John Deere Equipment: What Your Farm Data is Telling You

Farms are collecting more data than ever before. But your John Deere equipment data doesn’t pay off if it stays in the drawer.

“If you don’t have data to manage, you have nothing,” said Shawn Feikema from Circle F Farms in Minnesota. “Anyone can put seed in the ground but it’s what you do with the data after is what matters.”

One recent study showed that while 82 percent of farms collect yield monitor data, only half those operations are using that data for seeding rate and drainage investment decisions. The takeaway? There’s lots of data available that could take the guesswork out of farming, but trying to make sense of it all can be overwhelming.

Why John Deere Data Matters?

“There are so many things a farmer can’t control, but plenty they can,” said Jerry Swartzel, a Regional Integrated Solutions Manager with Ag Pro Companies, a John Deere Dealer. John Deere, like Granular, is continuously working to help farmers make better use of their tractor data and other field ops activities all season long. “Our job is to make sure our customers have the tools they need to get the most profit per acre —  whether it’s the latest combine or sensors that collect valuable data.”

If you’re doing it right, quality data can provide a deep and wide perspective of what’s working on your farm. Together with imagery and soil data, it can tell you where you’re making and losing money, and inform decisions for the future.

More specifically, data can tell you:

  • What factors drove yield? Was it the hybrid type or soil? What about the seeding rate and date?
  • Why did some fields perform better than others?  
  • What’s the return on my agronomic input decisions?
  • Which acres should I invest in more, or less? 
  • What’s my estimated yield, and how much should I plan to store or sell?

If you’re not answering these questions with your data, you’re missing the opportunity to make more informed, profitable decisions.

“It gets back to the idea that you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” added Swartzel. “If you’re not getting your most important questions answered from the data you collect, our job is to help you figure out why.”

Swartzel added that Ag Pro’s support agreements include machine set-up. He and his team work with customers to make sure all the data collection tools are up and running, and calibrated. If a customer isn’t using wireless, they’ll even use a USB to transfer data to the John Deere Operations Center. “Whatever needs to be done to ensure accurate upload, that’s my job.”

How and Where to Get Your Data

When we talk about machine data, we’re referring to the data collected from sensors on equipment during field operations activities. This includes field ops data like hours, acres and quantities of inputs applied, and crops harvested. Sensors send data to your monitors, which then forward that data to a cloud application like the John Deere Operations Center. Granular pulls that data and, put simply, combines it with soil and historical data, satellite imagery, and university research to make it easy to view and analyze.

“Collecting data throughout the season is critical to getting a full picture of what’s impacting yield and profitability,” Swartzel stressed. “That’s why planters, sprayers and harvesters all have sensors that collect data.”

Make it Easier to Upload Data

With digital tools like Granular, you can track major field activities throughout the growing season, but the data transfer has to be set up for success. There are a few options for importing your data into tools like Granular.

  • Wireless data connection from the John Deere Operations Center. You can transfer up to five years of field ops data, giving you a comprehensive, historical perspective of where you’ve been successful in your operation.
  • Data uploads via USB are another option if you operate older or non-John Deere machines and supported monitors.
  • Data migration from Corteva to Granular to import up to five years of boundaries, planting, and harvest data.

“Wireless connection simplifies data collection and makes the most sense,” adds Swartzel. “Not only is your data transferred immediately, but you can access it right away to make decisions. It also makes it easy for your third party applications to access the data in the cloud.”

With Good Data Comes Great Insights

Utilize your hard work calibrating, gathering and uploading quality data all season with software that can quickly surface it to help you make better decisions. With Granular Insights, you can answer those key questions listed above and know what decisions made you money this past season so you can hedge your bets next year.

Get Granular Insights for free and start putting all your farm data to work.

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