Precision farming relies on the successful transfer of data between on-farm computers and machinery in the field. But mixed fleets of equipment can cause problems for farm managers.

In an effort to standardize farm-to-machine data transfer, the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) has developed an ISOBUS conformance test for farm management information systems (FMIS).

AEF will present a prototype of the new test for the first time at the upcoming Agritechnica show, November 10-14 in Hanover, Germany.

“The implementation of standardized ISOXML data traffic between a universal terminal and the farm computer based on the additional AEF Guidelines is a crucial step in achieving precision farming whereby products from different manufacturers can be used in combination,” said AEF Chairman Peter van der Vlugt.

AEF to Launch FMIS Conformance Test

Up to now, the AEF ISOBUS test has focused on the electronic interface between the tractor and the implement. Starting in 2016, there will also be a test for the ISOXML interface for transferring data between the FMIS and the machine.

Over the course of the coming year, the ISOBUS conformance test for FMIS will ensure that certified software fully supports the interface functions required for the specified functions and that ISOXML data can be reliably exchanged with task controllers on the machinery, which have also undergone testing for these functions.

Once software has been tested, it will be listed in the AEF database and is entitled to bear the AEF Certified Label.

Plugfest Attendees Perform Over 2,000 Tests

Interest in standardizing this process has continued to grow at the Plugfest events held twice each year by the AEF. This year, six of the 80 companies attending the fall Plugfest event in Wörth am Main, Germany, were there to test FMIS.

Approximately 250 participants took advantage of the fall Plugfest event, performing more than 2,000 tests at 51 stations over the course of three days.

The DLG-Testzentrum Technik und Betriebsmittel der Deutschen Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft [Technology and Equipment Test Center of the German Agricultural Society] partnered with AEF in putting on the event, which took place at the Hofgut von Hünersdorff. The DLG is an AEF ISOBUS testing institute.

“The fact that so many companies continue to participate in this event is a clear indicator of how important our Plugfests still are, even though the Conformance Test Tool for module tests is already available,” Van der Vlugt said. “Here, you can conduct more in-depth testing, to system level. This significantly speeds up the development process.”

About AEF

AEF is a global standardization initiative formed in 2008 by agricultural technology companies AGCO, CLAAS, CNH, Grimme, John Deere, Kverneland Group and Pottinger, as well as AEM and the German machinery association, VDMA. SAME DEUTZ-FAHR joined AEF as its eighth core member in 2013.

AEM provides the staff secretary for AEF.

For more information on AEF, contact AEM Technical Director Mark Benishek (, tel: 414-298-4118).