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FarmFacts launches new generation of digital farming products

BayWa AG today unveiled the new generation of digital farming products offered by its subsidiary FarmFacts (formerly: Land-Data Eurosoft). The German market leader in smart farming is the first company to launch a comprehensive digital farming concept for small and medium-sized farms, in the form of its “Next Farming” solution. With this new platform, the Munich-based trade and service company has expanded its scope of digital services as a supplement to its products and services related to agricultural and equipment sales.

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“As a market leader in Germany, FarmFacts has already proven that it can generate genuine added value with its integrated farm management systems, especially for larger farms. With this new generation of products under the Next Farming brand, we are making this digital farming expertise available to smaller farms, too,” explained Klaus Josef Lutz, Chief Executive Officer of BayWa AG, at BayWa’s press conference at the world’s leading agricultural equipment trade fair, Agritechnica. The new approach allows the BayWa Group to extend the benefits of digital solutions to all of its customers: “This new generation of products is an important step forward to becoming the European market leader in digital farming,” said Lutz.

The “Next” solutions have a modular structure for their customers and are based on a central cloud architecture. “Digitalisation requires efficient data transfer. That’s why the highest standards of data protection and data security are applied both at FarmFacts and at BayWa,” explained Lutz. Central data processing and storage for the FarmFacts cloud takes place in Munich. “Transparency on data requirements and data usage for our customers is the cornerstone of a partnership based on trust,” said Lutz, highlighting the issue of data sovereignty.

Agritechnica visitors can register for Next Farming at the trade fair. “Farmers’ requirements differ, so we offer scalable solutions depending on the needs,” explained Roland Schuler, member of BayWa’s Board of Management and responsible for BayWa Agri Services. “The modular structure enables us to permanently develop further applications and functionalities.” The basic module “Next Crop Planning and Documentation” and the “Next Description Map Centre” are available now. The “Next Fertilization” module will be released in 2016 in time for the new fertiliser ordinance. The application will be expanded on a step-by-step basis, building upon the “Connected Nutrient Management” concept, which was developed by FarmFacts in partnership with John Deere, Vista, Rauch and Sulky and won a German Agricultural Society gold medal.

All “Next” solutions function independently from others, but they can also be combined in perfect harmony. “Farming processes are the basis for the Next solutions,” explained Schuler. There has already been a great deal of interest for the new “Next” solutions at the Agritechnica trade fair, he added. “In developing this concept, we concentrated on making it easy for new customers to get to grips with the solutions quickly without having to become IT specialists themselves,” said Schuler. If required, the FarmFacts Academy is also on hand to offer assistance, while BayWa has also set up an internal back office to provide customer service.

Alongside the new Next Farming product generation, the technology behind the integrated farm management system AO Agrar Office has also been developed further to meet the increasing requirements of existing and new customers alike. Thanks to an improved technology architecture, both desktop and cloud solutions are now available for the customer to choose from.