DEFINING THE PROBLEM
For farmers, planting seed can be a complex process entailing planning and forecasting. Many agriculture companies across the U.S. invest in technology with hopes of improving both the process and overall annual yield. Initiatives like this start with a comprehensive look at current processes and operations to identify where improvements can be achieved using technology enhancements. One of our Fortune 500 agriscience partners looked to Source Allies to help them improve the way farmers accessed critical data in real-time.
For context, our partner sells seed to farmers who plant and harvest the crop with tractors produced by multiple manufacturers (Deere, Case, etc). Each tractor houses a computer that provides instructions on how to plant the seed. This computer records planting, and other operations data in a manufacturer specific data format on what is called a “data card”.
Prior to engaging Source Allies, the process from seed sale to planting and an evaluation of the crucial data was clunky. The biggest detriment was that the farmers were not getting access to planting recommendations with enough time to make modifications and have a real impact on overall yield. All of the data that was being captured was stored on data cards within the computer which had to be removed and sent via file transfer protocol FTP annually to our partner. Processing the data took many hours and the only way to visualize the data was through software on the notoriously slow laptops carried by the salespeople. Source Allies was brought in to revamp this process to better serve the farmers and improve their yield.
Our solution was to build an Apple and Android mobile application called Sync Service. This application uploads critical field operations and prescriptions (planting, harvest, irrigation etc.) to the tractor monitors in real-time. It dramatically speeds up the feedback process for farmers across the globe and provided a comprehensive snapshot of their fields.
This mobile application uses a small hardware component that allows farmers to wirelessly instruct their tractors how to plant our partners’ seed products, so they can achieve the highest yield. It also allows the harvest data to be shared back to our partner and processed in near real-time. This speed allows farmers to visualize how effective the seed was via Google Maps API heat maps generated on demand. In all, this mobile app was delivered to our partner ahead of schedule with budget to spare and has improved the lives of thousands of farmers globally.
Real-time data visualization vs. eight-hour upload deployment processes
1000+ farming operations currently using this application globally