Connected silos: a strength for agricultural coops
Digitalization has completely changed the face of modern agriculture. New tools and services have been created and improved to facilitate the daily life of farmers. Agricultural cooperatives have their role to play in the investment that this can represent. Indeed, an isolated farmer does not always have the possibility to equip himself. Between keeping informed, getting information, getting in touch with the companies offering the service and the cost of setting up, it requires both time and energy. A coop includes, in the trades it groups together, a certain monitoring of the sector. It can thus accompany its members in order to improve their productions and obtain a certain comfort. It is thus the case concerning the installation of connected silos. Here is how the cooperative is a lever to accompany farmers and the advantages that connected silos represent, for breeders as well as for cooperatives.
The place of co-op in agriculture
Agricultural cooperatives in France have been part of the landscape for almost as long as agriculture itself. In Europe, the agricultural sector is in second place with nearly 30% of cooperatives, behind the industry. It is the largest in terms of turnover. However, the agricultural cooperative has been able to evolve with the sector and wants to be ever closer and more attentive to its members.
The co-op, at the service of agriculture
Cooperatives allow farmers to group together to sell their crops. Cooperatives are thus on the lookout for interesting markets for their members. They are also there to enhance the value of the products on offer and to be a force for proposal. They help develop existing farms and support new installations. In addition, some of them are also involved in the transmission of agricultural know-how.
In this way, agricultural cooperatives also keep abreast of developments in the sector and, in particular, digital advances. They are also very useful when it comes to investing in equipment, which can then be the object of a collective purchase. This collaborative equipment allows equipment to be shared within the group and expenses to be pooled.
The agricultural cooperative, at the heart of the digitization of the sector
With this monitoring system, cooperatives have a major role in the digitization of the sector. Indeed, they can obtain the necessary information and explain the various existing tools. They have a real advisory role towards their customers. They are able to make recommendations as to which ones would be really useful to their members. In this way, farmers can access certain services that they might not have considered themselves.
The advantages of connected silos
Installing connected silos on its members’ farms is a real advantage, both for the co-op and for the livestock companies involved.
What are connected silos?
One of the difficulties of the activity of the breeders concerns the management of the food of their breeding. The control of the stock of cereals, wheat and grains is generally done manually. This takes time – and can lead to some disappointment when a product is found to be out of stock. There is only one way to solve the problem: request express delivery, which incurs additional costs.
The installation of connected silos helps to alleviate this problem. A sensor is installed on each silo in order to evaluate its filling rate. It collects the data which is then sent to a hosting provider (on the cloud for example). Once this storage is done, the data is analyzed and processed. The result appears directly on the farmer’s smartphone and on the cooperative’s computer. Everyone therefore knows where the stock of each of the connected silos stands.
Benefits for farmers
The installation of these silos allows the professional to win on many points.
- It saves working time. He can devote his energy to other more sustainable tasks for his company and production.
- The mutualized installation with the other breeders of his cooperative allows him to save money.
- The follow-up is simple and is done directly on his phone. In just a few clicks, the farmer has the status of his company’s grain stocks and can anticipate his orders.
- Other features of the application are proving to be practical. For example, it tells the farmer when it is possible to order a full truck. This way, he can benefit from the most advantageous rate and optimize his deliveries.
The benefits for cooperatives
The investment in connected silos also represents several advantages for a coop.
- This represents a new quality service for its members.
- They can thus mutualize the installation, their deliveries and make economies of scale.
- It is a guarantee of seriousness that is part of the fact of valuing the human being: this equipment makes the farmer’s work easier and safer.
- Connected silos make it possible to have a positive impact on the environment. Indeed, in the long term, with the optimization of deliveries, the cooperative should see its carbon footprint decrease.
In the agricultural livestock sector, investment in connected silos is therefore proving to be an asset, both for the cooperative and its members.