Let Ag Leader’s Compass Guide You

Ag Leader Josh RasmussonAg Leader introduced the Compass display last fall during the Farm Progress Show and in the few months it’s been available, it has seen great success. To learn more about the technology, I spoke with Josh Rasmusson with Ag Leader during the 2014 Iowa Power Farming Show.

He explained that the Compass display is their new, high-definition, 7 inch touch screen with a guidance display. He also noted that you can incorporate other Ag Leader precision technologies such as OnTrac2+, GeoSteer or the assisted steering, ParaDyme for your high-end hydraulic system.

Rasmusson told me that nearly 50 percent of farms in the U.S. aren’t using any type of precision technologies but the Compass display is designed for entry-level users – an easy way to ease them into the world of precision ag.

“The Compass display would be a generic lightbar for them to use in a tillage scenario or a spring scenario if they wanted to do coverage mapping,” explained Rasmusson. “There is a built in guidance so they don’t have to use markers, and you can also incorporate the steering into the system.”

In fact, says, Rasmusson, the system is so easy to use a grower can figure it out in around an hour. If not, Ag Leader has 24/7 free technical assistance available.

Listen to my full interview with Josh Rasmusson: Let Ag Leader's Compass Guide You

Click here to view the 2014 Iowa Power Farming Show photo album.

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

New Matrix Pro GS with Enhanced Swath Control

MatrixPro840GS_Right w-RAM_curved compassThe Matrix Pro GS Guidance System offers growers TeeJet exclusive RealView® guidance over video along with several new productivity enhancing features.

Matrix Pro GS is the only system available that displays guidance and live video simultaneously, improving accuracy and efficiency in field operations. Up to eight RealView cameras can be used to monitor multiple machine operations while at the same time viewing guidance information. Growers can choose Matrix Pro 570GS with 5.7″ (145 mm) display or Matrix Pro 840GS with 8.4″ (213 mm) display.

Matrix Pro GS builds upon the proven Matrix and Matrix Pro product lines and adds many new capabilities. Advanced swath control capabilities now allow for automatic boom section control (ABSC) on dry spreaders and sprayers with offset booms. Matrix Pro GS also supports droplet size monitoring capability. This exclusive feature provides real‐time display of the droplet size being produced at the sprayer boom allowing the operator to optimize their spraying application. The unique NextRow feature guides operators through turns in row crop environments, helping them find the correct rows to steer between for the next pass.

Matrix Pro GS is auto‐steer and ABSC ready. Adding FieldPilot® or UniPilot® assisted steering can greatly enhance operator productivity. Adding BoomPilot® ABSC is economical and easy as well.

Connected Farm Solution Has New Features

Trimble introduced several new features to further enhance its Connected Farm™ solution. Connected Farm is an integrated operations management solution that provides information exchange across the entire farm. New features include additional viewing capabilities between vehicles operating in the same field, and reports on the productivity and delay of field equipment.

Trimble’s Connected Farm vehicle-to-vehicle communication allows real-time wireless data transmission between multiple vehicles and mixed fleets operating in the same field. The new features allow operators to:

• View virtual tank levels of nearby devices that are planting or applying product, allowing applicators to coordinate seed and chemical refill.
• Share instant yield, instant moisture, and combined coverage layers for yield and moisture with different displays that are in the same field.
• Share “as-applied” coverage layers between displays for vehicles conducting the same operation with the same material.
• View coverage data from multiple vehicles in the same field that are performing different operations without affecting row shutoff. For example, when tilling and planting simultaneously, operators can assess which areas have been covered by the other vehicle.
• View a combined coverage map with a legend of multiple vehicles in the same field to quickly pinpoint each vehicle’s covered area.

New Larger Display from Raven Industries

The Envizio Pro XL is what was new with Raven at the Farm Progress Show. In the tent to show it off was Ryan Molitor, Marketing Manager. Ryan says the new display is larger and easier to use according to customers. The product can be used for all seasons of field work.

The Envizio Pro XL will enhance a user’s experience through its brilliant, extra-large 10.4” color touchscreen display. It operates on the proven and reliable Envizio™ operating system which features language support for customers in the many global markets Raven serves, and growers will benefit from the simple-to-use interface, multi-product control and VRA capabilities. The Envizio Pro XL field computer is the perfect controller for Raven’s advanced product lineup such as Slingshot®, SmartYield™, SmarTrax™, OmniRow® or OmniSeed™.

Listen to my interview with Ryan here: Interview with Ryan Molitor

Don’t forget that you can get the Raven Product Guide App for you iPhone/iPad or Android device.

2012 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

OptRx Crop Sensor Rate Table Provides More Flexibility

Insights WeeklyDuring my recent visit to Ag Leader Technology I learned about the new Crop Sensor Rate Table that is now available from Chad Fick, Product Specialist. This new feature provides more application flexibility

This functionality offered through the DirectCommand™ system on the INTEGRA™ display allows producers to utilize the OptRx™ crop sensors to apply the agrochemicals they need on-the-go at the rates necessary for optimum performance.

OptRx crop sensors work by shining light on the crop canopy and reading the light reflected back to determine the crop health, also known as Vegetative Index. Working with agronomists or crop consultants, farmers can use OptRx to improve the application of any agrochemical to any crop that needs a variable rate. The new Crop Sensor Rate Table allows growers to choose a Vegetative Index range and assign the recommended rates based on those ranges.

Growers with the INTEGRA display can take advantage of the Crop Sensor Rate Table by updating their firmware to version 3.3.

Listen to my interview with Chad here: Interview with Chad Fick

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The Versatile Ag Leader VERSA

Just call it the “biggest bang for the buck in the precision ag industry.”

It’s the Ag Leader Technology VERSA display, which has all of the most popular year-round precision tools – including guidance, auto-steering control, SeedCommand planting control, DirectCommand application control, yield monitoring and mapping – in one small package.

“For growers who are just getting started in precision ag or for growers who need a second monitor, this is definitely a great option,” said Ag Leader’s Russ Morman at last week’s National Farm Machinery Show. It was the first time most farmers at the show had been able to see the monitor, because it is basically brand new. “We introduced it late last year and we actually just started shipping them in the last week or so.”

Russ says response to the new monitor has been very good. “I’ve had numerous guys come by and say “hey, I ordered one of these I just wanted to see what they looked like in person.”

Response to all things Ag Leader has actually been very good from farmers everywhere. “We’ve expanded our presence everywhere,” said Russ, noting that Ag Leader is celebrating its 20th anniversary in precision ag this year. “Canada, the south, east and west – and all over the world, for that matter. We’re actually opening offices overseas right now.”

Find out more about VERSA and Ag Leader in this interview with Russ: Russ Morman Interview

Thanks to Ag Leader Technology for helping us provide coverage of the 2012 NFMS and for their support of the agriculture industry!

2012 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

New from New Holland at NFMS

There’s a lot new products from New Holland on display at the 2012 National Farm Machinery Show. We visited with John Elliott, New Holland Director of Marketing NAR, to get a bird’s eye view of it all. John says there are product launches at NFMS in all New Holland segments – residential, commercial, municipal units, the dairy/livestock units and the cash crop segment.

The new products list includes:

Listen to an interview with John to learn more about all the new products being introduced by New Holland: Interview with John Elliott

2012 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

Ag Leader & HARDI Bring HC 9500 Controller to Market

Ag Leader Technology, Inc., and HARDI International A/S announced a cooperative effort to bring greater performance, productivity and profitability to the market with the introduction of the HC 9500 controller, a customized display available on select HARDI ISOBUS sprayers.

In addition to complete incorporation with HARDI’s signature i-Features, the HC 9500 controller provides growers with a powerful, full-featured precision farming tool for guidance, data logging, application report generation, automated steering and more. The HC 9500 also offers compatibility with the ISO 11783 (ISOBUS) Virtual Terminal Standard and the NORAC UC5 boom height control system support. The HC 9500 controller will be available on specific products from late 2011.

Listen to an interview with Ag Leader Product Manager John Howard about the new controller.

For more information, contact your local Ag Leader dealer.

Ag Leader Mesa A Fully Functional Handheld

Ag Leader Technology MesaAt the National Farm Machinery Show Pete Youngblut, who works in the Ag Leader Technology software support group, brought me up to date on the new Mesa handeld rugged notebook that is SMS™ Mobile compatible.

It allows a customer to go to the field to do crop scouting, set boundaries and more, then bring it back to sync with desktop software. He says that rather than having to take a tractor to the field you can hop on your four wheeler or get in your pickup and go. The Mesa runs on new Windows Mobile OS so it also has the capability with wifi to browse the internet and check email. It also will have a built in camera!

You can listen to my interview with Pete here: Pete Youngblut Interview

2011 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Precision Pays coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by: Ag Leader Technology

New Holland Display Getting Attention

Bruce RistauThere was a lot of precision ag on display at this year’s National Farm Machinery Show. Bruce Ristau, Precision Farming Sales Mgr., New Holland, took time to tell me what the company is doing in this sector.

Bruce says their displays are the high point of the latest products they’re showcasing at winter shows like NFMS. New Holland works closely with Trimble on precision products. Bruce says New Holland is now doing more company branding though, like on the new FM 750 Display. He says that farmers visiting the show can come by for a personal walk through.

You can listen to my interview with Bruce here: Bruce Ristau Interview

2011 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Precision Pays coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by: Ag Leader Technology

Advanced Seed Monitoring From Ag Leader Technology

Ag Leader TechnologyIt has been a busy day at the National Farm Machinery Show. I’ve been doing interviews all day and adding to the photo collection. So, lots of stories will be forthcoming in the next few days. Let’s start off with our coverage sponsor.

This morning I learned some of what’s new with Ag Leader Technology from Russ Morman. Russ gave me an overview of new products on display that includes their SMS Mobile Mesa Rugged Notepad hand held display, their new GPS 2500 system and advanced seed monitoring for the INTEGRA display. He says they’ve been receiving the most questions on advanced seed monitoring.

You can listen to my interview with Russ here: Russ Morman Interview

2011 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Precision Pays coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by: Ag Leader Technology

Precision Farming Hardware Training Builds Happy Customers

Insights WeeklyDuring the hundreds of interviews I’ve conducted with farmers over the years for stories on precision farming tools, I’d have to say that every one of them has touched on the value of their local dealer. Without their set up, training and troubleshooting expertise, adoption of this technology would not be where it is today.

To that end, I spoke yesterday with Andy Boyle who is training coordinator at Ag Leader Technology. They are currently holding dealer trainings at “Ag Leader Academy” at their great facility in Ames, Iowa. “Our U.S. and International dealers truly enjoy this meeting, as it keeps them up-to-date on all of our hardware, so they are truly prepared to help educate and serve their customers,” he says.

During these trainings, dealers partake in 100-, 200- and 300-level classes on displays (INTEGRA, EDGE), on applications like DirectCommand and SeedCommand, on the auto steering capabilities of ParaDyme and OnTrac2 and much more.

“Much of our training is hands-on so dealers get the feel for how everything works, and how to troubleshoot issues that can arise,” Boyle says. “Our showroom has a fully-operational sprayer, spinner-spreader and planter so we can actually calibrate and troubleshoot equipment. And we have four tractors equipped with mechanical and hydraulic steering systems so dealers get drive time training as well.”

CUSTOMERS BENEFIT. Thanks to this intensive hands-on training, these dealers take this knowledge and conduct around 40 training sessions to benefit their customers and prospects during February, March and April in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Canada (see the link below for current list of sessions).

“The dealers focus their customer training on all the how-to information growers need, which is also a great refresher to prepare for the upcoming spring season. They walk through set-up of all equipment to prepare for spring field work, as well as review all operations while in the field,” he adds.

Cost to growers is $25 per session, which includes a meal. To register for a training session (see the link below) call 515-232-5363, ext. 6205.

Visit these links for more information:

Customer Training Sessions

Ag Leader dealer locator http://www.agleader.com/dealer-search/

Topcon and DICKEY-john Form Alliance

Topcon, which recently launched its new System 350 that features the new all-in-one X30 control console and its AGI-3 receiver for autosteering, has formed a strategic relationship with DICKEY-john.

DICKEY-john, based in Auburn, Illinois, serves the agriculture, off-road equipment, public works and analytical instrumentation industries worldwide. They will be adding Topcon’s revolutionary X30 machine control display as a next-generation console to their current product line-up. The X30 is a virtual terminal that offers complete compatibility, not only with DICKEY-john sensors, monitors and control systems, but also any ISO 11783 compliant product.

Ray O’Connor, Topcon president and CEO, said, “DICKEY-john is a globally recognized company with an exemplary reputation for its expertise in planting and application control. The company is well known for their reliable sensor technology and dedication to customer service; the X30 will be a strong addition to their industry recognized product line. We are excited to work closely with this first-class company on mutually rewarding programs and projects.”

DICKEY-john’s vice president of marketing, Art Tsubaki, stated, “Topcon’s strength in technology, such as ruggedized virtual terminals, GPS and steering technology, provides another product option for our customers. Our ISO tradition and expertise, in combination with the X30, provide a great platform for OEM and aftermarket opportunities.”

The X30 console has a large (12.1 inch) display with an icon-based user interface, dashboard and interaction keypad for ease of use.

Its prominent features include:

– Compatibility with DICKEY-john control ECU’s

– Autosteering using the Topcon AGI-3 receiver

– ISO virtual terminal compatible

– Manual guidance via lightbar system

– Coverage mapping, as-applied maps

– Import of XML prescription maps

– 24 languages available

New Guidance Products from Leica

Leica Geosystems just launched a full suite of new products for steering guidance, as well as new features to its mojo3D and mojoMINI displays.

Leica’s SteerDirect Solutions. With many new SteerDirect solutions available, Leica Geosystems now steers a broad range of tractors, combines and sprayers across all major brands.

The new SteerDirect Hydraulic option is a compact, integrated solution designed to work with the Leica mojoRTK auto-steer console. This unique hydraulic kit was designed with a number of cost-saving features, including a single bracket and a simplified design to streamline installation – saving time and money.

“When we decided to expand our steering platforms to include a hydraulic solution, we knew we wanted to develop a simple, easy-to-install solution that would be affordable for our customers,” says Rob Doncon, product manager at Leica Geosystems.

New Leica mojo3D. The new Leica mojo3D guidance display has been upgraded with a number of new features, including the new Ultimate Curve guidance option, Boundary Recording, and the ability to upgrade to GLONASS satellites.

The new and improved Leica mojo3D is a smarter precision guidance system designed to help farmers large and small create a customized solution to fit their individual needs.

New Leica mojoMINI. The Leica mojoMINI also has a number of new features, making this entry-level display a must-have for any farm operation. The Leica mojoMINI is a great solution for anyone looking for an affordable way to start saving money in the field by enhancing driver accuracy and reducing overlap. Plus, with new features like Boundary Recording, Coverage Mapping and Continue Field, the Leica mojoMINI is even more useful.

“Adding these new features to the mojo3D and mojoMINI takes these displays to the next level in ag guidance,” says Peter Bailey, product manager at Leica Geosystems. “We’ve worked hard over the past year to deliver some significant new features that make the products easier to use in a wide range of applications.”

To learn more about the available SteerDirect options and all of the Leica Geosystems agriculture products, drive straight to your local dealer or visit us online at www.AgGuidance.com

New Advanced Seed Monitoring for Ag Leader Integra

Get a ‘virtual seed trench view’ with the new Advanced Seed Monitoring through Ag Leader’s SeedCommand system, run through their INTEGRA monitor.

Advanced Seed Monitoring provides planter performance monitoring of seed meter singulation, skips/doubles and spacing quality, along with population and spacing information for all rows when corn planting.

The INTEGRA display features a full-screen planter performance view that includes display items and bar graphs for population, singulation, skips/doubles and spacing quality. All of these features are available while the display is simultaneously performing guidance, mapping and autosteer functions.

“Growers looking to eliminate yield robbing planter problems such as poor seed spacing and singulation will find this system extremely valuable and easy to use. The INTEGRA display’s 12.1” screen provides the industry’s largest view of the performance of all rows. Problematic rows stand out with one glance at the screen,” says Roger Zielke, SeedCommand Product Manager. “A virtual seed trench view shows the placement of each seed of a problematic row to help determine if the problem is in the seed meter or seed tube.”

In addition, Advanced Seed Monitoring automatically determines and displays the rows operating at the highest and lowest levels for singulation and population. All of this functionality is joined with Ag Leader’s popular SeedCommand row shutoff and planter-drive modules on one screen. Existing INTEGRA and SeedCommand Seed Tube Monitor module owners can take advantage of Advanced Seed Monitoring with the February 2011 INTEGRA firmware update.