Grain producers and handlers may soon have more powerful data management capabilities to address traceability and the regulatory needs of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), thanks to a collaborative effort by AgGateway members to create standards for grain handling information management.
Companies involved in the effort, known as CART (Commodity Automation for Rail & Truck), met last month at the Software Solutions Integrated corporate offices and training center in Shelbyville, Ill., to map out a plan to complete work on the standards by June of this year. Taking CART across the finish line will culminate almost two years of work by more than 25 member companies and individuals from academia dedicated to AgGateway's mission of expanding eConnectivity in agriculture.
"The grain industry has not been able to efficiently track harvested grain -- from harvester to grain cart, grain cart to truck, truck to elevator and elevator to processor," said Phil Kubesh, IT manager at Vita Plus Corp. and chair of AgGateway's Grain & Feed Council. "These new standards pave the way for growers to much more efficiently transact and manage that valuable data."
The CART team includes participants from Ag Connections, Ag Leader, AGCO, AgIntegrated, BASF, Bayer CropScience, CLAAS, CNH Industrial, Conservis, Crop IMS, Digi-Star, DTN/The Progressive Farmer, F4F Agriculture, Farmobile, GROWMARK, Heartland Co-op, Insero, John Deere, Land O'Lakes, MapShots, OAGi, Praxidyn, ProAg, Purdue University/OADA, Raven, Software Solutions Integrated, SST Software, Syngenta, Texas A&M University, Topcon, Trimble, Vita Plus, XS Inc., Wysocki and ZedX.
AgGateway's Precision Ag Council and Grain & Feed Council launched CART in 2015 in response to growers' needs for more effective electronic data exchange at the interfaces between harvesting equipment and transport vehicles, through delivery to a grain elevator or storage bin. The effort, which is part of AgGateway's SPADE precision agriculture project, includes grain testing in its scope.
CART expands and looks to implement standardized messages from the widely adopted AgXML standards for rail, barge and truck grain transport. These standards serve as the basis for electronic transaction ("eConnectivity") for bills of lading, commodity movement, contracts, contract pricing, quality certificates, weight certificates, rail rates electronic exchange, biofuel support and settlements.
Kubesh noted that a positive aspect of AgGateway's work is that teams draw on and tie together existing standards where possible and collaborate with other organizations as needed. For CART, the team is drawing on resources and activities from standards organizations -- such as the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation, American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers, International Organization for Standardization, Open Applications Group and United National Centre for Trade Facilitation & Electronic Business -- in completing the standards.