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As we get closer to the SAP InnoJam events happening in conjunction with SAP TechEd && d-code it’s time to talk about solutions. SAP InnoJam is all about coding an innovative solution using SAP technologies around a central theme.

This year we chose an ambitious and difficult theme, Agriculture. With a drought in California and the fact that we are having the first event in Palo Alto we thought the theme fit. The thing for us was that Agriculture is not just “farming” but rather in all the things related to it. Many of our ideas have spawned from our own projects.

So although the theme itself is agriculture and there are brilliant opportunities to make things happen we also remember that innovation will lead where innovation leads!

Ian wrote a blog the other day with a full scenario on the topic and Chris commented on the post with his own experiences.

Sure Ian. I spent 7 and a half years running a SAP for a farming company. They handled the end to end process from growth through to delivery to supermarkets so I have plenty of examples to share.

So from an ERP perspective, I was able to setup production orders to “grow” a crop in SAP. This took a few attempts over multiple seasons, but we got down to being able to drive harvest dates in SAP ECC by confirming the different crop growth stages. Fro example in Australia, sweet corn takes about 72 to 80 days from emerging to harvest. We did confirmations in SAP at various stages of the crop growth that pushed the production order finish date out in SAP. It worked great and they have used that system for 5 years now. The problem with it is the data collection is all manual. It needs to be manually entered in the system. This is an interesting area to look at.

Further to this. When a crop needs to be sprayed, fertiliser, pesticides, etc. The record keeping requirements are quite intense. There is no system that allows us the easy offline collection of this and relates this back to an SAP production order. You end up with a different set of paddocks maintained in a different system. The process was then to manually extract the information and manually enter this into SAP ECC against the production order. All chemical usage is ultimately recorded against a Production Order for traceability but the collection cost is high. I see this as a huge area for potential. There are batching systems that are around but the different types and mixes of chemicals generally means that someone is manually mixing.When they spray a paddock, the operators generally spray across multiple paddocks which makes record keeping even harder. This is a brilliant use case for geo fencing where you can then apply the record to paddocks contained within that area.

There is already some great technology around GPS assisted steering in tractors. It is amazing system technology that has a proven purpose. If you take this a step further though, you can produce maps of the paddock.This has been around for a while now. The next steps are producing salt maps of the paddocks to measure salinity and start making crop decisions accordingly. For example turning planters off so as not to waste seeds on soil that will not do well.

There are a heap more examples and use cases for the combination of IOT technology, SAP ERP and agriculture. I could go on for pages 🙂 It is some of my favourite topics.


Chris


Which for us was brilliant because we wanted to ensure that another piece of feedback made it into the mix this year – you asked for the option of bringing your own scenarios to the event. You can!


So be sure to register for Palo Alto if you have not already, and for those who helped make Berlin a sold out event already get your thinking hats on and start talking to those folks at your local farmers market and find out what difficulties they are having and come prepared to help hack a better world together!


Maybe your solution will help figure out how to monitor not only weather but maybe also migration patterns and infestations of insects that destroy crops; or perhaps you have an idea of how to give early warnings to famers on water, rainfall and erosion?


Ideas are flying and the emails I’ve gotten so far are showing some really interesting thought processes for this event and we are excited to see what comes out of it!



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          1. Aaron Williams

            We should definitely do an IoT Ag event in India.  The differences between the cultures and the infrastructure would be enlightening.  India has very Urban mega-cities (how can you farm in a city of 10+ million people?) and very rural (how can you move water more efficiently?).

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