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Data has been a hot topic for a while in agriculture

According to Joe Denniston, vice president of the company’s Agriculture Division, the key trend for precision ag in 2014 boils down to a single word — data. “Data has been a hot topic for a while in agriculture,” says Denniston. “In 2014 we expect to see a continued emphasis on providing data a farmer can use to make better farm management decisions. To help address this need, Trimble recently introduced the Connected Farm dashboard. The dashboard provides one central location for farmers to view key information impacting their operations such as rainfall totals, the status of irrigation systems, farm operations data, weather forecast, fleet details and more. With this information, farmers will be able to make better daily decisions for their farm. For example, wind speed information on the dashboard can enable a farmer to plan when to spray a given field, while rainfall totals may help determine whether to irrigate or not, or if the day’s farming operation should be delayed due to wet field conditions.”

Aiding agriculture in better natural resource practices is also a key trend. “The world’s growing population is placing increasing pressure on farmers to produce more while also meeting increasing regulations around water use, environment protection and sustainability,” says Denniston. “As a result, we expect to see a growing trend in agriculture for products that promote sustainability and help conserve natural resources. Understanding this trend, Trimble now offers two new products that enable water conservation. The RainWave precipitation monitoring service enables farmers to set up virtual rain gauges by entering GPS coordinates for identified locations. The Irrigate-IQ precision irrigation solution provides farmers with a precise hardware and software solution (including individual nozzle control) for controlling linear and pivot irrigation systems, and enables farmers to apply the right amount of water in the right place based on crop requirements. With RainWave and Irrigate-IQ, a farmer can reprogram his irrigation system based on the latest rainfall information, optimizing the use of water.”

With these trends in mind, however, Denniston adds that growers still want some measure of simplicity in their products. “We continue to hear from farmers about the importance of providing products that are not only cutting edge, but also user-friendly,” he says. “Farmers want products that ultimately make life simpler, not more complex. As a result, Trimble introduced a new display, the TMX-2050 display, which is built on the popular Android operating system. It includes many touch commands that are similar to modern tablets and smartphones with which many farmers are already familiar. Its intuitive interface allows farmers to easily implement precision agriculture solutions as their business grows, and since its operating system is suited for connectivity, the TMX-2050 display provides optimal performance with the Connected Farm solution, which facilitates information exchange across the entire farm.”

(Source: http://www.precisionag.com/guidance/2014-precision-ag-product-review/6/)

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