“A 24 row planter would have 72 basically ‘IoT’ devices on that row, and then the planter itself has another five in the centralized hub,” Arthur said in a statement. “So that planter has 77 IoT devices that are capturing data, and the data they’re capturing is how the machine interacts with the soil, as well as where the seeds are being placed, so we can see what’s called ‘singulation’ of the seed. All of this is happening at six to 10 miles an hour on a tractor.”
However, despite the advances in agriculture technology, Arthur said he is more intrigued by what’s going on in the automotive industry.
“The autonomous automobile area is one of great interest to me,” he said. “Because we solved a certain problem around how to use satellites and drive around machines, and the automotive industry is solving a similar problem in a very different way, using a variety of sensors and fusing those sensors together – using a lot more AI.”
Meanwhile, John Deere is one of four investors supporting a new startup business accelerator in central Iowa that will further establish the region as a destination for agriculture technology. The Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Cultivation Corridor announced the formation of an Ag Tech Accelerator (The Accelerator) with the support of investors DuPont Pioneer, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, John Deere and Peoples Company. Each investor company committed $100,000 to support the Accelerator for the first year.
“John Deere has long been dedicated to those who are linked to the land, and is always ready to embrace change that leads to new opportunities,” said Cory Reed, senior vice president of John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group, in a statement. “Being able to support the continuing progress in the field of precision ag is important both here in Iowa, as well as around the world.”
Mike Colwell, executive director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, told eWEEK: "We expect Artificial Intelligence to have a profound impact on the ag business and to be a part of startups we consider for the Ag Tech Accelerator."
He noted that the Ag Tech Accelerator will further expand Greater Des Moines’ technology strengths. "Greater Des Moines is already known as a global leader in technology in several areas including agricultural technology, fintech, insurtech, autonomous vehicles and more," Colwell said.
Moreover, Colwell noted that Greater Des Moines has been named the number four "Tech City to Start a Career" by Computer Training Schools, the number two top Under the Radar Tech Hub by Square Foot, the number eight top city for tech workers by Smart Asset and one of the "5 Tech Hubs With Low Cost of Living "by US News and World Report.
Microsoft also recently announced that it will build its third data center in West Des Moines, which will be the company's largest data center deployment in the country. Facebook is building a third data center building in Altoona, Iowa.
And the Des Moines-based Global Insurance Accelerator has graduated two classes of six startups that are working closely with established companies in the insurance and financial services industry to spur innovation.
In addition, John Deere APIs enable customers to access a wide range of business and machine data from the Operations Center such as agronomic data such as production data summaries and client, farm, field, and boundary details through the MyJohnDeere API.
Developers also can integrate telematics machine data into their applications through the Machine Monitoring resources in the MyJohnDeere API. And the John Deere Field Connect API enables developers to build apps that provide machine locations, use, alerts, fuel level, and other data points such as soil moisture and weather.