Just two years ago, Russell Price Farm Services won the Farmers Weekly Contractor of the Year Award, providing a full range of agricultural services - stubble-to-stubble, across Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and south Shropshire. Russell’s always been the type of person who enjoys exploring new technologies and had the opportunity recently of visiting one of John Deere’s Research Centres in Germany, where he saw the company’s level of investment in both integrated solutions technology and people - it opened up his thoughts that the future technology revolution is definitely going to take farming by storm.
“The biggest challenge out there today,” commented Russell Price, “is data capture and how we handle it. The mass of information that we obtain from the various systems is held on different software and it’s been refreshing to finally find a system that can hold it all. Another headache has been compatibility, but the very latest app just released by John Deere is ‘MyJobConnect’ and it’s revolutionising the way we used to plan, manage and record our field jobs, it’s streets ahead of anything else out there.”
John Deere’s ‘MyJobConnect’ enables Russell to digitally set-up field jobs from an operations centre, loading all the instructions to the operator, including input rates, seed rates, cultivation task etc., then this is logged digitally and connects via the operator’s smart phone into the GreenStar system in the machine cab.
“We’ve completely done away with paper records,” commented Russell. “from now on, everything will be recorded digitally into the operations centre and apart from logging the jobs, everything is taken care of automatically. The job description data is forwarded to the operator in advance of starting his day. Once the operator finishes a logged task, he confirms completion via his smart phone, and then everything - including field maps, seed rates, variable maps, input rates - everything is recorded in an organised reference log for future analysis and confirmation of crop husbandry records. With ‘MyJobConnect’ it’s basically done in an instant, whereas the old system took a lot of man hours, needed a lot of organisation and storage - and was always open to lost records or errors in inputting.”
Apart from a major agricultural contracting business, Russell also farms around 1500acres of arable land growing wheat, oil seed rape and potatoes and so the volume of daily tasks for the company is considerable, Russell’s farming business is a ‘monitor farm’ for Herefordshire and is on a three year research scheme with the AHDB so is seeing all levels of research and test results coming from real cropping test beds and being fed back into the industry.
“We’ve had a lot of assistance from the TAG team with regards to applying this new technology” added Russell “they really know this subject and they have given us fantastic sales and after-sales support. They are a really professional company who are focussed on ensuring we get the best out of our investment and they have looked after us all the way. I don’t invest in anything unless I can see a real return for the business and this new app looks as if it is going to be a real revolution that will save businesses considerable, time, money and man hours. I can see all my equipment eventually specifying the John Deere technology because there is nothing else out there that comes close to these advanced tools It is the technology of the future, but it’s happening now!”