Le 29/08/2023

Agtonomy Partners with OEMs to Accelerate the Farming Sector’s Digital Transformation

The software-and-services innovator enhances trusted farm equipment to address farmers’ most prevalent problems today.

If there were an easy fix to farmers’ biggest work-related woes, farmers would already be on board.

Agtonomy, a California-based software and services company specializing in autonomous and AI solutions for agriculture, aims to be that easy fix by embedding their ‘smarts’ in partner tractor and implement lines.

Globally, labor costs 50% of specialty crop farmers production expenses, a significant chunk of budgets in a time of shrinking farmer profit margins, making it increasingly hard for farmers to stay in business.

Agtonomy’s technology is built to be embedded in equipment and implements and upskill available labor. Farmers can focus on having the machines do the monotonous and unsafe tasks, while the workers tackle the jobs the technology can’t. In the high-value specialty crop market where labor is particularly scarce, Agtonomy’s solutions can make a huge difference in getting pre- and post-harvest tasks done on time. Even when they raise wages and increase benefits, specialty crop farmers are struggling to find enough labor to grow and harvest their crops, according to a 2019 survey of over 1,000 California specialty crop farmers.

In February, Agtonomy announced the first of a planned series of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partnerships with Bobcat Company, a global compact equipment, innovation and worksite solutions brand. For Brooke Brown, Agtonomy’s director of marketing, Agtonomy’s hands-on-method of developing robust solutions and their OEM partnership models is a fast, innovative and farmer-friendly strategy to solving farmers’ immediate labor needs.

When you think about growing specialty crops, you can’t ignore the cost and scarcity of labor. That’s why it’s the issue that Agtonomy is focused on trying to address first and foremost. And these growers are on a tightrope when it comes to timing - they’ve got these small windows to get things done right and they want to use equipment they are already familiar with and trust,” Brown says.

Which is why Agtonomy has taken the OEM partnership approach. “Working with OEMs means that farmers can still utilize the dealers they know and trust, as well as the equipment they have been using and already understand, they just come with the bonus of Agtonomy-enabled solutions.”

Through these partnerships, Agtonomy is overcoming the common barriers AgTech startups face when introducing their products and services to the farming world. Most importantly, AgTech startups who “go it alone” find it especially difficult to scale.Partnerships with global OEM’s enable significantly higher volume and thus greater impact.Secondly, farmers tend to stick to equipment they know and trust. But with Agtonomy, not only will they buy the same equipment and machines year after year, but can also select brands included in the dealer network convenient to their operations.

Agtonomy wants to make it easy for farmers to implement technology by just doing what they’ve been doing for generations, Brown says. “Our approach to partnering is different than a lot of folks out there because we’re collaborating with OEMs, implement manufacturers and other leading agribusinesses to bring the solutions to market at scale.”

The Agtonomy Solution

TeleFarmer™ by Agtonomy is a next-generation, technology-enabled farming solution with a digital management tool and app suite that allows farmers to remotely execute labor-intensive tasks, such as weeding, spraying, mowing and transporting. This offering is designed to empower users to plan and assign tasks, monitor the equipment, track progress, respond to alerts, review performance reports and make changes that maximize efficiency.

Agtonomy Autonomy Workload Spray

Telefarmer™ utilizes TrunkVision™, a perception stack technology that allows tractors to navigate specialty crop rows with centimeter-level precision. Beyond its navigational capabilities, TeleFarmer™ was designed to focus on workloads—accomplishing tasks safely, efficiently, effectively, and precisely by dynamically adjusting controls based on real-time sensor feedback.

The company’s focus on “labor-intensive field missions,” such as mowing, spraying, weeding, and transporting was intentional. Agtonomy’s CEO and co-founder Tim Bucher is a lifelong farmer and computer engineer who continues to farm his own vineyard and orchard operation today. Bucher’s unique position as a farmer and technologist allows him to recognize what he and his farming peers need from their autonomous equipment. He also has the space for Agtonomy to test its products in real time, on a real working farm, 24/7.

While the equipment hasn’t hit the market just yet, Agtonomy is currently running pilot programs throughout California. These pilots began last spring and Agtonomy plans to geographically expand pilots through 2024 with multiple pilot projects up and down the U.S. West Coast.

Early trial feedback has been exciting and growers appreciate the opportunity to help shape autonomous solutions that work in the real world of their daily farm operations.

Marc Di Pietra, Regional Service Maintenance Manager for Treasury Wine Estates and one of Agtonomy’s first pilot customers, said, “I truly value our collaboration with Agtonomy. Being at the ground level allows us to provide valuable input and feedback, shaping the final solution to meet not just our needs but those of other growers as well. The excitement stems from seeing results quicker and knowing that our voices are heard in the innovation process.”

Agtonomy is preparing for its solutions to be commercially available in 2025 In the meantime, the company will continue to pay attention to the industry, listen to farmers and innovate accordingly, Brown says.

By leveraging the farming and engineering expertise and personal understanding of the industry’s unique challenges, our team is focused on developing the best ways to solve them. Together with our partners, we are helping to advance the digital transformation of agriculture and bring real solutions to farmers today,” said Brown.

For more information: www.agtonomy.com or visit the Agtonomy booth at the FIRA USA show where the Agtonomy team will be revealing new updates to their technology solutions.

Catégories : #Robots
  • Karli Petrovic
    Essayiste à KPwrites.com