Last week I travelled to Cuba City, WI, where brothers Joe and Matt Schweigert and crew had just finished up planting corn and soybeans. They were testing out a new drive made by 640 Labs that plugs into the electronics of their tractors and farm equipment and records everything about how the machines are running. Torque, fuel, engine rpms, temp, planter data, location-all were being logged into a small black plug and wirelessly exported to the Cloud via iPad, where the brothers could tap into it at any time by entering their name and password.
With the data they know, for example, when and where there is a problem with one of the machines and whether they need to call in another operator to help finish up a field. Software built into the drive lets you visualize, on your iPad or smart phone, any anomalies in the data that might indicate a problem in performance. All of this processing is done in near real-time so that the Schweigerts can make changes or adjustments before any more seed is planted.
Stay tuned for more reports on how this new device works and how the Schweigerts are using it. For now, here's a YouTube video posted by Dawn Equipment last month, showing how they are using 640 Labs' drive to control and visualize the performance of the Dawn RFX+ active down pressure control system for agricultural planters. This system allows the planter to react in real time to changing soil hardness to achieve ideal planter performance.