A novelty 5 years ago, GPS precision ag systems are rapidly coming into their own as manufacturers offer applications covering nearly every modern farming operation. According to Matt Burkhardt of RAVEN INDUSTRIES, the top 4 product requests coming from farmers include planter control, yield monitoring, RTK for steer-ready and scalable GPS.
In all, Raven is launching 8 new products for 2011. Among them is the OmniRow planter control system. According to the company, this equipment utilizes a patent-pending hydraulic motor control unit that eliminates the need for an electric or air-clutch on every single row, yet provides control and section shutoff with a single unit. OmniRow is available for many planters on the market today, with more coming, says Paul Welbig of Raven.
Harlan Little, business manager of LEICA GEOSYSTEMS says the company has introduced the mojoMINI 3D lightbar guidance system, that doubles as a GPS a street navigation unit for daily use in any on-road vehicle. For about $1,500, the lightbar comes with the Leica SmartAg antenna and GLIDE technology for improved in-field accuracy.
The easy-to-use 4.3-in. touch-screen display has multiple guidance options, including AB parallel, A+ heading, contour and pivot guidance for use in many field types. The on-road navigation software is robust with voice commands and lane assistance technology.
TRIMBLE unveiled several new products at its media event, including CFX-750 display, EZ Remote Joystick, FieldIQ and Connected Farm, which allows growers to transfer maps, seed populations and other field records with the click of a button. With GPS systems reaching a critical mass, Matt Hesse, Trimble, says dealers need a dedicated GPS department to properly serve the growers. Titan Machinery’s David Ohm agreed, noting that his company now has 25 dedicated GPS specialist positions.
Jeff Schertz, vice president, DICKEY-JOHN, calls the new Vigilense Blockage Seed Sensor the most accurate blockage sensor on the market. The unit is capable of detecting the smallest canola seed to the largest fertilizer granual. He says the sensor detects a predetermined blockage percent level, not just “flowing” or “blocked. It can work with 1 to 1-¾ in. (inside diameter) hose size configurations.
AUTOFARM calls it ParaDyme the single solution for everything precision ag. According to Jack Seitz, director of business development, the company is introducing the ParaDyme roof module that uses a dual antenna system to provide RTK accuracy, repeatability and rapid line acquisition with the need for a wheel-angle sensor.
Dave King of AG LEADER says its newest entry into its precision ag product lineup is the OptRx crop sensor. He says the new unit measures and records data about a crop in real-time using the reflectance of light shined on the growing crop. The data collected includes vegetative index and can be utilized to measure the impact of nutrients, water, disease and other growing conditions.
TOPCON POSITIONING SYSTEMS introduced its new System 250 auto-steering application that combines multi-constellation and combination receiver/controller features of the AGI-3 with the all-in-one control features of Topcon’s X20 console. According to Thomas Causey, the system is designed specifically for parallel auto-steer operations, while the X20 console is a completely integrated controller with module extensions for spraying, seeding, fertilizing, auto-section control, variable rate and the new CropSpec crop canopy sensor.