Experts in Raven Industries’ applied sciences division have been busy bringing new and innovative technologies to the door step of growers across the country.
The 2013 Commodity Classic was the place to display these new products and Raven Industries was there to do so. I spoke with Paul Welbig who oversees a lot of the product management issues at Raven. Looking into the future he shared how their goal is to continue to enhance products that save farmers time and money. Slingshot is one of those data management systems that can improve efficiencies on the farm.
“An innovation of technology has been a key point to a lot of growers here. There operations are dependent upon the various technologies that are available out there and we try to integrate those technologies together to eliminate the complexities and provide them a faster ROI because they are integrated into their solutions.”
“Some of the new stuff that we are really talking to producers about here is a couple of different things. We have what we call out Envizio Pro XL, which is a field computing device. Envizio Pro has been around a little while…[Envizio Pro XL] does basically what it says, an extra large screen so people can see it a lot easier.”
Listen to my interview with Paul here: Interview with Paul Welbig
2013 Commodity Classic Photo Album
Just last month at the ASTA Seed Expo in Chicago, Harvest Masters by Juniper Systems, announced the release of their new harvest data collection software system they call Mirus.
Cindy spoke with Allen Wilson, Ag Marketing Manager for Harvest Masters, during the event. Allen shared how the two year long process to develop this software resulted in a brand new generation. Not simply a new addition to the previous version.
“The Mirus software that we just released works with our harvest data collection for research combines. It’s a Windows based platform. We have been using Windows mobile, but this is a Windows so it will be running on tablets, Windows XP and Windows 7 & 8. We are in that Windows environment. It is a next generation software to work with our hardware that we previously put out. This is a lot more flexible and easy to use. The operators are now able to see four different screens at one time about their system statues and yield levels. A lot more information available for the operators.”
“The feedback we got back from our beta testers, which were about 20 people that have run our previous software, all said it’s intuitive, it’s easy to use and they don’t have to go struggling through a bunch of different screen to find the information they need or settings to change. It’s a precision piece of equipment so they have to be monitoring it and watching to see if there are changes occurring. It was really over-whelming to hear these people that have used our software say we have made a step forward.”
You can find more information about the release of this new software on a previous post New Mirus Harvest Data Collection Software.
Listen to Cindy’s complete interview with Allen here: Interview with Allen Wilson
Check out photos from ASTA here:
ASTA-CSS Photo Album
They’re all pretty smart but one of Raven Precision‘s field computers actually speaks 22 languages!
We learned more about the multilingual entry-level Cruizer II, as well as the Envizio Pro II and Viper Pro field computers from Raven at last week’s Innovation Summit, where many of the 230 attendees came from other countries. Shane Swedelund, Senior Product Manager, says they each offer new improvements and have certain strengths and benefits for the growers in the field.
Listen to my interview with Shane where he talks about what is new with each product line and how they compare: Shane Swedelund, Raven
You can also compare them yourself and get a 360 degree view of each field computer by downloading the Raven Product Guide app to your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.
The InfoAg Conference session titled, “Gadgets and Gizmos for Precision Agriculture” got my attention. One of the presenters was Dr. “No-Till Phil” Rasmussen. He had a collection of gadgets and gizmos on display to show and tell.
I interviewed him after his presentation. This soil physicist has a love for gadgets. They’ve been a big part of his career. He says that GPS systems have become more and more important to the farm. Therefore, the data that can be collected by various devices is becoming essential for efficient farm management today. One of the gadgets that has become very effective for in the field data gathering is a gel cell battery that has an adapter to allow you to charge various devices when you’re spending a day away from electricity. I recorded the interview on my iPhone with a recording app. Seemed very appropriate. Listen to my interview with Dr. Rassmussen here: Interview with Dr. Philip Rasmussen
2011 InfoAg Conference Photo Album
Ranchers in the central Great Plains may be using some of their winter downtime in the future to rehearse the upcoming production season, all from the warmth of their homes, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) soil scientists.
The ranchers would use the GPFARM (Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management)-Range computer model to see which cattle or sheep stocking rate scenarios are sustainable. USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientists are testing the model in enough locations to get the model fully usable throughout the central Great Plains.
The model would allow ranchers to test various scenarios involving forage yields and the weight gains of beef cattle and calves and other livestock under various stocking and weather scenarios. The high variability of precipitation makes it difficult to choose a stocking rate that is the best balance between economic and rangeland sustainability. Looking at National Weather Service seasonal weather predictions, ranchers would judge whether precipitation in the coming season would likely be normal or above or below normal.
GPFARM-Range is one of a few range models that can factor in the effects of climate change on stocking rates, predicting the response of forage plants to increased carbon dioxide and higher temperatures.