By Stephen Cadogan
Want to hire a Krone Swadro 740 Twin grass rake for €350 a day, or a Steyr Terrus 6270 CVT tractor for €269?
In Germany, it takes only a few clicks on the computer for users of UseMyTec, to hire from a wide range of machinery.
UseMyTec is a new digital solution for renting agricultural machinery.
It works for machinery owners also; the platform is designed to allow anyone with an unused agricultural machine or implement to hire it out quickly and safely.
UseMyTec won the FOODnext 2017 award for start-up digital farming companies at Agritechnica in Germany last November.
It enables machinery owners to turn unused equipment into cash, while allowing farmers hire machines needed for peak workloads without complications, or to get hold of a replacement machine quickly, in the event of a machine breakdown.
UseMyTec attaches maximum value to security.
“Each hiring operation is secured via our overall insurance. With this, we guarantee that breakage and other damage are settled quickly and without any problems,” said Managing Director Rodney Younce.
“We believe that every farmer should have access to machinery at any place and any time, regardless of whether they need a replacement or additional capacity”, said Christoph von Heydebreck, farmer and manager at UseMyTec.
Among items available on the UseMyTec website are a Fliegl slurry tanker for €52 per day, a Lemken Grubber for €55, and a Case 633 tractor for €70.
Could UseMyTec become the Facebook or Amazon equivalent in the agricultural sector? The search was on at FOODnext in Agritechnica for winners to emerge from the digital revolution being experienced in agriculture, similar to Industry 4.0, the current trend of automation and data exchange which is shaking up manufacturing industries.
There are now hundreds of start-up companies worldwide that have specialised in agribusiness, aiming to make agriculture more efficient, precise and resource-conserving.
It is seen as a market ripe for innovations, due to the pressures to feed two billion people living on this planet by 2050, with only 40% of the land available, while coping with climate change.
“Digitising has the task of simplifying the farmers’ lives”, said Tobias Menne, Global Head of Digital Farming at Bayer Crop Science, at Agritechnica.
Along with UseMyTec, the Acrai, Skylab and Greenspin start-ups presented their innovative ideas at FOODnext.
Acrai aim to disrupt the $26bn (€21.3bn) herbicides industry by building autonomous robots which can recognise what is a crop and what is a weed, for better mechanical weeding.
The objective of Skylab is to establish a platform on which raw data and photos from drones or satellites for early identification of plant diseases and for vegetation monitoring are uploaded worldwide and automatically evaluated and analysed.
The Greenspin start-up also uses satellite data and geo-data to provide large-scale agricultural statistics.