Get ready for the precision agriculture revolution

John Deere Australia and New Zealand production systems manager Stephanie Gersekowski spoke at the AFIA conference in Bendigo. Photo by britt spring

Australian hay and fodder producers and contractors are encouraged to be ready to embrace the gains in production and profitability that greater precision agriculture technology will deliver to the industry.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand production systems manager Stephanie Gersekowski was speaking at the Australian Fodder Industry Association’s National Fodder Conference in Bendigo.

Ms Gersekowski said John Deere’s 2030 vision to ensure John Deere customers were the most profitable, productive and sustainable in the world, was integral to the company’s hay and fodder strategy.

“And while our commitment will always be to produce the best quality equipment, we understand that hard iron alone will not be enough to help you achieve this vision,” she told conference delegates.

“It’s for this reason that our focus and investment is targeted towards technology solutions such as greater automation of jobs, insights from data and connectivity across the portfolio.

“We believe these strategic focus areas will help deliver ongoing productivity and efficiency gains.”

For the hay and fodder industry specifically, Ms Gersekowski said precision farming included technology such as Bale Doc in John Deere large square balers.

“Bale Doc introduces precision ag technology previously only available in broadacre applications to hay and forage production, providing near real-time moisture and weight data, in addition to bale count,” she said.

“On board, this information will allow you to monitor and track bale location and baling conditions.

“For remote managers, not only can you track bale location, weight and moisture statistics, you can also leverage this information to more effectively plan workflow and logistics to save time and money.”

When Bale Doc is used with John Deere Operations Center, it can support post-season analysis of yield and productivity via the harvest layer, and fleet management and planning through hours and fuel usage via JDLink, to facilitate more informed decisions and optimise performance in future seasons.

“Every bale recorded through Bale Doc is like a mini-income statement for your entire production cycle,” Ms Gersekowski said.

She said precision technology could be crucial to addressing some of the industry’s most pressing challenges.

“What is clear is the challenges we are facing today are not going away.

“We expect to see the continuation of increasing input costs and labour shortages over the next few years, along with greater volatility in farming conditions.

“It is our job to ensure we not only provide you with industry-best products and technology for your operations, but that we also partner with industry bodies like AFIA so that, as a sector, we can continue the meaningful collaboration and innovation opportunities like this conference offer.”