“It’s a roof receiver that also has all the steering control built in it, so everything is in one component. But in addition to working with our 350 and 150 systems, it can work with other ISO [virtual terminal] or ISO11783-compliant systems. So with a single component on the roof, you can do steering and run it through your existing console in the cab,” Joe said, adding they are testing it to see if it will be compatible with even more systems. “It’s easy to upgrade, you plug it into the system you already have. You don’t have to buy a whole lot of extra. It’ll run on your system.”
Joe said it will be available to order sometime in March, with more information available now on the Topcon Precision Agriculture website and the specific AGI-4 Receiver/Steering Controller page. It’s just one of many products Topcon has that covers more than just steering: variable rate control, data mapping and management, and nutrient sensing devices mounted on the roof instead of the spray bar, just to name a few.
During the recent National Farm Machinery Show, our friends at New Holland got the chance to talk about their new Precision Land Management (PLM) system that offers producers a full range of precision farming solutions.
“We have a new telematics that we’re now offering, and also we have section and rate control for planting, as well as new software for processing yield and moisture maps for combines, for example,” explained New Holland’s Gary Wojcik, adding this all goes along with a full complement of all the PLM products you would need. New Holland has also emphasized this year education, including a new PLM Academy app. “We’re putting more of a focus and effort on raising the level of knowledge and education for dealers so they can take better care of the product.”
Gary said the mood at the NFMS has been very good, and you can tell farm incomes are up. He added that there is a real appetite for systems that will make operations more efficient and improve bottom lines.
There’s a lot of information out there. So much, in fact, that some producers can find themselves drowning in a sea of data as they go from machine to machine trying to collect and manage it all. That’s where our friends from Trimble come in. During the recent National Farm Machinery Show, Trimble’s Mike Martinez talked about their Connected Farm system that allows easier and more seamless data gathering.
“Everything that’s out on the farm today that’s precision farming is collecting data. It’s always been a challenge what to do with that data, how to get it to the place it’s most productive. So Connected Farm grabs the data without much user intervention and wirelessly collecting that in one centralized location so that the farm manager, the farm operator can then make intelligent business decisions based on that data,” Mike said.
Not only does Connected Farm give you vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity in the field, but it also lets people back in the office tap into the technology in the field to troubleshoot any problems within minutes. It also has productivity reporting to help decision-makers see what is and isn’t working, as well as what problems are being faced in the field.
For producers concerned about the security of their information, Mike said there are some extremely secure technologies out there that Trimble is using. “Multiple redundant servers, your data is not going to get lost or hacked into. We’re using global standards for data security, and we hold that very, very important.”
And since you need to make sure the information your gathering is valid, in the video below, you can also see Mike explain how Trimble’s Correction Services helps make sure the data you’re using is accurate:
Giving the customers what they want is a hallmark of good business, and Case IH practices that with every piece of equipment they roll out.
“Before we lay down the product definition for any future design, we go out and visit with the customers at length,” explained Case IH’s Rob Zemenchik during an interview with Chuck at the National Farm Machinery Show. Rob calls their approach of taking an in-depth survey of their customers’ needs “agronomic design,” rather than assuming what the customers need. “With the investments our growers are making today in seed and fertilizer and land, we want to be sure our equipment is able to meet those needs and deliver on the best opportunities for high yield.”
He pointed to one example of Case IH’s application of this agronomic design principle with his company’s 500T Seed Drill, a product that features an industry-first parallel linkage in the row units. “That was identified by our customers.”
Doing things smarter, not harder, is what precision agriculture is all about, so it just makes sense that Raven Precision took the time to attend the recent National Farm Machinery Show and give farmers a peek at what they have to make their work a bit more efficient. Tim Heins with Raven explained to Chuck one of their latest tools, the SmarTrax MD, mechanical drive auto steering.
“It’s the first mechanical drive system that we have developed and manufactured in-house,” adding that it’s rugged and easily transferable between a wide range of machines. Tim said it will be coming to dealers later this summer, while there’s information available now online. He added that there’s been a good response to it at the NFMS.
“We’ve had a lot of really good interest in it from our dealers who have come by to see it, [as well as] users and customers looking for a steering system.”
The recent National Farm Machinery Show is touted as one of the biggest and best agricultural expos of the entire year, and it seems to live up to it billing, in no small part, due to the efforts of Rip Rippetoe (pictured during a TV interview), the new President/CEO of Kentucky Fair Board and his talented staff.
“People from all over the United States and the world come here because they know this is the place where you’re going to learn the latest trends, the best technology, and be able to meet and talk to people who are in the industry from all across the world and find out what it means to be in the ag industry,” Rip said.
With more than 860 exhibitors in a 1.2 million square foot indoor facility, attracting more than 300,000 visitors and pumping $22 million into the economy, Rip said it’s tough to see everything in just one day. He added that despite the facility being home to other noteworthy ag events, such as the North American Livestock Expo, the Kentucky State Fair, and beef and horse shows, they hope to do more and be even bigger in the future.
“I think there’s always opportunity. The question is: ‘How do we do it?’ People said we were maxed out on space last year, and our staff got creative and found ways to get more efficient and added booths [this year],” adding that they still sold out four weeks before the show, and they want to find a way to get those who have been on waiting lists to be part of the show.
Of course one of the big purposes of the National Farm Machinery Show was to display the latest in farm machinery. Our friends at New Holland were there and proudly showed their latest T8.420 tractor to enthusiastic crowds who couldn’t resist climbing up and seeing all the new bells and whistles inside. Gary Wojcik with New Holland went over some of the new features with Chuck.
“This is the new two-wheel drive, high horsepower with front wheel assist tractor,” adding that it has the highest horsepower in the industry, also featuring an AutoCommand CVT transmission. Gary said it also has the longest wheelbase in the industry that provides a smooth ride but still turns as sharp as any tractor out there.
Under the hood, Gary said they have a very efficient engine. They’ve taken the 9-liter Cursor engine and switched it to a common rail, which helps more finely control the injectors. “We’re going to produce more power with less fuel.”
Finally, crawling into the cab, operators will be impressed with how they can make the steering wheel, console and touch-screen monitor fit them to be the most comfortable.
Look for delivery of this beauty to dealers sometime this fall.
Day two of the National Farm Machinery Show has been another good one. Big crowd, smiling faces, lots of conversations in the exhibits.
I visited with Corinne Fetter, Director of Expositions, once again to get her outlook on this year’s show. She says “We’ve got a packed house.” The show is sold out, all 1.2 million sq. ft. of it, with over 860 exhibitors. Then Championship Tractor Pull will be taking place once again (45th year) and I hope to have a chance to see it tonight.
To do so at the National Farm Machinery Show I visited with Matt Wolfe. It was a busy show floor here on opening day and we thank Ag Leader Technology for their support of our coverage of this year’s show!
In this video Matt talks about the Hydraulic Down Force system which is available from the Ag Leader dealer network. Growers who want to control planter down force through the Ag Leader® Integra display can simply work with their local Ag Leader dealer to purchase and install the hydraulic actuators that will adjust down force pressure based on changing field and soil conditions instantly. Planting seed at the optimum row unit down force is an important factor in good crop germination, and ultimately, yield.
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.”
Officially introduced in 1969 during the 4th National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS), the Championship Tractor Pull has now been making champions for 44 years. More than 75,000 fans of the nation’s oldest indoor tractor pull pack Freedom Hall each year to experience five performances in four days.
Dale says the message is pretty simple – “Roll bars and seat belts work only if you put the roll bar up and you click the seat belt. It’s your choice. It’s life and death.” Scott says that ASABE has a major focus on safety as the standards setting organization and they have committees for specific safety components like lighting and marking.
**UPDATED with audio and video from National Farm Machinery Show**
Ag Leader Technology is excited to announce the INTEGRA™ display will soon feature planter down force monitor and control capability, allowing the display to monitor and adjust down force based on field and soil conditions. Planting seed at the optimum row unit down force is an important factor in good crop germination, and ultimately, yield.
The heart of the system is a hydraulic down force actuator (as compared to other pneumatic airbag systems), engineered by Dawn Equipment. The actuator is the fastest on the market, allowing the INTEGRA display to make quick row unit down force adjustments.
Ag Leader was giving growers a preview of the new system at the National Farm Machinery Show this week, where we spoke with Russ Morman about when it will be available, how it works, and the benefits for growers. “The adjustments we’re going to be able to make to our down pressure will be a lot quicker than the other systems on the market and this being a metal system rather than an air bag it won’t have the risk of puncturing,” said Russ.
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.
I took a little tour around the Ag Leader booth with Russ Morman to share with those who didn’t make it to the show this year – or if you need some additional motivation to make it to the show before the end at 6:00 pm on Saturday.