Trailer shifts in the style of Quest Innov and SemWare: things are rolling along!

Do you know the difference between a trailer and a nut? Well… No need to keep you in suspense any longer… There is no difference! Quite simply because dealing with trailers is… nuts! This is the fashionable joke at harvest time, on agricultural plots or in seed stations, at the weighbridge or by the pits where the trailers are emptied… The follow-up of trailers is certainly not an easy job! It can even drive you really crazy... 

At Comptoir Agricole, at the Marlenheim seed station, this joke is no longer relevant. Indeed, just a year ago, the decision was made to combine our know-how with that of the company Quest Innovation, also a supplier of the agricultural cooperative. Objective of this unprecedented partnership: to optimize and secure the trailer crazy shifts during the very critical harvest phase. The results for the 2020 campaign are so positive that the experience is repeated for the 2021 campaign. And the prospects for the future are as promising as the results already obtained...
The side of Quest Innov
Quest Innovation is a young company based in Dax (south west of France). They are specialized in the supervision of harvests, in real time. Their thing is the harvest, and what's more, precision harvest! If you go to the website of Jean-Baptiste and Sylvain, you will see with what manifest pleasure they are involved in agricultural machines (and how clearly they prefer the carrot to the stick…). They track the machines, they track them even on the plots, by means of a classic cellular technology whose reliability is no longer to be proven, a digital tablet as well as dedicated software applications:
  • QI Trailers for the follow-up of trailers,
  • GeoRoad for the supply of consignment notes for the truck drivers transporting the harvested raw materials to the factory.
So while the driver of a corn-picker collects corn, Quest Innovation collects data for the current plot, live and reliably:
  • the precise route of the agricultural machine is mapped, updated in real time and viewable directly on all media, including digital tablets;
  • global harvest statistics are displayed in real time for the current plot: estimated total area, percentage already harvested, percentage remaining to be harvested, area harvested by machine (regardless of its brand or manufacturer);
  • the average yield expected for the current plot can be calculated in real time, from the actual yield of the first filled trailer; as the yield may vary depending on the harvest zones, within a contract, or even within a single plot, the initial estimate is weighted as the trailers are filled; on the basis of these yields, the total number of trailers needed for the current plot can also be estimated from the very first trailer, which makes it possible to check from the outset whether the number of trailers planned for the plot is correct, and, if required, to set things right immediately; next, there is but to estimate the number of trailers needed for each harvest day;
  • the contract number for the harvested area is systematically entered each time a trailer is filled; at the seed station, they will only have to scan the trailer in order to identify the contract contained;
  • entering the departure date and time of the trailer makes it easy to deduce the time when the trailer arrives at the weighbridge of the seed station; thus, the initial reception in the station can be anticipated, prepared, and therefore optimized; 
  • the follow-up of the filling of the trailers is precise and updated, per trailer and at time t: as soon as a trailer is filled, the “trailer is filled” alert is immediately given via the application QI Trailers ; the number of trailers already filled is updated in real time and the number of trailers still to be filled is reassessed straightaway.
The corn-picker drivers or the harvest technicians therefore always know, with great precision and unparalleled timing, which stage of the harvest they've reached, what surfaces they still have to cover, and above all, to what extent the number of trailers that have been assigned to them from harvest forecasts cover their actual needs. Thus, if the effective yields of the plot are not up to expectations, the extra trailers can quickly be reassigned to other more fortunate plots. And vice versa !

The side of SemWare
As for SemWare, our team is on the remaining field, all around the harvest. Our thing is what is poured into the trailers: the promise of the potential good grain! Our mission ? Separate the wheat from the chaff. And all this with great pleasure! How? By offering adapted software tools, constantly updated and enriched through contact with involved and enthusiast professionals, for more than 20 years spent at the service of the quality of the seeds being manufactured and certified:
  • iGus , the ERP,
  • myGus , the procedural tool,
  • tiGus , the dashboards and data sharing platform.
If these software tools are now united under a single banner, Gus³, we have developed them separately to meet specific needs and each of them plays its role wonderfully within the framework of the partnership developed with Quest Innovation.

The data collected by Quest Innovation complement those already held by the ERP iGus. So, concerning geolocation, iGus knows by heart, especially thanks to its application Cartography, the GPS coordinates of all the agricultural plots of each propagation contract. During the harvest, this information is all the more valuable since it makes it possible to locate the trailers that have been deployed on the plots. When, in the heat of the moment, it is possible to predict that there will not be enough trailers here, or that there are too many there, and if you also know where the trailers are located, then you can also answer, quickly and surely, the crucial question: where are the nearest empty trailers? And when you know how distant cultivation surfaces can sometimes be, it can make a big difference, and help save a lot of time… and money! In addition, at the end of the harvest, if you know exactly where the remaining empty trailers are, you are sure to get all of them back, without exception, and without forgetting any of them!

In the field, myGus takes over from iGus. MyGus is like a hand of iGus, in a velvet glove: it helps input the data as close as possible to the action while securing procedures. If myGus is not yet present in agricultural machines, it is nevertheless present in most places and strategic moments of seed production, from crop monitoring to the initial reception of harvests at the seed station, but also from manufacturing, to storage, sales order preparation and delivery.

In the fields, the application MAC (MyGus Aux Champs) enables production technicians to carry out crop monitoring from agricultural plots. They can enter the field readings directly, as they collect information, they can add photos, comments, reports, redefine batches within the same contract, for example when a plot has been damaged by hail... And they enter all this from their mobile phone, in asynchronous mode. The data entered is automatically transmitted to the ERP iGus as soon as the technicians have network. And in most cases, the data arrive at the seed station… before the technicians!

From this crop monitoring, iGus calculates the forecast yields per plot, and deduces the number of trailers that will have to be deployed at harvest time. But these forecasts have of course their limits, because mother nature has reasons ... that reason ignores! Yields and quality may vary, upwards or downwards, even within the same propagation contract. Thus, if you can isolate a hail-damaged batch, as soon as it is harvested and poured into trailer, in order to deal with it separately and direct it straight away to the appropriate processes, as soon as it arrives at the seed station, you reduce the related risks accordingly, and you optimize! The follow-up of trailers, up to the batch, is one of the prospects which can eventually be reached within the framework of our partnership with Quest Innovation. And this is a prospect we do intend to explore...

At the seed station, myGus holds the post, controlling the initial reception procedure at the weighbridge as well as at the pits in which the trailers are emptied upon arrival. And as the data collected by Quest Innovation arrived at the station well before the trailers, the procedure is greatly facilitated: the initial reception has already been anticipated and everything has been prepared!

Meanwhile, the production manager can, from a mobile phone, a tablet or even a phablet, in real time and wherever he is, follow the tempo of the trailer shifts from dedicated dashboards provided by tiGus , and orchestrate processes in the fields as well as in the seed station, without missing one measure!
Data sharing between the applications of Quest Innovation and ours is performed through a secured Web service, itself developed within the framework of our partnership. This Web service is installed on the application tiGus, which then serves as a secured data sharing platform between our applications and external applications.

Complementary partners
In this context, how could we imagine for a single moment that with Quest Innovation we have not gone into partnership? As partners, we secure each other, in this obvious sharing of complementary know-how. In sum, we cope from A to Z: we are present on all the field, without leaving any blind spots. And finally, you can be reassured: your seeds are safe, well and truly traced, throughout your whole process!

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MAC in the bag