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BayWa strengthens German farmers’ competitiveness with new digital solution

Subsidiary FarmFacts and agricultural equipment manufacturers launch NEXT Machine Management

BayWa AG today unveiled at the world’s leading trade fair for agricultural equipment one brand-new innovation, geared towards helping to drive forward the use of digital solutions in agriculture and, in doing so, cementing the competitiveness of German farmers. The NEXT Machine Management software module developed by the BayWa subsidiary FarmFacts GmbH enables compatibility between machinery and equipment from different manufacturers and can be used with all data sources, thereby removing one of the greatest barriers to investing in digital farming.

“The EU environmental requirements are already creating a significant additional financial burden for farmers,” says Jörg Migende, head of agricultural trade and digital farming at BayWa. “Further political demands and decisions have ramped up the pressure on German farmers over the past two years. This is increasingly restricting their competitiveness, particularly when it comes to small and medium-sized farms and those working in farming in a secondary capacity, who account for the lion’s share of the German agricultural sector.”

Digitalisation on farms boosts productivity in crop farming, which enhances competitiveness. The number of manufacturers and touchpoints for data sharing has increased over the past few years, and so have the compatibility issues between technology and software developed by different manufacturers. “This manufacturer diversity on farms should not stand in the way of investment in digital farming,” Migende believes.

By launching the NEXT Machine Management software module, the BayWa subsidiary FarmFacts – together with six leading manufacturers of agricultural equipment – has laid the foundations for cross-vendor digital farming. “No matter where the equipment is currently located – sharing data, evaluating and documenting data works with NEXT Machine Management smart and at the touch of a button – regardless which manufacturer or equipment models a farmer prefers,” says Gunnar Zinkhahn, Managing Director of FarmFacts GmbH.

The solution allows farmers to reduce the time they spend on managing their farms. Automated documentation of data provides added reassurance to farmers when it comes to evidence of measures carried out in their fields. Thanks to NEXT Machine Management’s integration into NEXT Farming, FarmFacts’ modular farm management system, it is also supported by plant cultivation data. Farmers have the opportunity to transfer GPS data or maps – such as satellite imagery – onto their machines to apply agricultural inputs precisely where plants need it, helping to protect the environment.

The software is available for any size of farm and can also be used with existing machinery. “NEXT Machine Management is the starting point to open up smart farming solutions to a broader level of acceptance in Germany,” Zinkhahn continues. As with all NEXT Farming modules, the latest software meets the high IT security standards on data protection and data security that apply in Germany. All of the data generated belongs to the farmers only.

 

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