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As fall harvest winds down in many parts of North America, many precision specialists likely spent as much of the season in the cab of their service trucks as in the cab of a tractor or combine troubleshooting technology problems.

Efficiency is an objective for specialists, although not always an attainable one this time of year. But remote support platforms are emerging as an alternative to racking up mileage on service trucks.

Precision Farming Dealer’s 2015 Benchmark Study revealed that more than 66% of survey respondents offer remote service, compared to about 56% the year prior.

While telematics is on the rise as a precision ag tool for dealers, one of the challenges to adoption is convincing farmers that it’s as effective as an on-farm visit.

One company is seeking to combine the comfort of face-to-face interaction with the convenience of remote service. Iowa-based AgriSync recently launched a mobile app that allows retailers and farmers to visually communicate remotely in a real-time video support session.

The platform is designed to complement some of the telematic offerings dealers are already utilizing to diagnose problems on in-cab displays, according to company founder Casey Niemann.

But he also expects that remote service will become increasingly mobile and visual allowing dealers to provide more in-depth service.

“As we go forward, be it equipment optimization, interpreting maps, agronomy issues, UAVs or remote sensing, are going to have a whole set of issues. All of these things are visual support needs. I need less of a wrench and I need an expert set of eyes to see what I see and help me walk through that perspective. So again, our focus is on the human element and that’s one of the ways we’re unique.”

AgriSync is still in being beta tested with 4 participants, according to Niemann, but he hopes to expand the roster of participants to include farm equipment dealers and other retailers in the coming months.

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