Tractor manufacturers have long been regaling farmers with news of how they see data collection as driving greater efficiencies within farming, yet just how the information gathered by machines is to be used, has not always been so clear.

John Deere is leading the pack when it comes to manufacturers implementing data management systems; however, they all have one thing in common, and that is reliance upon the cloud.

Using the cloud as a warehouse for data has many advantages from a software developers’ point of view, but users are often wary of the arrangements, as there are questions over the ownership and retention of the records amassed over the seasons.

Keeping data collection in-house

Hivekit – a UK/Germany-based developer of operations software has just released a compact version of its cloud platform, that can run on-site without an internet connection.

The Hivekit software combines assets, staff and vehicle tracking with metrics and sample collection.

Hivekit 3D rendering
3D rendering of the farm helps visualise management tasks

It displays all the collected data in a 3D rendering of the farm, rather than as a straight map.

This presentation is complete with moving vehicles and farm staff, harvest performance and soil sample overlays.

From the mobile app, farmers and managers can assign tasks that Hivekit translates into individual instructions, and forwards to staff and machines via the mobile app.

Hivekit for task automation

The software also allows the automation of recurring processes with simple macros – e.g., the assignment of the nearest staff member to attend to a machine or feeder without the need for intervention by the farm manager.

Hivekit said that its ‘farm management in a box’ is a single file that can run on any computer on the farm, stores data locally and comes with open application interfaces (APIs) that makes it easy to connect to vehicles and equipment, regardless of vendor.

Despite it not being a subscription service as such, the company bills monthly for the use of the software, with the price being dependent on the number of users and features required.