Deere's New Link, AGCO Acquisition, Grain Storage ... and Storage, Storage

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
John Deere's TractorPlus App provides owners with convenient access to key parts of their operator's manual, to parts diagrams, and to parts ordering services. (Photo courtesy of John Deere)

Tractor maintenance is made easy through John Deere's Smart Connector and TractorPlus App for Compact Utility Tractors. The Smart Connector establishes a connection between tractor and smartphone by way of Bluetooth technology. The link offers operators easy access to tractor information, like service intervals, diagnostic codes, fuel level, engine hours and maintenance information.

The TractorPlus App provides owners with convenient access to key parts of their operator's manual, to parts diagrams, and to parts ordering services. Owners can also keep track of maintenance and service intervals.

More, the app also provides coverage mapping for reduced overlap while mowing, plowing or spraying. In conjunction with the Smart Connector, the app can also function as an extended dashboard to your tractor by displaying real-time machine and job information.

Deere's Smart Connector is easy to install by simply plugging it into the Service Advisor Port on your compact utility tractor. The entire process takes just a few minutes to complete and requires no tools for installation. It is compatible with most 2-Series, 3-Series, and 4-Series John Deere CUT models.

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AGCO has announced that it has purchased research and product development firm 151 Research to create new technology solutions for grain customers.

AGCO and 151 Research previously had an exclusive technology partnership to develop GSI GrainViz precision grain monitoring, which gives growers and commercial operators advanced insight into the moisture content of the grain in their steel storage bins. This acquisition will allow AGCO to continue development of GrainViz and expand into new solutions.

"Our team's goal at 151 Research has always been to solve problems by helping customers gain actionable insights to improve their business," said 151 Research CEO Paul Card. "GrainViz allows users to see the moisture content throughout the entire grain mass to proactively manage the quality and quantity of their stored grain."

AGCO intends to retain the firm's 45 current employees and to maintain the Winnipeg, Canada, office as the smart grain technology center of excellence. The team is completing an initial release of GrainViz in a limited number of bins this fall. A broader launch is planned prior to the 2021 harvest.

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Some farmers may rely this fall on unconventional storage solutions. That could lead to grain quality issues without proper management, said Gary Woodruff, a GSI district manager and grain conditioning expert.

He notes that good conventional alternatives available to farmers include pile systems involving wall panels, a tarp for weather protection and proper aeration. A flat storage building, specifically equipped with aeration tubes or tunnels, can also safely hold excess grain, he adds.

However, unconventional storage sites -- a machine shed, for example -- pose risks. "The first is a structural issue," he warned. "If you pile corn in the building without additional support to the walls, they can blow out. Grain is a movable product, and any corn against a wall can cause structural failures."

The other concern is grain quality. "If there is no aeration system, the grain should be stored at 13% moisture or below, late in the season after temperatures are down to 50 degrees to prevent spoilage," Woodruff said. "Leave the grain there no longer than you absolutely have to." Quality can decline quickly.

For additional information, contact your grain system dealer or ag university resources.


Morton Buildings is offering some of its most popular farm and residential storage buildings at a reduced price.

"These are small- to medium-sized farm and residential storage buildings with the company's best-selling configurations, materials and features," said Sean Cain, vice president and general manager of Morton Buildings.

"Unlike our premium line of buildings, they come 'standard' without customizations."

That means Morton is offering a standard building line with pre-defined plans and materials that are pre-manufactured for efficient production and shipment.

Because of COVID-19, people are investing more in outdoor home improvements and recreational pursuits and are needing more storage space, Morton has found.

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Dan Miller can be reached at

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