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Equipment Roundup
By Dan Miller
Friday, July 23, 2021 9:09AM CDT

In this Equipment Roundup, DTN/Progressive Farmer looks at: AGCO launching a pilot of its Precision Ag Line (PAL) program; John Deere offering customers JDLink connectivity service at no additional charge; Monarch Tractor getting a USDA grant to deploy its fully electric, driver-optional, smart tractor at an Oregon farm; and Mathews Company launches a new grain dryer product line. Also, author Josh Volk offers farmers an in-depth guide to building customized equipment.

**

AGCO'S PAL CONNECTS OPERATORS WITH EXPERTS

AGCO has launched a pilot of its Precision Ag Line (PAL) program, a tool designed to streamline support services for farming customers using AGCO solutions with mixed-fleet operations. PAL makes precision farming expertise available to farmers using AGCO brands such as Challenger, Fendt, Gleaner, Massey Ferguson, and Precision Planting, even when those products are used in conjunction with equipment from other manufacturers.

"PAL puts farmers in direct touch with our technical experts who are experienced at aligning disparate systems into effective processes," said Cody Light, field execution manager for AGCO's Fuse division.

PAL leverages AGCO's AgriSync platform to streamline access to the service. Customers of participating AGCO dealers simply call or text to speak with product and technical experts at the dealership or AGCO itself for assistance.

PAL is currently being piloted in partnership with several members of AGCO's North American dealership network.

**

DEERE OFFERS CONNECTIVITY SERVICE AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE

John Deere is offering customers JDLink connectivity service at no additional charge. The change allows customers to quickly activate the JDLink connectivity service and manage their connected machines within their John Deere Operations Center account, either on the web or the mobile app.

Connectivity subscriptions or renewals are no longer required so customers can simply activate the service and leave it on. After logging into Operations Center, customers will be prompted and asked if they want to activate the service. After completing a few easy steps, JDLink connectivity service will be enabled to provide continuous wireless service and make it possible for customers to monitor their machines and their farm from anywhere.

Previously for each machine, customers had to choose the right subscription, time frame and price. Activations took many steps and each subscription renewal had to be separately managed. Because of the extra steps required, Deere found that some customers let their subscriptions lapse, or they passed on the opportunity to connect their machines.

Specific service, feature, and options available to customers may vary depending on their location and the machines. For more information about JDLink, go to: www.deere.com or visit a local Deere dealer.

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USDA GRANT GOES TO MONARCH TRACTOR

Monarch Tractor, Livermore, California is deploying its fully electric, driver-optional, smart tractor to Hopville Farms in Oregon.

Funded through USDA's Conservation Innovation Grant program, the tractor will be used to automate specific blueberry field maintenance tasks in an effort to reduce diesel fuel consumption and improve productivity. Also, in cooperation with Oregon State University, Hopville Farms and Monarch Tractor will work to create a platform for field data collection.

"We're eager to implement Monarch's technology into our operation as its autonomous capabilities will help improve labor productivity, while electrification will reduce our carbon footprint," said Jim Hoffmann, owner, Hopville Farms.

The Monarch Tractor is the first implement to fold electrification, automation, and data analysis into a single unit. For more information: www.monarchtractor.com.

**

MATHEWS OFFERS NEW DRYER

Mathews Company has launched a new grain dryer product line, the mixed-flow Fusion Series.

The Fusion Series includes features such as a welded base, Pinnacle 20|20 controls and M-C Traxremote monitoring and control. M-C Trax allows users to monitor and control critical dryer functions remotely from anywhere in the world.

The Fusion Series also incorporates mixed-flow features such as M-C's SmartFlow Technology and M-C's stainless steel and cast aluminum burners.

Mathew said production models will make their debut later this fall. Full production is planned for early 2022.

For more information: www.mathewscompany.com.

**

HANDY DEVICES

Josh Volk, author of the best-selling Compact Farms and proprietor of Slow Hand Farm in Portland, Oregon, now offers farmers an in-depth guide to building customized equipment. 'Build Your Own Farm Tools' releases Aug. 3 from Storey Publishing.

Volk begins with the basics, such as setting up a workshop and understanding design principles, mechanical principles, and materials properties, then presents plans for making 15 tools suited to small-farm tasks and processes. Items include building a simple seedling bench, a mini barrel washer, a DIY germination chamber, and a rolling pack table.

Volk also addresses systems design for farm efficiency, including how to design an effective drip irrigation system and how to set up spreadsheets for collecting planning, planting, and market data.

Dan Miller can be reached at dan.miller@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @DMillerPF


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