Got telematics?

I’ll bet you have telematics that you don’t even know about, or at least you don’t think of them that way.

The tools are everywhere, from a lost smartphone that tells you which one of the farm parts stores you left it in to that lo-jack device you hid in the pickup you let your kids drive that shows you where it is at all times.

Of course, if you’ve invested in the latest tractors, sprayers and combines or bought a new guidance and controller unit, you also have those tools available to you.

The dealer likely set you up with an account and the salesperson gave you a “free” subscription to the machinery company’s system.

Whether you are using it every day is a good question. It’s a question some of you might have already answered, considering that we have been doing some polling to find out.

Farmer adoption of telematic tools, which feed data to and from the field and machine to the office or someplace else that matters, have been slower than for other forms of precision agriculture, such as corrected guidance and sectional control.

Data accumulation is like many other forms of accumulation around the farm: if you have storage for it, you will likely keep it in case you need it someday.

However, if you have to keep moving it or mowing around it, you might not keep collecting the stuff as fast, or even get rid of it before the kids have to clean it up for the auction sale.

Unless you are using the data to track and manage things on the farm, which I highly recommend because it goes through the washing machine better than my notebooks, keeping all that information can seem like a job in itself.

However, like that Morris Multiplex Rod Weeder we have out back, it will be useful someday, or an organic farmer will want to buy it. But it will have value.

Accumulated data from each machine and each piece of land isn’t generally of value in the first or second year. It becomes valuable over time. So an investment in hard drives or consulting services might be even more useful than the machinery lot out back.

If you start now you might be ready for spring.

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