Driving into the Future of Precision Agriculture: A German Farmer's Thriving in Running 85-hectare Farmlands with Autosteering

Germany is famous for its established industries such as automobiles, machinery, chemicals, and household goods. Very few people know that it is also a big agricultural country, with an average farm size close to 60.5 hectares in 2016, the highest in the European Union. Today, Germany is the second largest agricultural producer in the EU behind France.

Germany has a long rich farming tradition, and most farms are privately owned for generations by families like the Leenens in Grafschaft, West Germany. Their story exemplifies the ongoing dance between tradition and innovation that is defining modern German agriculture. As Matthias Leenen inherited the reins of his family's farm in 2022, he recognized the need to evolve. Managing a diverse patchwork of 85 hectares often bordered by delicate fruit orchards, precision farming became a necessity to navigate the challenges of the modern agricultural landscape.

Matthias sitting in the autosteering cab with his baby

The Quest for Efficiency: Why Traditional Methods Weren't Enough

Their quest for a solution was driven by the inherent limitations of manual steering, particularly when dealing with fragmented fields, tight corners, and the need for precise row spacing. First and foremost, the human element introduced an unavoidable degree of inaccuracy. Even the steadiest of hands couldn't prevent overlaps and skips when guiding a tractor across uneven terrain or intricate field layouts. These errors, seemingly small at the time, added up to uneven applications of fertilizers, herbicides, and seeds — a recipe for suboptimal crop health and yields.

Time, too, was a precious commodity that traditional methods couldn't afford to squander. The painstaking process of meticulously following straight lines, row by row, was a productivity drain, especially when multiple small plots were involved. As the family discovered, the hours whittled away in the pursuit of perfection ultimately limited the amount of land they could effectively manage.

But perhaps most crucially, the escalating costs of manual labor threatened to undermine the entire operation's financial viability. In an era where every penny counts, the burden of supporting a team of skilled workers to execute these labor-intensive tasks was becoming increasingly untenable.

It was clear that relying solely on traditional methods was no longer a sustainable path forward. Matthias and his father realized that to truly optimize their yields, reduce inputs, and secure their farm's future, they needed to resort to something smarter — one that harnessed the power of precision farming technology like the innovative FJD AT2 Auto Steer System.

From Skepticism to Satisfaction: The AT2 Earns Its Stripes

Matthias was naturally cautious but intrigued by the AT2's capabilities. The system's affordability and user-friendliness were undeniable benefits, and FJDynamics' commitment to ongoing development aligned with his desire to stay at the forefront of agricultural innovation. However, a crucial question lingered — could the AT2 truly deliver on its promises in the real-world conditions of his challenging farm?  

Matthias consulted with the FJD distributor about AT2 at the trade fair

The opportunity to witness the AT2 in action at the Ökofeldtagen 2023 demo showcase, organized by FJDynamics' authorized distributor Eder Company, proved invaluable. Seeing the system perform on various terrains and applications with his own eyes dispelled any remaining doubts. Farmers thrive on a network of knowledge sharing, and interacting with other AT2 users at the showcase provided firsthand accounts of the system's benefits. These real-world experiences solidified Matthias' confidence in AT2's ability to transform his farm. 

Unlocking Efficiency Across the Farming Cycle: The AT2 in Action

Since its integration in summer 2023, the AT2 has become a trusted partner in the Leenens' farming journey. From potassium and lime fertilization to stubble cultivation, and from rapeseed sowing to pre-emergence herbicide application, the system has streamlined tasks that were once arduous, especially in the intricate plots adjacent to fenced fruit orchards.

Looking ahead, the AT2 will continue to be an indispensable ally, playing a pivotal role in the upcoming sugar beet sowing season and subsequent plant protection measures. Moreover, buoyed by their resounding success, the Leenen family is even considering expanding their technological arsenal by acquiring a second AT2 system for their New Holland T5.110 Dynamic Command.

The FJD AT2: A Stepping Stone to a Sustainable Future

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern agriculture, the FJD AT2 Auto Steer System has emerged as a beacon of innovation, guiding the Leenen family towards a future where tradition and cutting-edge technology coexist in perfect harmony. As Matthias and his family continue to reap the rewards of their investment, they stand as living proof that embracing change is not merely a choice but a necessity – a necessity that promises to shape a sustainable future of farming for generations to come.