Increasing productivity and agricultural efficiency through technology
By Bernardo de Castro, President of Hexagon Agriculture30 April 2018
As you drive down the road and see a tractor pulling something, someone unfamiliar with farming may conclude that little has changed in agriculture in the last few decades. Common misconception. A report released a month ago by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply pointed out that Brazil's agricultural production has quadrupled in the last 41 years. To give you an idea, in 1975, the grain production was 40.6 million tons, while the yield in 2016 and 2017, which was a record, recorded 238 million. The improvement in the use of inputs and agricultural machinery has proved to be instrumental to this growth.
Agriculture has improved greatly over the years, but there are still fundamental challenges to be faced in this 21st century. Achieving the highest possible productivity requires better utilisation of existing land, addressing labour shortages, and combating the effects of climate change. In the last four years, Hexagon’s Agriculture division has created technology to develop solutions that can enhance the productivity on the field – optimising agricultural operations for a more intelligent use of resources.
This month, Hexagon launches the HxGN AgrOn Production solution, which uses data algorithms to automate decision making – promoting the most efficient use of machinery, fuel, inputs, water, and even the use of seeds. In practice, the solution captures and processes field information and combines information and management objectives which automate processes and end up saving resources during each operational stage. With a unique integration of software and hardware, it also allows for detailed tracking – alerting of any deviations and supporting decision making for different levels of management. The accumulation of all data and this history of decisions also allows the adoption of artificial intelligence tools, which will gradually begin to recommend actions, form anticipations, and avoid problems. This approach is the focus of Hexagon, which has similar technologies and offerings in several other industries such as mining, construction, and smart cities.
Smarter execution of these processes can ensure significant efficiencies and operational cost savings in various types of crops including sugar cane, forest, and grain – a percentage that represents a great amount of profitability. HxGN AgrOn Production joins a range of company information technology solutions that are always aimed at automating and increasing efficiency in agricultural processes.
In ever-increasing and more complex processes, solutions that can explore and understand data with the ability to enable automated planning and flows turn challenges we face into big opportunities.
Bernardo de Castro
Hexagon Agriculture President