C magazine

Advances in agronomy technology

Crop applicator

CHS is upgrading its agronomy custom application equipment and tender trucks with new technology to apply products more efficiently and improve fleet logistics.

Dec 04, 2023

By Matthew Wilde

CHS agronomy custom application equipment and tender trucks are getting smarter.

The cooperative is investing in new software and hardware for nearly 600 sprayers, floaters and tender trucks to optimize its agronomy fleet. The technology allows application prescriptions and field maps with GPS coordinates to be uploaded to applicators from dispatch centers.

Dispatchers can remotely monitor job progress, and when machines need to be refilled, electronically assign jobs based on geographic location and check equipment status.

“By moving away from mostly paper and phone calls to a digital system, we’re optimizing logistics to apply products more efficiently,” says Keith Schumacher, vice president of operations and project lead. “These insights to our custom application fleet and delivery trucks will allow our operations teams to cover more acres in the same time window. Utilizing these technologies improves service and customer experiences. It will also help us meet owner needs while growing our custom application business and right sizing our fleet.”

Initial analyses showed application equipment was working in the field only about a third of the time, with the rest of the time divided between travel time and sitting idle. The end goal is to increase the actual time the application fleet is applying product to the field for optimal fleet management and asset utilization, Schumacher says.

“You’re not servicing customers if the machine isn’t applying product,” he adds.

Check out the full fall 2023 C Magazine with this article and more.

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