Over the past century, farming has radically transformed by leaps and bounds. Mechanical engineering and advancement had paved the way for the transition from horse-pulled plows, sowing seed by hand, and back-breaking harvests. Back in the 1940s, manual processes and horses were replaced by tractors and mechanical equipment, and farmers who could once only tend a dozen or so acres were equipped with a newfound capability of managing hundreds of acres. Today, farmers have access to a tool just as tantamount and just as revolutionary: technology. As the demand for more food-producing land for a growing population continues to rise, the cost of farmland is also climbing, with every acre becoming much more profitable. Everything from soil sampling and seeding to irrigation is now a much more efficient and productive process, thanks to smart farming techniques using technology. In fact, land that was considered “undesirable” or difficult to farm once upon a time can now be developed into a healthy, operational farm with the right technology.
Aligning itself with the latest agricultural technology trends, Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) provides solutions that solve complex technology challenges across the entire agricultural supply chain. Trimble’s solutions enable farmers to allocate scarce resources to produce a safe, reliable food supply in a profitable and environmentally sustainable manner. Trimble precision agriculture solutions cover all seasons, crops, terrains, and farm sizes and can be used on and with most equipment on the farm, regardless of the manufacturer.
Taking Agriculture to the Next Level
A division of Trimble, Trimble Agriculture provides innovative, user-friendly precision ag technology that allows farmers to achieve practical changes to maximize profitability across the entire farm operation. Farmers know it well that no two fields are alike. In fact, no two zones in a field are alike. As such, productivity ebbs and flows due to changes in soil type, pH levels, topography, and more. By improving the overall efficiency, the effects of precision ag go beyond just fieldwork—less time in the cab, greater savings on inputs, and a more productive farming operation.
What sets the company apart is its Trimble Connected Farm® vision entailing a unified suite of precision solutions, covering all aspects of modern agricultural management. From the office to the field, Trimble Connected Farm helps growers get critical farm work done all year round in a smarter, faster, and more efficient way. Through seamless data transfer and analysis, universal vehicle and implement integration, and the best positioning/corrections available, farmers can connect as much or as little of their operation as they choose while easily expanding and upgrading as desired.
From software to hardware to other precision services, Trimble offers a wide range of precision ag technology to fit the needs of a farm. Trimble Agriculture’s family of Android displays enables farmers to complete field applications quickly and efficiently while also monitoring and mapping field information in real time with the utmost accuracy. Besides, Trimble Agriculture’s Farmer Core software complements existing Trimble solutions to help farmers seamlessly manage precision ag data. The Trimble suite of precision ag tools can be used for guidance and steering, flow and application control, data management, land preparation, planting and seeding, water management, and more.
Digitizing Agriculture for the Greater Good
Trimble launched the Farmer Core, a new entry-level Trimble Ag Software subscription that enables farmers to connect all aspects of their farm operation. Farmer Core is a powerful yet affordable software-as-a-service (SaaS), available online and on any mobile device, and integrates machine-generated data from precision ag displays to streamline farm setup and farm operations.
Farmer Core leverages the new AutoSync™ feature that automatically syncs guidance lines, field names, landmarks, boundaries, and operator information across Trimble Ag Software and Trimble displays using the Precision-IQ™ field application. Precision-IQ is used to gather and manage data from in-field activities. This new AutoSync functionality improves overall farm record integrity by reducing human error and eliminating the need to manually share data via USB. In addition, Farmer Core, Farmer Fit, and Farmer Pro subscriptions enable users to work with precision ag data in real time, which includes the data that is imported via APIs from third-party displays.
We were fortunate for the years of investments we’ve made in the technology that enables us today to be able to support, train, and service our customers who are out in the field and to be able to do that on a remote basis
Combating the Pandemic-Induced Challenges
Trimble has fared well in these unprecedented times, empowering farmers to survive and thrive. But this has been challenging. With COVID-19 spreading across the globe and affecting all facets of work, many are retreating to their homes and taking their work online. But for farmers, that’s simply not an option. Farming is critical at all times to the availability and quality of food to keep society healthy and growing. It’s fundamental to providing nutrition.
“The pandemic is amplifying some of the digitization trends we see in the market,” says Robert Painter, CEO of Trimble. While farms have quickly adapted to a digital-first environment, Trimble has also found an increased ability to deliver remote support.
“We were fortunate for the years of investments we’ve made in the technology that enables us today to be able to support, train, and service our customers who are out in the field and to be able to do that on a remote basis,” notes Painter. “That’s been a really important pivot to us because that direct interaction is fundamental to the business.”
A progressive series of automation will be key to establishing autonomy among farming operations in the years ahead, beginning with operator assistance, machine and process optimization, and ultimately network optimization. “We see abilities to automate workflows in the near future,” comments Painter. “It could be crop spraying, tilling the land, lead-follow concepts at harvest time. Taking discreet workflows that have specific opportunities to be optimized and made more efficient.”
From the office to the field, Trimble Connected Farm helps growers get critical farm work done all year round in a smarter, faster, and more efficient way
Rural connectivity is a persistent obstacle that many farms throughout the globe are dealing with. In light of COVID-19, it has become abundantly clear that connectivity is essential for farms. As such, Trimble believes that connectivity will happen in the cloud. This will also be key to facilitating the future of autonomous farming. “If that process is going to happen in the cloud, you’ve got to have connectivity to the cloud,” Painter mentions. “You take it to its logical extension to autonomous farming and you have to have connectivity, not just to the cloud but machine to machine.