Deere & Co. is forging ahead with two sustainably-focused partnerships to reduce fertilizer use and address emissions on dairy farms.
The tractor manufacturer is working with Sweden-based Delaval on the Milk Sustainability Center, a digital system to help dairy farmers monitor their operations’ nutrient use efficiency totals and make sustainability improvements where needed.
Deere is also partnering with Norway-based Yara to seamlessly integrate the chemical firm’s data with John Deere’s Operations Center in order to provide fertilizer use recommendations and other insights to farmers.
The digital transformation of farming may be an important part of the solution to industry challenges, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Increased production costs, climate change and labor shortages could all be assuaged by an overhaul of technology.
To better serve their customers, agriculture companies are making investments in the growing space. Last month, Deere executives said in an earnings call they were increasing their research and development budgets to capitalize on higher demand for automation products. The company is also moving ahead with regenerative agriculture partnerships and precision data collaborations.
The Milk Sustainability Center, expected to debut next summer, is the brainchild of Deere and Delaval, a dairy machinery and equipment company. The cloud-based dairy application allows farmers to monitor the nutrient use efficiency of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and carbon dioxide equivalents for their entire farm, fields or herds, the companies said in a news release. Users can also compare their performances against others to make sustainability improvements.
“Dairy farming is perhaps the most complex agriculture business today with no system integration between crop and animal performance. Dairy farmers often use five to seven different, non-connected software solutions to run their business,” Dave Chipak, director of dairy and livestock production systems at John Deere, said in a statement.
The mobile and desktop app is designed so farmers can consolidate their precision data in one place regardless of the machinery brands or herd management software used. A free version of MSC is scheduled for release next summer in North America and Europe, with a premium version expected at a later date.
Data integration across platforms
Deere is also working to improve yields with less fertilizer use by combining Yara’s expertise with John Deere’s precision technology.
“Farmers need high-quality, actionable data and the technology to put these insights into practice,” Yara said in a news release. “This is where digital farming will play a big role in helping farmers optimize the productivity of their fields.”
Yara’s Atfarm digital platform enables farmers to monitor the biomass development of their crops and nitrogen uptake throughout the season, the companies said. This data can be shared with John Deere’s Operations Center, where farmers can add l details and plans to any of Deere’s machinery featuring a Gen4 or G5 display.
The new connectivity partnership is expected to begin trials in spring 2024 with a group of farmers in Germany, France and the UK.