Manitoba, and gave a demonstration of the app at the recent Manitoba Agronomists Conference in Winnipeg.

“We are trying to open the lines of communication between growers, researchers, agronomists and agencies, and make them faster and more efficient, so they should be able to track down all the issues and provide all the information required to make informed management decisions.”

The developers hope to have the app fully developed by 2018, but in the meantime are looking for agronomists or farmers willing to assist with testing the ID app in the upcoming field season. Those interested should visit the Mobile-IPM website or

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Planter tracks gaining popularity

Planter tracks gaining popularity | Ag app |

Soucy Track rolled out the S-Tech 012P track system for 2016, but only in limited quantities. Designed for John Deere planters, the new track is the start of a major partnership between the two companies. According to the company, the new track has seen strong demand as growers look for ways to run their equipment in tougher conditions. The track allows farmers to run in wetter conditions but minimize soil compaction.

The company will be showing the new track at a number of farm shows through the winter, where farmers can learn more about the benefits of this new tool. You can learn more about the product at

Soucy Track
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Driverless Tractor Market Could Top $30B By 2024 - Study

Driverless Tractor Market Could Top $30B By 2024 - Study | Ag app |

Tractica, a market intelligence firm, forecasts that the worldwide market for ag robots will increase from $3.0 billion in 2015 to $73.9 billion in 2024. Among the types of robots used for agricultural purposes, the driverless tractor segment will generate the lion’s share of revenue ($30.7 billion by 2024), while agricultural drones will be most prevalent in terms of unit shipments (411,000 by 2024).

“The agricultural robotics market, including the driverless tractor concept, is in its early stage of development,” says research analyst Manoj Sahi. “For sustainable growth in revenues, industry participants will need to pursue truly innovative technology and clear value propositions. The agriculture market is looking for more efficient solutions in terms of time, labor, and energy, rather than perfect ones.”

Sahi adds that large companies should focus on the key areas that need infrastructural changes in agriculture, instead of building products for niche agricultural issues. Tractica’s analysis indicates that medium-size companies and startups should look for opportunities to fit as complementary players with the large companies. Success in the market, says Sahi, will require the development of a highly collaborative and cooperative industry ecosystem.

Tractica’s report, “Agricultural Robots,” examines global market trends for agricultural robots and provides 10-year market sizing and forecasts for agricultural robot shipments and revenue during the 2015 to 2024 timeframe. The report focuses on market drivers and market challenges, as well as assessing the key technology issues that will influence market development. In total, 42 key and emerging industry players are profiled. Market forecasts are segmented by world region and application type. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

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Canopeo is a rapid and accurate green canopy cover measurement tool

Canopeo is a rapid and accurate green canopy cover measurement tool | Ag app |
Canopeo is a rapid and accurate green canopy cover measurement tool. This app is used to quantify the percent canopy cover of live green vegetation for any agricultural crop, turf, or grassland based on downward-facing photos taken with your mobile device. The app is based on research conducted at Oklahoma State University and allows you to accurately determine the percent canopy cover in real-time, so that you can precisely monitor progress of crops and make informed management decisions.
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Apps to boost productivity and organize your life

Apps to boost productivity and organize your life | Ag app |

Staying organized and motivated throughout the workweek can be tough. For those days when you just can't seem to get your routine going, these 13 apps will help you identify your priorities, set goals and get your schedule in order.

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Drone Technology Helps Florida Farmers Cut Costs

Drone Technology Helps Florida Farmers Cut Costs | Ag app |

For Rodney Watson, knowing exactly what’s going on in 13,000 acres worth of land is almost impossible.

Watson, procurement manager at 83 Farms LLC in Bell, Florida, has done it the old-fashioned way for six years by walking or driving a truck through the fields to check the crops by hand. The whole process could take hours.

Then a year ago, the farm got an update: a drone.

With the drone, Watson is able to remotely scan all 13,000 acres of land—which, in farm terms, isn’t so big—in a fraction of the time it took before.

As state legislation slowly shifts to allow the implementation of drones in Florida’s agriculture, farmers are beginning to turn to the new technology to cut costs and reduce time-draining tasks like checking on crops acre by acre.

In the past few years, drone technology has become more efficient and cost-effective, allowing for agriculture to integrate them into its business. Florida’s agriculture has tentatively embraced the technology, but restrictive legislation has slowed the process.

In 2013, Florida passed Statute 934.50, which limited the use of drones in law enforcement. However, the Federal Aviation Administration approved an agriculture-specific permit for drone use in January.

According to Thomas Rambo, chief operating officer of Altavian, a local commercial drone company, the FAA is planning to approve all commercial drone use in 2017, which would have a tremendous impact on north central Florida’s economy.

A report in 2015 by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International outlined the economic impact of the introduction of drones in Florida. It stated Florida would see approximately a $600 million impact and create about 3,000 jobs in the first two years of a drone introduction.

“The majority of them are in agriculture, so agriculture will be the biggest market for UAVs,” said Reza Ehsani, University of Florida assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering.

Technology, like drones, is key to allowing more cost-effective farming procedures, Ehsani said. They can help farmers identify disease, unwelcome species and other stresses on their crops.

He said drones have both passive and active application in terms of agriculture.

For example, a passive task for drones would be to survey and map lands to identify problems, manage growth or estimate yield, he said. Active tasks include spraying chemicals on a very specific area or even chasing away unwelcome birds.

Ehsani said these jobs are made easier, not to mention cheaper, with the reduced costs and eventual legality of the drones.

The new drones would benefit small local farms tremendously, said Rambo, chief operating officer of Altavian.

“Some of our early analysis says that smaller farms actually would benefit more from this type of technology,” he said.

“High value crops like blueberries, tomatoes and strawberries can really benefit from either prescription mapping or decreased yields with unmanned air vehicle technology.”

And Watson, procurement manager, agrees.

He has a very bright outlook on the use of drones in agriculture, which he plans to use to survey corn crops that may have been damaged by wild hogs, he said.

“It’s hard to tell from the ground, you know, if the hogs are getting in and tearing it down,” Watson said. “With a plane, its hard to see anything, we at least will be able to identify (the hogs).”

Ehsani said that though the technology has been around for years, only recently has it become a viable option for farmers.

“The difference is now with the UAV, we can do this with a much lower cost,” he said. “That makes it more attractive to growers and the fact that they can fly whenever they want to fly.”

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New field calculator measures sustainability of farm practices

New field calculator measures sustainability of farm practices | Ag app |
Energy consumption, land use, erosion and climate impact are key to environmental management. Consumers and food retailers are now demanding this type of i
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Cargill’s drones to begin testing in Indonesian oil palm plantations

Cargill’s drones to begin testing in Indonesian oil palm plantations | Ag app |
Cargill is on track to make its goal of completely sustainable palm oil supply by 2020, the company has said in its second palm oil progress update, summing up the efforts made so far by the US-headquartered agriculture major.
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New Stem Cell Discovery Could Boost Corn Crop Yields by an Astounding 50 Percent

New Stem Cell Discovery Could Boost Corn Crop Yields by an Astounding 50 Percent | Ag app |

A newly discovered stem cell signaling pathway could boost yields from corn and other staple crops by up to 50 percent in the very near term, according to a paper published Monday in Nature Genetics.

In essence, it's an intraplant communications channel that acts as a "braking" mechanism to be triggered by the relatively old cellular members of a plant existing in its leaves and far-flung extremities telling the plant to stop producing totipotent stem cells.

In other words, it's a way for the well-established parts of a plant to order the plant to stop growing, most likely in response to environmental cues relating to available light, nutrients, and moisture. The signaling medium itself is a protein fragment known as FCP1.

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What’s the key to a good harvest? One man thinks the answer is magic beans, lots of them, spliced together with the Internet of Things. And no, his name isn’t Jack.

BeanIoT is a nifty little sensor package encased in a 3D printed bean, designed to continuously monitor and return data on a farmer’s crops, and acting as an early warning system against parasites, temperature changes, and other adverse conditions.

Data tracking is key to several industries — not just agriculture — because it can provide users with real-time information that enables them to make informed decisions and fully understand processes as they occur.

The “IoT,” or “internet of things,” simply refers to technology being able to talk to each other. And this bean-shaped ball of wonder is able to wirelessly transfer the data collected back to the user.

What’s in a BeanIOT?

BeanIoT is the invention of electronics engineer Andrew Holland, based in Swaffham Bulbeck near Cambridge, UK.

The beans are 45mm long, 18mm wide, roughly the same size as a golf tee. Each unit includes a circuit board, low-power Bluetooth radio, and sensors able to detect motion, temperature, humidity, air pressure, plus the concentrations of several gases. Importantly, the bean also contains an electric compass and gyroscope to help users locate them.

Using the bean’s tracking capabilities, the benefits for farming would be a powerful large-scale application. Buried deep in several grain silos, the beans can connect to each other and become nodes in a network, giving farmers a clear three-dimensional picture of what’s happening to their crops.

Beyond agriculture, however, Holland forsees many uses for the BeanIOT. By detecting tremors on the ground, it could signal the fall of an elderly person in their home, provide security against home intrusion, or simply be used to control a home entertainment system and lighting with a gesture. Netflix and Chill is another IOT project that shows this last concept in action.

The key is that each bean is programmable through a phone app, which makes it adaptable for multiple purposes. And with the STL files to hand, the casing for BeanIOT can be 3D printed in a variety of materials and shapes… Just in case you get bored of beans.

BeanIoT is still in the process of being tested and rapidly prototyped, though Holland plans to make the beans commercially available in the next two years. Stay tuned for further updates!

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Un drone pour lutter contre les espèces envahissantes

Un drone pour lutter contre les espèces envahissantes | Ag app |

Les biologistes à la recherche d'espèces envahissantes avaient jusqu'ici l'habitude de sillonner les vastes contrées sauvages à pied et en canot, ou encore d'utiliser les photos satellites. Ils disposent maintenant d'un nouvel outil: le drone.

Catherine Tarasoff, professeure adjointe à l'Université Thompson Rivers, de Colombie-Britannique, a partagé son expérience cette semaine lors d'une conférence sur la lutte aux espèces envahissantes, réunissant à Richmond plus de 150 spécialistes de la province.

Mme Tarasoff a expérimenté avec succès le petit avion télécommandé, en juin dernier, pour mener ses recherches dans une aire de gestion de la faune. Elle conclut qu'avec les drones, la résolution des images est exceptionnelle - on peut littéralement faire un gros plan sur un pétale, dit-elle.

La professeure Tarasoff s'est tournée vers le drone à la suggestion du directeur de l'aire de gestion de la faune de Creston Valley, une terre humide du centre de la province qui est envahie par l'iris des marais, une des espèces les plus envahissantes en Colombie-Britannique. Cet iris jaune a été abondamment planté par les paysagistes dans cette province, jusqu'à ce que les biologistes s'aperçoivent que la jolie fleur dominait son écosystème aux dépens des espèces indigènes.

Le drone, équipé d'une caméra, a survolé toute la région, à une altitude de 50 mètres, et ses milliers de photos, mises ensemble, ont permis de dresser le portrait global de l'invasion de l'iris. En cliquant sur la grande photo, on obtient la position GPS d'un secteur, et les équipes au sol peuvent s'y rendre pour procéder à l'éradication. Cette technologie permet d'économiser argent et efforts, conclut Mme Tarasoff.

Prochaine étape, espère-t-elle: programmer un drone «intelligent», qui pourra déterminer lui-même les espèces à photographier.

Gail Wallin, directrice du Conseil des espèces envahissantes de Colombie-Britannique, qui organise la conférence, observe que les nouvelles technologies offrent d'énormes possibilités pour les chercheurs - mais aussi pour le commun des mortels. Ainsi, de nouvelles applications pour téléphones intelligents permettent maintenant aux citoyens d'identifier les espèces qui se trouvent dans leur cour, puis de signaler leur présence aux scientifiques.

Le conseil provincial espère qu'un jour, le signalement d'espèces envahissantes sera considéré comme un devoir citoyen, à l'instar de la collecte sélective des ordures.

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Tire and track makers offer new options

Tire and track makers offer new options | Ag app |

Whether you're looking for a high-flotation solution for a combine, or a tire for your pulling tractor, this gallery has what you're looking for - and there are tracks. Check out the latest from BKT, Titan-Goodyear, Mitas, Continental, Firestone and more.

What your equipment rides on is changing every day and from the 2015 farm shows the Penton Agriculture New Product Team found their fair share of interesting tires and track options. If you're looking for tire or track replacement options, check out the items we've rounded up here.

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How to Calculate Your Tractor’s Fuel Efficiency

How to Calculate Your Tractor’s Fuel Efficiency | Ag app |

We looked at that rating in two performance tests: power takeoff and drawbar performance. We used results from the “PTO Performance Chart” to establish the fuel-efficiency rankings. The lab says the PTO rating is a good indicator because it is one that is calculated for all tractors and it is always run at the maximum level. However, results from the drawbar performance test are also included, and depending on how you plan to use the tractor, it may be a better indicator of fuel efficiency for some tractors — for example, the very-high-horsepower tractors used primarily for their brute pulling power of, say, deep tillage implements. On the other hand, if the tractor is used primarily for PTO work, then the PTO rating will be your best indicator because it will not be likely to change or won’t be as much affected by the size or weight of the implement the tractor is pulling. If you use the tractor for both PTO and tillage work, then consider both ratings in your decision.

PTO performance is measured at several different power levels and speeds, but for comparison purposes, the factor most farmers are interested in is maximum power at rated engine speed. This is the highest power level that the tractor can sustain over a long term and is measured in horsepower. Newer tractors usually have an operating range that includes maximum power at a speed lower than rated. Also, with modern high torque/constant power engines, the power at rated PTO speed is usually similar to the power at the rated engine speed.

Like PTO performance, drawbar performance is measured at different rates of pull and in different gears. Power measured at 75% of pull at maximum power is a reasonable reflection of performance during typical heavy fieldwork. At 75% of pull at maximum power, you will still have some reserve for heavy spots in the field. We list the horsepower-hours per gallon in “third gear” (to show maximum drawbar pull) and “eighth gear” (to show maximum power).

Drawbar tests are conducted on concrete or asphalt test tracks, which allow for consistency in comparison. As a result, the numbers in the test reports are not exactly the numbers you might get in field conditions.

The drawbar ratings listed are for “ballasted” runs. If a ballasted test was not run, then results from the unballasted test (at 1,800 rpm or the lowest engine speed) were used.

In cases where ratings are identical (for example, Case IH and New Holland 4-wd tractors), only one of the tractors was tested and the results serve for both because there was no performance difference between the two.

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The Climate Corporation Launches New Climate FieldView Drive to Simplify Data Collection

The Climate Corporation Launches New Climate FieldView Drive to Simplify Data Collection | Ag app |

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON), announced the launch of the new FieldView Drive™, a device that provides seamless data connectivity for farmers by easily transferring field data from their equipment into their Climate FieldView™ account. The FieldView Drive connects to a tractor or combine controller area network (CAN) diagnostic port and uses Bluetooth® technology to wirelessly map a farmer’s data onto an iPad®.

“We created FieldView Drive to provide a simple solution to help farmers unlock the value of field data,” said Doug Sauder, senior director of product for The Climate Corporation. “FieldView Drive works with our FieldView Plus™ software to enable farmers to collect, store and view field map data in a single mobile tool in real time. It represents a significant advancement in data management because it provides farmers with the data they need right in the field to help them make important operating decisions.”

FieldView Drive captures key planting data including hybrid and planting population, as well as key harvest data such as yield. When FieldView Drive is partnered with FieldView Plus, data is digitally displayed as a farmer passes through a field, enabling the farmer to easily understand hybrid performance by field, soil zone and population with side-by-side views of as-planted and yield data.

Data from any piece of a farmer’s equipment that has a FieldView Drive is automatically synced with the farmer’s Climate FieldView account. This seamless integration makes it easy for all of a farmer’s employees and trusted advisors with access to the account to stay in the loop. Since the FieldView Drive connection to the farmer’s Climate FieldView account is real-time, farmers can stay up-to-date on critical field operations even when they’re not in the cab through text alerts, email reports and RemoteView. Data can also easily be shared with trusted advisors to enable fast and easy collaboration.

During 2015 planting and harvest, FieldView Drive and FieldView Plus were beta tested with more than 300 farmers across the Corn Belt. The beta spanned 650,000 crop acres, with more than five billion unique data points mapped and more than 75,000 hours of FieldView Drive time logged.

“The way I see it, you can’t have too much technology on the farm, as long as it’s simple to use and helps you make important operational decisions,” said farmer Scott Chesnut of Boone, Iowa. “Each season, I conduct several field trials with varying populations in beans and corn. FieldView Drive helped me better understand the response between one field trial and another through side-by-side comparison of yield maps. Additionally, the portability of being able to view data from multiple pieces of equipment on one iPad was fantastic. This allowed me to easily share data with my son and compare maps to identify and get ahead of potential issues in the field. I'm really looking forward to using FieldView Drive and FieldView Plus again this year, especially as I build a plan for the upcoming growing season."

For the 2016 growing season, FieldView Drive is compatible with select John Deere and Case IH planters and John Deere combines. The company plans to expand the capabilities of FieldView Drive in coming seasons.

“Because we believe significant yield advances and efficiencies can be gained by harnessing the power of data, our intent is to greatly expand the capabilities of FieldView Drive into more equipment brands and machine types to support key field activities and crops,” Sauder said. “We’re working to ensure farmers gain valuable insight from their data in the field.”

FieldView Drive and FieldView Plus are part of the integrated Climate FieldView digital agronomic platform, which offers farmers the broadest equipment connectivity in the industry. The platform also includes Climate FieldView ProTM, a tool that provides customized, field-level agronomic insights powered by data science, and Climate FieldView PrimeTM, a tool that provides field-level weather, notifications and scouting.

FieldView Drive and FieldView Plus Pricing

The FieldView Plus Starter Kit is $499. It includes FieldView Drive, FieldView Plus and an iPad mounting kit. Additional FieldView Drive devices can be purchased for $249 each. Farmers who have purchased a Whole Farm Offer of FieldView Pro™ can purchase the FieldView Drive Starter Package that includes FieldView Drive and an iPad mounting kit for just $249.

To take advantage of FieldView Drive and FieldView Plus, farmers can contact their local Climate dealer or visit To learn more about the Climate FieldView digital agronomic platform visit

About The Climate Corporation

The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto Company, aims to help all the world's farmers sustainably increase their productivity through the use of digital tools. The integrated Climate FieldView™ digital agriculture platform provides farmers with a comprehensive, connected suite of digital tools. Bringing together seamless field data collection, advanced agronomic modeling and local weather monitoring into simple mobile and web software solutions, Climate FieldView Prime™, Climate FieldView Plus™ and Climate FieldView Pro™ give farmers a deeper understanding of their fields so they can make more informed operating decisions to optimize yields, maximize efficiency and reduce risk. For more information, please visit or follow the company on Twitter@climatecorp.

About Monsanto Company

Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce seeds for fruits, vegetables and key crops – such as corn, soybeans, and cotton – that help farmers have better harvests while using water and other important resources more efficiently. We work to find sustainable solutions for soil health, help farmers use data to improve farming practices and conserve natural resources, and provide crop protection products to minimize damage from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. To learn more about Monsanto, our commitments and our more than 20,000 dedicated employees, please and Follow our business on Twitter® at, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.


The Climate Corporation
Chelsea Shepherd, 314-236-9756

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More on Deere’s Purchase of Precision Planting

More on Deere’s Purchase of Precision Planting | Ag app |
“Stay Out Of My Fields”

Most surveyed growers believe their on-farm data belongs to them and should not be used by suppliers without permission and even reimbursement. When suppliers sell or share data with other firms, these no-tillers expect to be paid for this information.

Others believe firms such as Deere have no business obtaining farmer data without permission. Some feel allowing the big players in the ag market to have this data will lead to higher equipment and crop input prices for growers. And higher dividends being paid to stockholders as well.

Many of the responding no-tillers indicate that they are hesitant to share confidential information with any company. Several indicated that they would only share data after receiving a signed wavier from a company that explains how the data will be used.

Other growers are concerned with several legal agreements that appear to be part of the Deere purchase, Since the Precision Planting products were part of the offerings available over the past several years from the Climate Corporation, growers will now be able to utilize the services offered by the MyJohnDeere and ClimateFieldView programs. But at the same time, growers are concerned that the unauthorized use of their on-farm data will be available not only to Deere, but now also to the Climate Corporation.

While admitting the on-farm data is owned by farmers, officials from the Climate Corporation say growers who provide data and work with them will be told how the data will be used. And they point out that farmers can delete their on-farm data from the system whenever they want. Still, the unauthorized use of this on-farm data is a major worry for some growers.

Taking a Look Back at What Happened in 2012

If you want to review the history on the unauthorized data-sharing situation, here is the article that appeared in the August 2012 edition of No-Till Farmer entitled, “Monsanto’s Acquisition of Precision Planting Makes Growers Nervous About Sharing Data.”

Other no-tillers voiced concerns over the fact that they have shared data over the past few years with area agronomists who also happen to be Precision Planting dealers. They’re now worried about their on-farm cropping data getting in the hands of Deere.

While some growers are obtaining valuable data through the use of Precision Planting products, they don’t think they should not have to pay to have the data analyzed and then find later the firm is asking to be paid for offering a new crop production recipe based on the data they provided without charge to the supplier in the first place.

With the Deere purchase of Precision Planting, some no-tillers say they will work more closely with independent manufacturers of precision equipment to avoid concerns about the unauthorized sharing of farm data with the major brands.

“Data Sharing Benefits Everyone”

On the other hand, a few no-tillers who answered the 2015 survey aren’t concerned about giving up their on-farm data. They believe suppliers will only use this data for determining yield and input trends rather than analyzing individual farm data. While some growers felt their data would be more secure with Deere than with Monsanto, others held the opposite opinion.

Other no-tillers believe that an increased flow of information will benefit all growers. They maintain that farmers simply need to understand what is changing for the better and get on board with the changes.

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Data the key in drone decisions

Data the key in drone decisions | Ag app |
DRONES and UAVs in agriculture are very much the buzz at the moment but machinery dealer, Emmetts has focused on the data rather than the device to make productivity in-roads for farmers.Offerring what is essentially a rapid turnaround crop imagery service, Victorian and South Australian equipment dealer Emmetts’ CropFlight uses lightweight drone technology with the results available rapidly allowing farmers to make timely crop decisions.The Emmetts service is provided in liaison with US company Agrobotix, and returns crop or vegetation health data just 24 hours after the lightweight drone buzzes the property.It’s data that can resonate with croppers as they can identify crop deficiencies and work with their agronomist on rectifications with fertiliser, irrigation or weed control.The service can save time and money. Measuring the health of a crop in-field can be used to generate a prescriptive in-crop fertilisation program that can then dialed into an application map - a process delivering targeted results.Emmett's’ CropFlight service data can also be combined or overlaid with historical field data collected via harvest yield mapping or Greenseeker style technology allowing the farmer to generate an accurate assessment of crop health before making management decisions.While use of imagery data in this context is not new, the timeliness of satellite imagery and the time to have the data converted to application maps has typically been slow.
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Robotic farming coming soon to a field near you

Robotic farming coming soon to a field near you | Ag app |
A shortage of produce labor workers coupled with rapid technological advancement is making the idea of robotics on the farm a compelling solution for farm owners.
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Growing season apps

Growing season apps | Ag app |
Here are mobile apps to help you this growing season. From scouting weeds, insects, soybean aphids and more to calculating growing degree days, identifying weeds and getting help with integrated pest management, identifying nutrient deficiencies and calculating tank mixes, these apps offer easily accessible help while you're out in the field this summer.
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How Technology is Transforming the Agriculture Industry.

How Technology is Transforming the Agriculture Industry. | Ag app |
Science has always played a significant role in the agriculture industry, with new seed varieties developed to boost food security and fertilizers enriching soils with nutrients. However, it is only in recent years that we’re starting to link technological advancements with the industry – from drones to apps here’s how technology is transforming the agriculture industry: Apps are improving access to informationFrom accurate local weather forecasts to the latest event information, apps have enabled our industry to access crucial information at the touch of a screen. Apps are now even informing fertilizer application and can enable farmers to send images of crops in a poor condition to experts, who can provide accurate tips and fertilizer recommendations within 24 hours. At IFA we wanted to offer members an easier way to access all information from our events, so we have now launched our events app. The app provides updates on the list of participants, speakers, exhibitors and the event agenda. Members will be able to use the app for the first time at the upcoming IFA annual conference in Istanbul. Drones are capturing vital dataOver the last few months we’ve shared lots of interesting articles on social media looking at the role drones will play in agriculture.Drones provide farmers with cost-effective satellite images of their fields, giving them a clear picture of all their land and highlighting any critical areas of worry. These images are enabling farmers to be more efficient and accurate than ever before.Mobile phones are linking farmers to markets (and the world!)Some say that Africa has “skipped the landline stage” and moved straight to mobile.This certainly seems to be the case with farmers in the continent, who have quickly moved from having to travel to market to find the local asking price for their produce to receiving market prices in text messages. Farmers can now access a world of information, from global food prices to weather forecasts, without having to leave their house or farm. Oxfam have even claimed that mobile phones can play a vital role in feeding an estimated 9 billion people by 2050.Soil sensors are enabling more farmers to save land Like drones, soil moisture sensors are offering farmers more accurate data than ever before. The sensors can be placed in soil to measure water content and can provide vital updates to save soil (and water). Robots are offering farmers a helping handFrom cattle to crop planting robots are stepping in to help farmers with time consuming tasks. Agriculture robots have also helped to improve accurate soil management, with irrigation systems accurately watering the land and some machines helping with the precise application of fertilizer.At IFA we embrace the many ways that technology can enhance our industry, that’s why we’ve launched our brand new app to ensure all our members have the latest event information at their fingertips. We look forward to exploring the many ways that technology can improve the lives of farmers around the world and we believe that technology will play an increasingly significant role in our industry.
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How do you spray when the sun goes down? Try blue LEDs

How do you spray when the sun goes down? Try blue LEDs | Ag app |
Night spraying can offer advantages, such as reduced wind speeds to minimize drift and slower rates of evaporation. But defective nozzle spray patterns can
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