AGCO Precision Farming Optimizes Sugarcane Production in Brazil

AGCO's Advanced Technology Solutions team has developed a specialized automatic guidance system for the sugarcane industry in partnership with the Santa Fe Sugarcane Mill in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

AGCO is committed to supporting your farm. Our Advanced Technology Solutions has developed a specialized automatic guidance system for the sugarcane industry in partnership with the Santa Fe Sugarcane Mill in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The automated guidance system delivers unique benefits to the sugarcane industry.

Sugarcane harvesting was traditionally a labor-intensive task. The canes were burned and then harvested, yielding around 1000 pounds per hour from a man with a machete. Today, mechanized harvesting boosts that number 200-fold to 100 tons per hour. Unfortunately, even with mechanization there is still cane loss – typically from inaccuracy following the rows. Automated guidance can reduce this loss and also increase the crop yield.

AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions collaborated with Topcon to develop a specialized system. The project began with the acquisition of 10 Valtra BH 185 tractors with AGCO SISU POWER high performance engines. Each tractor was equipped with automated guidance.

The partnership with the Santa Fe Sugarcane Mill allowed a version of the System 150 automated guidance. “We wanted to offer a comprehensive solution for the mechanized production of sugarcane. We found a good partner with Santa Fe who was interested in investing in and adopting new technologies,” says Jak Torretta, AGCO Products Director, South America.

The AGCO automatic guidance system helps farmers do a better job following the planted rows with precision. This is especially important in sugarcane production, because much of the sugarcane field loss comes from harvesting equipment driving on the root of the stalks. The system increases planting capacity by optimizing rows and reduces fuel consumption. Greater precision allows the growers to extend the longevity of their sugarcane planting.

AGCO’s automatic guidance system brings powerful technology right to the field. The system allows the Santa Fe Mill to perform row planning in the office before actually going to the field to plant the row of cane for added productivity. And the system can be transferred to other machines and operations including tillage, planting, and spraying.

“AGCO’s ability to act as a consultant from planting through to harvesting is what differentiates our solution,” explain Torretta.