This isn't sharing data with your neighbor or your agronomist - on the latest episode of the podcast, we're talking about data sharing between your machines, what it is, what to do with it, and its benefits.
Ben Hilde, RDO Precision Ag Specialist, joins host Tony Kramer to discuss.
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Read the complete transcript:
Tony Kramer: Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 125. Today, we are going to be talking about data sharing. I'm really excited to welcome Ben Hilde to the show. Ben is a product specialist with RDO equipment, and he's actually a return guest. He was on the show back on episode 50, talking about 4-Series Sprayers. If you haven't listened to that one, I would encourage you to go back to episode 50, and listen to myself and Ben talk about the 4-Series Sprayers. Ben, I know you've been on the show before, but let's get a little background on you again. How you got started and how you got to where you are today in this industry.
Ben Hilde: I got started in high school, I guess, on a couple of different farm operations until I was in my early 20s and went to school for farm operations management at a tech school up in East Grand Forks, and moved down here to the Holly Minnesota area, got married, and started with RDO Equipment almost five years ago now. Love the industry, love where it's going, love talking about it.
Tony Kramer: Wow, five years, crazy to think that it's been that long already. You're right, I know you are very passionate about the ag industry and ag technology, and what we're doing and where it's going. I'm glad to have you back on the show to talk a little bit more about some of the technology offerings that we have out there. What we want to talk about today is data sharing. Now, when I say data sharing, I'm not talking about sharing data with your neighbor or with your agronomist or things like that. I'm actually talking about data sharing from machine to machine. Ben, let's just talk a little bit about what is data sharing? What can you do with it, how does it benefit someone running it? Just tell our listeners a little bit about what data sharing is.
Ben Hilde: Data sharing, a lot of you listeners probably run multiple machines out in your fields. You're running two planters at the same time or two sprayers or two combines, or even more than that. Data sharing gives us the ability to go share the machine maps, the coverage maps between those two machines. It really helps us all to-- cleaning up on section control areas, cleaning up on overlap control, on combines. It helps us to maximize our efficiency, and it also has a few added features in there, that we'll get into a little bit later here.
Tony Kramer: You talked a little bit about some of the application. Let's just dive into them one by one, planting, tillage, spraying, harvest. Starting out with planting. Why would data sharing benefit a grower if they were to use data sharing in a planting scenario?
Ben Hilde: When we're running those two machines in that field, say we possibly didn't send the setup file from our operations center to both machines, and all of a sudden, one guy is on one guidance line from one year, and one guy is on a guidance line from the other year and nobody knows what the coordinates are, and nobody knows what the line is named. With data sharing, we actually have the ability to go in, when we're going in to plant, that first planter can go in, and start on your back and forth rounds, and go ahead and share that line with that other planter.
You can do it for any line in the field, the straight tracks that is, and you guys are on the exact same guidance line, the exact same path. You can start in the middle of the field, you can start on the outsides of the field. As long as your offsets are correct in that piece of machinery, you guys are going to meet with your 20-inch gastro, 22-inch gastro, 30-inch gastro in the middle of the field. Very nice feature there. The added benefit of it, the data sharing, you see the other guy's coverage maps so you know exactly where he's been, so you don't go back and overseed where he was. You probably are running section control on that planner. Both of your planters shut off with the coverage map, it doesn't matter who planted the headlands, both machines will shut off in previous coverage.
Tony Kramer: That's a big talking point there. Maybe you got two planters in the field, one planter finishes up and says, "All right, I'm going to head to the next field to get that started." He plants all of the headlands. Correct me if I'm wrong, but when that second planter shows up, and he selects the client farm field, though, that coverage map will be there from the other planters so he can just jump right in and start planting, and his section control will work, correct?
Ben Hilde: Absolutely. Yes, that's exactly how it works. That guy pulls into that field, it doesn't matter if it's two days later or five days later. Say got a rain event, that coverage is there from that other planter, that guy can go ahead and go in and resume exactly where that other guy left off. Just keep in mind that you do have to manually share the AB line as the other operator is in the other cab. It will work if you do not share that AB line to just all of a sudden be on the exact same AB line unless the setup file is sent to both machines at the same time.
Tony Kramer: Now another application this could be used as and it's maybe not as common to have multiple sprayers in the same field, but this can also be used in a similar situation with a sprayer, correct?
Ben Hilde: Yes, absolutely. It works exactly the same way just making sure we have either John Deere rate Controllers on a pull-type sprayer or your John Deere or Hagie sprayers can also run this feature with the sprayers exactly like the planters. You can pull in, share your lines, your sprayer shuts off on previous coverage from the other guy sprayer, vice versa, it works the same way. Identical with the sprayers.
Tony Kramer: Now, the next one I want to touch on where it's maybe a little more common practice, multiple combines in one field. Talk a little bit about the benefits of running data sharing. If you have multiple combines in a field.
Ben Hilde: Running multiple combinations. We have the same thing with the planters, the sprayers, the sharing of the guidance lines, and then the big one with the combines now is sharing the coverage map. Everybody knows how messy some maps in the past have gotten. You don't have that data sharing, and you're combining and say you get through your crop and you're cutting on your headland, and you left your header down for a little bit too long.
Well, you covered that area and somebody else covered that area and possibly somebody else covered that area, while we pulled all those maps in manually, stitched it all together, and we got a bunch of red marks in our yield maps. With the data sharing, we have overlap control so we can go in, go through, combine everything, everybody's coverage shows up, and everything is clean when it comes back into the operation center. Huge benefit there for cleaning up your yield maps, especially with all the other combine technologies that have been talked about in previous episodes that you've heard about. It just cleans up the system that much more with data sharing.
Another really cool thing in the combines is, I don't know how many of you are familiar with the Gen 4 technology, but you are able to go in and switch your coverage map to a yield map, and you can actually go in and see the other combines, yield maps, as you're combining on the background of your Gen 4 display.
That is an awesome feature. Just make sure to adjust your legend. If you're combining wheat and your legend is anywhere from 20 to 60 bushel or whatever might be in your area, and you go to corn and you're from 120 to 200 bushel, you need to make sure you adjust that legend in all the combines, it doesn't automatically adjust.
Tony Kramer: A lot of great features when we talk data sharing in a harvest situation, whether it may be that clean data, bringing in clean, precise yield data or if it's just that in-cab feature, that in-cab viewability to see the other machines, the other yield maps that are being populated. Now maybe one of the more uncommon reasons to use it, but you still can I believe use it, tillage applications. Is data sharing something you could use if you have multiple tillage tools in one field?
Ben Hilde: Absolutely. A lot of guys are going out there and they're putting a premium activation on all their tractors, that Premium 3.0 Activation with the Gen 4s. As long as you have that, absolutely. You can share coverage maps. Some of these tillage applications nowadays, maybe we're going out there and we're residue sizing, and we can't exactly see where the other tractor has been, but we obviously know we're doing what we want to be doing. Pretty hard in the middle of the night, when it gets later in the season, and in the fall, we have those short days, to see where that other tractor has been sometimes, makes it a really nice feature for tillage tractors also.
Tony Kramer: It's definitely a tool or a feature that can be used across the board, whether we're at spring, summer, fall, no matter what application we're doing, data sharing is something that can be utilized in all applications. We talked about some applications to be using it in. What is the compatibility? What kind of components or hardware or even activations do I need in order to run data sharing?
Ben Hilde: With data sharing, we got all of our GreenStarTM equipment. We need at least the StarFire 3000 or the StarFire 6000. We're also going to need that JDLink Connect subscription on that MTG in that machine. We're also going to need an ethernet cord hooked up to that machine to make sure the machine is communicating to the op center, to the MTG, and also to the other tractor. You set up a network with that MTG and the other guy joins that network.
We have to make sure that our client farm and filed are the same, our task is the same and also our crop type is the same if we're going to combine. It makes it really easy if you do all your pre-work on it in the operation center to make this happen, especially if you're using boundaries. The one guy can go in and use our field locator file or field locator feature, go in, tap your map, select your field, you start the workgroup, the other guys can go in and you can actually join that workgroup that other guy had already created on the Gen 4s. You're going to need your Premium 3.0 at least activation. It also works with Automation 3.0 as of the date of this podcast. The big ones are the Premium 3.0, the Connect subscription, and that Starfire receiver.
Tony Kramer: Now, you talked a lot about what is needed with the premium activations. Can I also utilize this on a GS3 or a 2630 platform?
Ben Hilde: Absolutely. 2630 is our only GS3 platform that it is compatible on. We do have that command center and then absolutely a no go with the 2600 on the GS2 stuff. With the 2630, it's the same thing. It's just a little different on the activation side of things. We actually have to add a machine sync activation to that 2630. Not to be confused with the harvest automation. That is a completely different function, but it uses the exact same activation. Don't get that screwed up when I'm talking machine sync now, but we need that machine sync activation and then we need that JDLink Connect subscription and ethernet cord hooked up to that 2630 and at least a Starfire 3000 or Starfire 6000 and you're good to go. Same thing. You establish a network over the MTG, you can name who you want to be on that network. The other guy can actually come in, you can search for the workgroup, a little bit slower than the Gen 4 on searching for the workgroup, but it is still doable and you're good to go.
We have pretty much for the sharing or the machine sync side of things, it's only listed that two machines, I believe, are compatible with that. We have in certain situations had three. I haven't heard of more than that, but just keep in mind that two is only recommended.
Tony Kramer: With the two machines, is that on the 2630 side, or both the 2630 and the Gen 4?
Ben Hilde: That is just on the 2630 side of things. On the Gen 4, I don't remember the exact number off the top of my head, but I know it is multiple. I want to say 10. I am not going to say that for sure right now.
Tony Kramer: [laughs] Don't quote us on that, but it is multiple machines on the Gen 4 side of things. Ben, I know you've gotten to play with data sharing out in the field with a number of the customers you work with. Do you have any sort of a success story that you'd like to share with the listeners on maybe a customer utilizing data sharing and how they benefit from it?
Ben Hilde: Yes, absolutely. I got multiple different customers that are running data sharing and machine sync. It's been an extremely easy sell for a couple of these guys in the Red River Valley, utilizing multiple machines, especially guys that are running a 2630 to a couple of different tractors on their operation. They can throw their 2630 in their planter tractor, go and throw it in their sprayer, and then go ahead and throw it in the combine. It works really good on those farms.
Also, a couple of guys running the Gen 4, after you have it, after you have the Premium 3.0, you get that with your combine anyways, if you're running any type of corn, if you're running [unintelligible 00:14:41]. It's a no brainer on that Premium 3.0. Just put that Connect subscription on there. The Connect subscriptions have been varying in price lately. I can't quote what it's going to be tomorrow, but fairly inexpensive to get that Connect subscription. Once you have that, you already got the premium, why not use the data sharing? Guys absolutely love it. Cleaning up maps. Big one is sharing AB lines. They absolutely love the sharing of the AB lines.
Tony Kramer: You bring up a good point about the machines and what they're coming with and whatnot. The JDLink, so any of the new machines, brand new machines on order, or ones that you come in and order, five years of JDLink Connect come from the factory. You mentioned those premium activations. If you're going full Gen 4 on the farm, you're probably going to have those premium activations anyway.
A lot of farms out there that are running late model equipment may have the capabilities of running this data sharing, and maybe they just don't know about it. On that note, Ben, where can people go or who can they talk to, to learn more about maybe setting up data sharing or even getting the right components to utilize data sharing?
Ben Hilde: Obviously, in our area, you want to go to your local RDO Equipment dealership. A lot of our account managers are trained on this but definitely get in touch with your product specialists in your area. They're going to point you in the right direction and get you going where you need to go. For the other dealerships out there, I'm sure the IS teams from other dealerships can point you in the right direction too. It's been a great product for John Deere as a whole.
One more thing I did want to mention on the compatibility side of things, you cannot mix and match GS3 and Gen 4. You have got to run Gen 4 together or GS3 together. If you're one of those farms out there that's running 700 series combines and maybe you have one 600 series combine left, think about talking to somebody and putting the 4640 in that 600 series combine. I just wanted to mention that also. I forgot about that earlier.
Tony Kramer: That's actually a good point. Thank you for bringing that up. It's not just the Gen 4 command centers, but this can be done with the 4640s. Like Ben said, if maybe you have one S600 series combine left or maybe you're running a 30 series tractor on the planter or tillage tools or something. If you get a 4640 in the cab of that machine, you do have those Gen 4 capabilities. Great thing, thank you for bringing that up. I just want to thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk to the listeners a little bit about data sharing and how it can benefit their farm and some of the practical applications we can utilize it in. Thanks again for doing this, Ben.
Ben Hilde: Anytime. It's fun sitting out in the field talking on a microphone.
Tony Kramer: Visit rdoequipment.com\podcast to listen to new episodes and catch up on any that you have missed. You can also listen and subscribe to our podcast on any device or streaming service.