The toughest problems facing the Ag industry

The Hackathon

AGCO wants to explore how modern technology can solve real problems in agriculture and help our nation’s farmers be more innovative and productive.

While this hackathon is open to any idea related to agriculture, we have four challenges that your team can choose to tackle. Special prizes will be awarded to the best project within each challenge.

Challenge #1: Gamify Combines

Today, combine harvesters are equipped with sensors that collect different types of data. This data is shown to operators on a built-in display to help them make better decisions and harvest more efficiently.

AGCO has two apps - AgCommand and SmartConnect - that show this same data but in a more user-friendly way. Getting farmers to consistently use AgCommand and SmartConnect has been a challenge. There is little incentive for the operator to use AgCommand or SmartConnect instead of the combine’s built-in display.

What can be done to get more combine operators to use AgCommand and SmartConnect every day? Can gamification be introduced? Can other types of data be pulled in to make AgCommand and SmartConnect even more useful?

Everyone benefits when an operator uses data to make better decisions in the field:
    • Operators save time
    • Farmers that own and work the land save time, money and increase profit
    • Fleet managers make better decisions in their planning process
    • AGCO and AGCO dealers benefit from insights and potential business opportunities based on connected assets data
    • The environment itself benefits from lower water usage, lower chemical usage and less crop loss and food waste

Challenge #2: Where Do I Farm?

It may surprise you to know that farmer’s don’t always know where to farm. They have 2D and 3D maps of their land provided by the government and through apps like Google Maps, but not all of the land can be farmed because of things like buildings, streams, ditches, roads, electrical lines, etc.

This challenge is to create a software tool using readily available maps as input to create a series map defining the usable area to be covered by an agricultural operation.

The vision is that that farmers can use this map to plan and execute their farming operations throughout the crop cycle or to create a coverage path at the field entrance just before starting to operate. The coverage map needs to clearly identify ‘no-farm zone’ assets as zones excluded from the rest of the field.

Challenge #3: Autotrader for the Ag industry

Design and build a marketplace where dealers can buy and sell equipment and parts.

There are no rules here! However, AGCO has some ideas based on what they’ve learned from dealers:
    • Consider starting with a mobile interface. Dealers will want to post items for sale wherever they are (in a warehouse, a store, on a farm, etc)
    • Buyers need a basic search function to find what they’re looking for by searching for keywords
    • How will buyers and sellers talk to each other? Consider adding a messaging or chat feature.
    • To keep listings current and accurate, we could send automatic reminder emails to sellers to mark "Sold" or "Keep Available"
    • If you get to payment integrations, we think dealers will prefer PayPal
    • For each item up for sale, the minimum things to display would be:
        • Description
        • Photos
        • Location
        • Price
        • Condition
        • Contact Info

This challenge is sponsored by Precision Planting. Here’s a video showing what Precision Planting is all about.

Challenge #4: ANYTHING AG TECH

As we’ve mentioned, this hackathon is open to any idea related to agriculture. We’re excited to see what you come up with!

Need some inspiration? Here are some ideas you could consider tackling:

Idea 1: Storing and preserving cereal grains

Currently 30% of all cereal grains are wasted every year due to improper storage and transportation methods after harvest. As the world’s population grows and arable land decreases, reducing the percentage of food waste will be crucial. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has databases that monitor and track data from every country specific to these challenges.

Using the CountryStat and FAOStat databases, (other databases can also be used), can we identify where the biggest needs are geographically and what storage method(s) would help best preserve cereal grains in those areas?

Idea 2: Protect the pigs!

Every year hundreds of thousands of livestock and wild animals are killed by infectious diseases. African Swine Fever, for example, kills tens of thousands of pigs across Europe and Asia.

As the demand for protein continues to increase, how can we better protect our domesticated and wild animals without increasing the use of antibiotics? For example, a common biosecurity practice on swine farms globally is “shower in – shower out” where humans visiting this facilities have to shower and change clothes before entering the barn.

What other technology could be used that could be more effective at reducing or eliminating the spread of infectious diseases in animals?

Idea 3: Measure storage capacity

Understanding the current storage capacity in a specific geographical area is difficult as it currently relies on individual producers and companies to accurately report this data.

Is there a way to use historical satellite imagery to accurately assess the amount of storage in that area by comparing historical maps to current ones and examining changes in storage facilities?

Idea 4: Reducing Energy Footprint

Energy consumption is one of the largest costs to livestock producers globally. Collecting methane off of animal waste has been one way producers have tried to reduce their energy costs. What other technologies could be used to reduce energy costs on livestock operations?

Here is the most recent study specific to swine production