SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A new consolidated approach to precision farming technology was announced during the InfoAg Conference.

Fuse Technologies represents AGCO’s new global corporate initiative that addresses all aspects of precision farming and how farmers can optimize their operations through the company’s products and new services.

Fuse Technologies provides professional growers seamless integration and connectivity across all their farm assets — regardless of brand.

It will transform current precision farming practices by delivering precision agriculture solutions that lead to reduced input costs, greater efficiency and profitability.

AGCO’s current telematics and data management offerings such as AgCommand and VarioDoc, auto guidance solutions such as Auto-Guide 3000 and VarioGuide and future generations of these and other core precision farming technologies will be added to the Fuse portfolio.

Additionally, as the strategy evolves, a major focus of the company will be to ensure an “open” approach to technology integration in AGCO equipment.

This will allow connections to existing service providers and Farm Management Information System software that is already in use and trusted by AGCO customers.

“What we’re trying to do is look after the needs of today’s professional farmer in terms of identifying ways of how we can help them and we understand that most customers out there have some sort of mixed fleet,” said Bruce Hart, AGCO director of ATS Global Marketing.

“This can be a mixed fleet of farm equipment. It can be a mixed fleet of farm assets that include field trucks or could include grain carts or semis to haul grain away or it could also include storage facilities to store grain.

“So it’s really looking for ways to make connections to those mixed fleets to help the farmers become more efficient within their internal organization.

“As well as, obviously, managing farm inputs have been a long goal for everybody. I think most of the industry is trying to look for ways to help farmers manage their input costs and that side of the business. But really the key to this strategy and the key to helping farmers finding ways that he can basically increase yield.”

“A farmer certainly needs to control input costs, but their biggest gains could be made by increasing yields — and that’s what we’re trying to attempt with this strategy,” he said.

Hart said the five pillars that are key to the Fuse Technologies strategy are:

n AGCO brands: AGCO is a global provider of agriculture solutions through a unique offering of brands and products that deliver the AGCO vision of “High-tech Solutions for Professional Farmers Feeding the World;”

n On- and off-board technologies: Seamlessly integrating farm assets — resulting in higher yields, less input costs and greater profits;

n Support and training: A new global customer call center and leading-edge product training for expertise and answers to run an individual farming operation more efficiently;

n Dealer network: One of the world’s most extensive dealer networks gives farmers global access and support — any time, any place; and

n Service providers: Connect with preferred service providers and enjoy the freedom and convenience to continue working with trusted local business partners.

“Gone are the days where the farmer is as worried about what transmission the tractor has or what tires it has or what engine it has,” Hart said.

“All of those are still important, but they’re really interested in what the technology is that’s coming with that machine and what that technology can do to improve the efficiency of his operation.”

“Fuse Technologies will encompass all of AGCO’s core product brands, enable a deeper integration with our technology suppliers and impact all stages of the farming life cycle from enterprise planning, planting and seed growth to application, harvesting and grain storage,” added Matt Rushing, AGCO vice president of Product Management, ATS and Electronics Functional Group globally. “Fuse Technologies is the future of AGCO’s on- and off-board technology offering.”

Hart said there are other factors that are important parts of this new strategy.

“One is the security of the customers’ data. It’s our position that the customers’ data is their data,” he said.

“We don’t want to control their data. If the customer chooses to share his or her data with their dealer or us, that’s their choice. We’re not going to twist their arm one way or another. I know there are some others out there who don’t quite see it that way.

“The second one is mixed fleets. AGCO is a company of mixed fleets with all their different brands. Ensuring that the technology that we offer enables the customer to link his assets or his equipment through his mixed fleet, and down the road that includes linking it to competitive machines for fleets, as well,” he continued.

The third item comes back to the service provider. It is the customers’ choices.

“We recognize that they have many choices, and we want to respect those. All we’re trying to do is provide connections. If they want to do things a certain way, we want to be able to provide product services to be able to enhance whatever their choices may be,” Hart said.

This is a systems approach to crop production.

“In the past, a lot of companies develop a certain technology and release it out there and then go back and develop another one,” Hart said.

“I’m not sure that there’s been maybe enough thought to put into how those different technologies need to be linked afterward and how they affect the farmer’s operation and all of the different assets on his farm.

“It’s a bigger equation out there than just farm machinery. It’s all of that that makes the farmer’s farm an entire entity that’s either successful or isn’t.”