Farm 2.0: Intelligent pasture fences and autonomous machinery

  • Mobile control of agricultural machines
  • Remote farm surveillance and management in real time
  • Mobile time recording solution ensures legal compliance

Real-time solutions for agricultural applications are on the rise. Thanks to these solutions, farmers can optimize the deployment of their machinery and monitor their use of fertilizer and seeds in ways that save time, money and resources. In its role as partner of the German Farmers' Association, Deutsche Telekom is presenting the latest IT solutions for agricultural applications at the Agritechnica Trade Fair from November 8 to 14, 2015, in Hanover, Germany. Highlights include real-time control of agricultural machinery and intelligent solutions for premises surveillance and automation.

Cattle rustlers and thieves beware
Using a tablet or smartphone, today's farmers are fully informed about what is happening in the barn or in the pasture: Sensors positioned at various locations send alarms to mobile devices if gates or doors are opened by unauthorized persons, and smoke detectors communicate with personal devices to warn farmers of a possible fire.

These and other types of "Secure Building Solutions" can also be enhanced with video systems that enable farmers to remotely monitor critical situations live using mobile devices.

The individual components, such as video surveillance equipment or burglar alarms, are interconnected to allow for remote operation of overhead doors or other electronic-driven devices and equipment.

Agricultural machines that communicate with satellites
When working in the field, modern technology helps farmers in many ways, such as preventing redundant plowing or multiple passes with a tractor, or misalignment of machinery when sowing, fertilizing or harvesting. One particular innovative solution for farming is RTK (Real Time Kinematic). The process corrects GPS data – which can often be inaccurate – and communicates with agricultural machines in real-time to provide them with precise geographical data and coordinates. Thus a "connected plow" can automatically correct its course while in operation. In the past, farmers needed to set up their own RTK base stations in the barnyard or on the periphery of their fields. This was a disadvantage in terms of high investment and operating costs, not to mention the proportional rise in inaccurate data as distances from the base station increased.

In collaboration with Leica Geosystems and Sensor-Technik Wiedemann (STW), Deutsche Telekom developed an affordable retrofit solution that uses the mobile communications network to feed corrected GPS data directly to the steering systems of farm machines. Farmers no longer need to have their own RTK station. The machine itself communicates its position to the Telekom Cloud via the mobile communications network. A data correction system determines the precise position coordinates and sends this information back to machine at the farm. What's more, the machine automatically controls its drive path, the use of seeds and fertilizer, and even takes measures to optimize fuel consumption.

STW is also presenting a hardware solution for telematics services which is certified for the "Cloud of Things" from Deutsche Telekom. Status information about all connected agricultural machines is transmitted to the cloud in real time and is then logically linked on a central web portal.

More efficiency and transparency thanks to mobile time recording
Deutsche Telekom and its partner MobilZeit have developed a mobile time recording solution that helps farmers reduce their administrative workload while still complying with new legal requirements pertaining to minimum wages and working hours. The time recording system resembles a cell phone and is equipped with a display, keyboard and evaluation software. Farm employees are given a chip having the size of a coin – when they begin or stop work, they hold the chip near the recording device. Thanks to an integrated RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) transponder, the chip can be read without contact, and the employee's work hours are automatically recorded. This data is then transmitted via the device's Deutsche Telekom SIM card to a central computer, where evaluation software processes the data for the farmer. This solution satisfies legal requirements that demand documentation of work hours for seasonal workers, and it also allocates work time to specified cost centers for accounting purposes. This enables the farmer to calculate and view his labor costs and profits in useful relationships to harvest units.

Special offer for farmers
Members of the German Farmers' Association who subscribe for the first time to the Magenta Mobil S, M or L business rate by December 31, 2015, will receive a discount of up to 40 percent off the basic price for the first six months of the contract subscription.

Deutsche Telekom is presenting its solutions from November 8 to 14, 2015, in Hall 15, Stand G12, at the Hanover Fairgrounds.

About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies with around 151 million mobile customers, 30 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of December 31, 2014). The Group provides fixed-network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries and has approximately 228,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of 62.7 billion euros in the 2014 financial year – more than 60 percent of it outside Germany.

About Leica Geosystems
For more than 200 years Leica Geosystems has been revolutionizing the world of surveying. The company is well-known for its premium products and the development of innovative solutions for measuring, analyzing and presenting spatial data and information. Professionals from many industries put their trust in Leica Geosystems when it comes to solutions for surveying and GIS, construction and machine controls, manufacturing, aerospace and public security. Precision instruments, modern software, first-class service and support, plus a wide range of services provide Leica Geosystems customers with value added every day as they shape the future of our world.

About Sensor-Technik Wiedemann
For some 30 years Sensor-Technik Wiedemann GmbH (STW) has been supporting customers in the utilization of new technical possibilities in automation, networking and electrification. STW customers are globally-leading manufacturers and users of mobile machines and industrial vehicles both on and off-road.

About MobilZeit
From the simple GPS vehicle tracking solution M-Box to high-performance PZE time recording, MobilZeit provides its customers with everything from a single source. The company has been serving customers on-site for more than 15 years MobilZeit manages the entire value chain, from development to sales, with its own professional expertise and resources. Qualified employees ensure high standards of quality and customer satisfaction. Constant communication with customers serves as the basis for ongoing system optimization.