Use Case Update: Farm Machine Interoperability

One of the biggest problems farmers face is the interoperability of farming equipment due to different digital standards. Interoperability is the ability of agricultural equipment to exchange and interact or communicate.
This lack of interoperability is not only obstructing the adoption of new IoT-technologies and slowing down their growth in Europe. It also inhibits the gain of production efficiency through smart farming methods. This use case aims to integrate different communication standards to unlock the potential of data exchange between field machinery and farm management information systems.

Smart progress

Previously, software developers had to implement a different methodology for each vehicle brand. We address this discrepancy by our proof of concept methodology where data from different vehicles is read and subsequently combined using the ADAPT translator plug-in. Hence, in this use case our partners from 365Farmnet are reading files from CNH Industrial, Kverneland, AGCO and Grimme either through a plug-in from the manufacturer or the ISO-XML plug-in.
In this sense, the contribution to precision agriculture is achieved by making information exchange easier, enabling farmers to access more data services and subsequently fully harness their potential. Furthermore, the smart application will indirectly contribute to sustainability as the improved use of machinery will decrease the energy consumption and use resources in the field more efficiently.

Proof of concept

The successful demonstration of the ADAPT toolbox from AgGateway as a workable solution drew a lot of attention from industry stakeholders and lead to additional plug-ins coming to the market in the near future, which will further increase the data interoperability. Nevertheless, the main challenge – the maturity level of available standards – remains.
Currently, there are no real usable solutions for real-time communication from the standardisation organisation involved in agricultural machinery. Thus, rather than implementing new solutions to this challenge, this use case will look for universal frameworks, make them fit for purpose to subsequently apply them to improve farm machine interoperability. In doing so, we will perform a proof of concept and liaise with AEF and AgGateway to speed up the necessary development of data standards in agriculture.

Future

We are convinced that interoperability is a prerequisite for digital farming in the future. When thinking about the connection between implements and tractors based on ISOBUS, the interoperability between machinery already exists in the physical world. It does however, not yet sufficiently exist in the digital world which is a major concern of equipment manufacturers. Therefore, we made it our main goal to address the discrepancy regarding interoperability between the physical and digital world to entirely reap the benefits of Internet of Things technology in agriculture in the future.

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