Two silver medals have been awarded to John Deere from the leading French agricultural show society, SIMA.

The awards will be presented at the SIMA show in Paris, from February 24-28, and are for the Machine Dashboard remote diagnostic tool developed by the company as part of John Deere’s Connected Support initiative; and for the Live NBalance tool, which offers live monitoring of nitrogen balance in the field for the first time .

This latter project is a joint one with Airbus and is based on a combination of satellite images and machinery data, which continuously observe nitrogen uptake by the crop in all parts of the field.

Nearly 100 European John Deere dealers are already delivering machine services based on John Deere Connected Support. These innovative new service tools will be available in all EU-28 as well as most CIS countries.

Using NBalance, farmers can obtain accurate, site-specific information about both applied and consumed nitrogen in their fields during the season; enabling them to make more accurate fertiliser management decisions. The nitrogen and NH4-N content of organic fertilisers can also be measured precisely by the John Deere Manure Sensing system using the HarvestLab 3000 sensor on a slurry tanker, while live NBalance considers the total supply of organic and mineral nitrogen over time, using as-applied data.

During the growing season, satellite images observe the crop’s development and provide details of the total nitrogen uptake over time. Non-uniform uptake rates and delays in plant growth can also be identified and farmers can see how much nitrogen is still available to the crop at any time, or if the plants aren’t getting enough.

This information allows application decisions to be adjusted accordingly and helps to avoid excess fertiliser being applied to the field, so application quality can be quickly assessed.

At harvest, the HarvestLab 3000 sensor measures the nitrogen content in the crop for the season’s N balance and the total of nitrogen applied and removed is summarised ready for regulatory use. Farmers then have more reliable feedback on the efficiency of their fertiliser applications.

All NBalance data is cloud-based and easily accessible and the first version to be made available targets a full season’s applications. After this, a multi-annual system reflecting a complete crop rotation will be possible, to enable users to make a more comprehensive evaluation of the overall performance of their nitrogen fertiliser strategy at farm, crop and field levels.