Leica mojoXact Plus Adds ISOBUS Universal Terminal

4315_024 (screens from 4415_061,64, 65, 68)By supporting ISOBUS Universal Terminals, Leica Geosystems Agriculture make its Leica mojoXact Plus more versatile than ever before. With a simple software upgrade, farmers can minimise cab clutter, and maximise the use of their existing equipment, thus reducing capital costs and installation complexity.

The ISOBUS (ISO11783) standard provides a communication network that links compliant equipment through a single user interface. It allows farmers to connect different tools and controls to their machines by simply attaching a cable via standardised connectors. By complying with the ISOBUS standard, the Leica mojoXact Plus makes a breakthrough by providing a fully functional guidance system that works with existing equipment available on the machine. This provides farmers with many benefits such as easy installation, less cab clutter, reduced costs, simplified machine integration and the confidence that they are investing in a future-proof technology.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved with the Leica mojoXact Plus. It’s very compact and the fact that it can be installed in any direction and orientation inside the tractor cab is a big advantage over the competition. By adding Universal Terminal support, farmers can not only leverage the ISOBUS standard to customise their precision guidance solution but they also maximise their return on investment,” said Joe Arico, Manager of Product Management and Global Support at Leica Geosystems Agriculture.

The Leica mojoXact Plus continues to provide all the functions of the previous Leica mojoXact product, keeping the RTK upgrade option for the Leica mojo3D and continuing to support open standards (ISO, NMEA, RTK correction formats). The remote service and support tool, Leica Virtual Wrench™ remains a key benefit and is available for both Leica mojo3D and Universal Terminal system configurations. GLONASS continues to be a no-cost option and used in combination with the 6 axis inertial measurement unit and dual frequency GNSS receiver the mojoXact Plus provides repeatable accuracy and unsurpassed steering performance.

NovAtel CORRECT™ With TerraStar Service

NovatelLogoNovAtel Inc. announced today that with the release of its 6.400 firmware, NovAtel CORRECT positioning technology is now available with TerraStar’s precise point positioning (PPP) corrections. Delivered via L-band, TerraStar corrections provide decimetre-level accuracy worldwide on all NovAtel OEM6® high precision receivers, without users having to add base-station infrastructure. Subscriptions to the TerraStar correction service are available seamlessly to customers through NovAtel’s standard sales order process. Interested parties need only contact a NovAtel sales representative.

NovAtel CORRECT optimally combines data from multiple GNSS satellite constellations with corrections from a variety of sources, to deliver the best position solution possible. The strategic importance of TerraStar’s decimetre-level correction service to NovAtel’s product offering is reflected in the recent purchase of TerraStar parent company Veripos by Hexagon.

“The OEM nature of TerraStar’s correction service makes them a perfect partner for NovAtel,” stated Sara Masterson, New Business Development Manager for NovAtel. “We are extremely pleased with the performance of our current TerraStar offering and, with the ability to now work more closely together, we are very excited about developing positioning innovations for our customers in the future.”

NovAtel CORRECT is available for land, air and sea applications, providing customers with one-stop shopping for receivers, antennas and correction services. It provides integrators with the opportunity to choose pricing and subscription options that best match their OEM business objectives.

Global Expansion for Raven’s Precision Ag Group

RavenRaven Industries Applied Technology Division has recently taken their diverse product offering into new territories throughout the world as part of their continuous vision for global expansion. Raven recently signed new product dealers in Mexico, Thailand, and the Philippines with new prospects continually being identified. To support their efforts of global development, Raven has also translated their website and product guide app into several languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese, among others.

“Precision agriculture is an industry with world-wide growth potential. As Raven pursues new markets, we are strongly committed to providing customer service and sales tools, including web sites and product apps, translated into local languages,” said Michelle Lavallee, global leader of sales and marketing.

As further commitment to the global vision, Raven has promoted Jeff Rohlena to global manager of business development managers, where he will focus on promoting and expanding the reach of Raven’s innovative precision agriculture solutions around the world.

“Jeff has the vision, knowledge and experience to lead the global business development team to new markets and new verticals,” said Lavallee. “He clearly understands the need to take Raven’s business in new directions and I am confident he can help achieve one of our most important initiatives of the year.”

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Michelle Lavallee here: Interview with Michelle Lavallee

For more information on Raven’s global expansion, please visit www.ravenprecision.com.

Precision Pays Podcast: The Big Data revolution

pp-podcast“Big Data” is one of the hottest topics at just about any farm meeting.  Some of the questions that surround its use focus on who owns it and how it should be used.

Data editor for The Economist Ken Cukier says as technology advances farmers are able to monitor their farms more efficiently and effectively.  But there are questions remains – how should that data be shared?

In this Precision Pays Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology, we’ll hear one expert’s thoughts on the “Big Data” revolution.

Precision Pays Podcast

The Precision Pays Podcast is sponsored by Ag Leader Technology.

Evolution of Prescription Farming

LGSeeds_logo2012LG Seeds shares the evolution of prescription farming.

When we think about technology advancement over the past 20 years a good example is our electronic devices. Smart phones, hand held tablets, sleeker computers; all these devices having data/software storage by the gigabyte and increasing. We live in a technology driven age with demand for real time information. This technology is common place in our society, but has also incorporated itself quite extensively into production agriculture over the past few years.

Prescription Farming at the Beginning
When thinking about prescription farming, variable rate fertilizing and/or seeding, generally comes to mind. Variable rate seeding began with the advent of hydraulic motors serving as the drive or transmission on the planter, giving farmers the chance to change seeding rates on the go. They were also putting GPS receivers and equipment on and in their tractors and combines for auto-steer and yield mapping capabilities.

Prescription Farming Today – Nutrient Application
The evolvement of prescription farming has become more of a streamlined process in farming today. Incorporation of the “smart technologies” into the farm, along with modern GPS/rate controlling equipment
has led to more fine tuning of seeding prescriptions and nutrient application. Nutrient management has seen
an influx of aerial imagery from satellites, airplanes, and now unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s).

Prescription Farming Today – Variable Rate Seeding
With past history of yield maps, fertility tests/maps, and topography/soil information for a field, we now have the opportunity to layer different data points on top one another to create more precise seeding zones.

Recently, LG Seeds parent company, AgReliant Genetics, began to do additional hybrid testing beyond traditional strip tests and randomized research yield trials. Testing includes population trials in high, medium, and low yielding environments along with larger strip tests over multiple soil types and topography changes, allowing for multiple data points across hybrid entries at one location. In the future, this data can be coupled with the grower’s yield history and soil tests to get more accurate seeding rates, in the right locations of the field.

Between the Ears - Evolution of Prescription Farming

You can view the entire release here.

GEA Adds Eating Time Analysis to CowScout™

GEA_CowScoutS_Neck Tag_Eating Time_PR_032414Electronically monitoring cows for activity helps to automate the heat detection process, and supply more accurate breeding information for increased pregnancy rates. Activity monitors can also alert producers to health challenges ahead of clinical signs being visually observed, allowing for earlier treatment and avoiding a potential drop in milk production. To increase monitoring capabilities, GEA Farm Technologies has added eating time to the CowScout™ activity monitoring system.

“CowScout™ provides instant activity updates on a herd and with the addition of eating time it uniquely monitors the amount of time a cow’s head is in the eating position,” said Chris Genal, U.S. national sales manager for milking equipment products at GEA Farm Technologies. “The CowScout™ neck tag continuously monitors movement patterns related to forage intake and records the total time each day an individual animal takes in feed. The system compares the daily total eating time with totals from the previous 10 days, alerting a producer to changes in a baseline.”

The CowScout™ activity monitoring system brings convenience and efficiency to herd management. When a cow or heifer has reduced average eating time, the CowScout™ herd database sends a message to a computer, a mobile device, or both – depending on pre-set preferences – alerting herd managers precisely when a cow has changed eating patterns. CowScout™ data is transmitted continuously from the tag, to the receiver, to the database, so dairy producers always have the latest information to monitor herd health.

“CowScout™ eating time monitoring is especially beneficial before and after calving, when monitoring intake is vital to a healthy transition period,” said Genal. “CowScout™ not only provides dairy producers a simple, accurate and flexible heat detection program, but the added eating time analysis also provides dairy producers the ability to monitor eating behaviors and intervene when health challenges arise, avoiding a potential drop in milk production.”

“The addition of eating time to CowScout™ increases an already robust system that fits any management style – and works with any brand of milking equipment or parlor configuration. It is also an excellent choice for heifer raising operations. Installation components are minimal and there is no complex software,” adds Genal. “No other system on the market compares.”

The CowScout™ activity monitoring system with eating time is fully-supported and installed by GEA Farm Technologies dealers, carrying the WestfaliaSurge product line; a professional network with unsurpassed dairy equipment experience – available to local dairy operations 24/7.

More Powerful & Accurate Steering for Farmers

4570_085Leica Geosystems announced the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus, the enhanced successor to the Leica SteerDirect ES. The electric steering system gives farmers a brand independent steering solution to improve accuracy by diminishing skips and overlaps, saving fuel, fertilizer, chemicals, and reducing operator fatigue.

The Leica SteerDirect ES Plus is a flexible solution that enables assisted steering on most tractor, sprayer and harvester models. Once installed the electro-mechanical drive unit latches on and off effortlessly enabling quick and simple transfer across multiple vehicles via the innovative switch kit. Installation does not require removal or replacement of the steering wheel which further simplifies the user experience.

The new electric steering system features several improvements: It has a built-in encoder for more accurate steering and an upgraded, more powerful electric motor that provides superior steering performance. The steering system comes with simplified cabling and a separate engage switch to allow convenient and flexible operator handling. Compatible with the Leica mojo3D guidance system and the Leica mojoXact Plus, the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus supplies customers with a universal installation kit as well as a large number of vehicle specific installation kits.

The SteerDirect ES Plus will be released in March alongside an extended list of supported vehicles. Customers using the Leica SteerDirect ES can upgrade to the ES Plus trouble-free with existing installation kits.

More information about Leica Geosystems Agriculture products is available from all authorized Leica Geosystems distribution partners and at www.AgGuidance.com.

Open Ag Data Alliance Launched

The Climate Corporation and several agricultural stakeholders today officially launched the Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA), an open standards software project to ensure farmers have full data access, security and privacy.

oada“OADA will work to ensure farmers can move their data seamlessly and securely between their equipment, software and services by speeding the development of technical standards for data formatting and interoperability that will be openly developed, and shared,” said David Friedberg, CEO of The Climate Corporation, who announced the company’s intent to support the formation of the OADA earlier this year.

Aaron Ault, a senior research engineer for the Open Ag Technology Group at Purdue and a farmer himself, will serve as project lead for OADA. “As a farmer, I need the freedom to select the right hardware, software and services for my operation,” said Ault. “The open standards of OADA will give farmers the flexibility and control they need to choose data science products and services that will work on their farms to help manage their data and make more data-driven decisions, enabling the next wave of agricultural production.”

Companies joining with The Climate Corporation in making the announcement included: CNH Industrial – Case IH/New Holland; GROWMARK cooperative; Valley Irrigation; Wilbur-Ellis Company; and WinField.

Listen to the conference call announcement here: Open Ag Data Alliance announcement

FarmLink Offers TrueHarvest Benchmarking Tool

farmlinkA new benchmarking tool has been developed by FarmLink that can help farmers get the fullest potential from their operations.

“We’re helping a farmer identify where he should go find yield in a cost effective manner and other areas where he’s doing great,” says company president Scott Robinson about the tool they call TrueHarvest, which uses objective data to show a farm’s full range of performance potential, drilled down to a 150-square-foot area called a micro-field.

“The reason they’re 150 square feet is because our combine collection is done on a fleet of about 200 combines, the combine cutting head is about 30 feet wide, travels about 3.5 miles an hour and we collect data every second,” he said. “That data is used to correlate across the other 67 billion micro fields that we’ve developed across the United States that represents all corn, wheat and soybeans.”

true-harvestAccording to TrueHarvest calculations, American farmers could have produced approximately 1.6 billion more bushels of corn and 250 million more bushels of soybeans in 2013, realizing approximately $11 billion in additional revenue. “If farmers increased their performance up to the 75th percentile on average for corn and soybeans, that’s how much money is on the table,” said Robinson.

FarmLink was at the recent Commodity Classic talking about TrueHarvest and getting good reception from farmers according to Robinson, who said they really appreciated that the service was independent and did not require them to provide the company with private data. “It’s really agronomic benchmarking that we’re doing, but it’s for the individual farmer,” he said.

Find out more in this interview with Robinson and in the video below from the MyTrueHarvest.com website. Interview with Scott Robinson, FarmLink

GROWMARK and Deere form Data Collaboration

growmarklogoGROWMARK and John Deere are collaborating to make life easier and improve decision-making for producers and agronomists.

The two are collaborating to deliver near real-time field level data to producers and FS Crop Specialists by linking FS Advanced Information Services (FS AIS), a suite of precision agronomy software, with John Deere Wireless Data Transfer, JDLink™ and MyJohnDeere.

John DeereGROWMARK Agronomy Marketing executive director Ron Milby says they are among the first agricultural retailers to leverage the Wireless Data Transfer Application Programming Interface (API) for its precision agronomy decision support software, making data exchange faster and more useful for growers and its FS company staff. “The open platform John Deere provides enables farmers and FS company staff to use the FS AIS software to make decisions in near real time – that’s a win-win,” Milby said.

Ron says GROWMARK chose to work with Deere because they are a leader in the field. “I think they’re going to be a viable leader in the future,” he said. “We were headed to this base, they were headed to this base, and we were able to work with them.

Producers will utilize an efficient and secure interface between FS AIS and MyJohnDeere, taking advantage of both companies’ commitment to supporting better decisions through improved data integration at the field level. This includes the ability to easily transfer work instructions, prescriptions, and product lists to the GreenStar™ 3 2630 display. Yield data, as-applied maps and work records can be transferred back to the FS AIS software.

Find out more in this interview with Ron: Interview with Ron Milby, GROWMARK

BASF Spotlights Future of Farming

classic14-basf-drawingOver 7,000 people had the opportunity to visit the BASF Crop Protection USA booth at the Commodity Classic to learn more about the future of farming – by video and through the eyes of children.

The newest video from BASF, featuring fun facts about how far the industry has progressed and how we must advance in order to meet the needs of future generations, was on a movie screen size display. Behind it was a wall displaying creative pictures artwork from children across the country of how they see the future of farming.

BASF asked children what they thought farming would look like in 50 or 100 years and got dozens of creative, innovative and colorful concepts that were on display in the booth. The winning submission, by 11-year-old Moise Dougherty of Minnesota, was chosen on Saturday morning.

See more photos here:
BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Watch the new BASF video here:


BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Coverage is sponsored by John Deere

Ag Leader AgFiniti Now Available

classic14-agleader-agfinitiAg Leader Technology’s new cloud-based platform AgFiniti® was a hit at last week’s Commodity Classic where growers were happy to learn that it is now available for them.

“AgFiniti is an affordable and reliable solution for wireless connectivity in the field because it allows users the flexibility to choose the best wireless service carrier in their local area and hotspot device,” said Luke James, Software Sales Manager.

James adds that what really makes AgFiniti stand out from other solutions on the market is data privacy. “We know growers value their privacy and that’s why with AgFiniti the data is 100% theirs,” he said. “We’re independent, just like the grower’s independent. We value that.”

Guidance lines, prescriptions, as-applied maps and more can be sent and received wirelessly from field to office and shared with trusted advisors such as dealers, co-ops or farm managers. Also, AgFiniti Remote Support allows dealers or farm managers to connect to the user’s display in the field for viewing and trouble-shooting from another location to help resolve issues faster and reduce downtime.

Learn more in this interview with Luke from Commodity Classic: Interview with Luke James, Ag Leader

2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Precision Pays Podcast: The more you know

pp-podcastPart of the beauty of trade shows is checking out all the new technologies that are available for your farm.  The tough part – is figuring out which ones can actually provide a return on investment.  I caught up with Indiana farmer Mike Beard this week at Commodity Classic to find out about some of the “things” he was checking out.

In this Precision Pays Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology, we’ll find out what technologies piqued the Indiana farmer’s interest and what farmers are talking about at Commodity Classic this week.

Precision Pays Podcast

The Precision Pays Podcast is sponsored by Ag Leader Technology.

John Deere Introduces SeedStar™ Mobile

nfms14-jd-seedstarIn conjunction with the launch of the ExactEmerge™ planters and MaxEmerge™ 5 row units at the National Farm Machinery Show this week, John Deere also introduced SeedStar Mobile to help producers better visualize, document, and access their planting data in real time.

The new John Deere SeedStar Mobile solution uses an iPad to provide critical planting information producers need to better monitor and document their planter performance in the field.

Mike Brandert, senior product manager at John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, tells us all about it in this interview – and below his colleague Diana Reed shows us what it looks like.
Interview with Mike Brandert, John Deere


John Deere 2014 NFMS Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere

Ag Leader Helping Farmers Prepare for Planting

With the winter we have had this year, everyone is looking forward to spring – especially farmers who are anxious to get that next crop in the ground this time of year.

nfms14-agleader-russThat’s why this is the perfect time of year for the National Farm Machinery Show and Ag Leader Technology is happy to be talking with the thousands of farmers attending the show about their spring planting needs.

“Probably the biggest thing we’ve got is our Hydraulic Down Force – that’s been very, very popular,” said Russ Morman, Ag Leader Inside Sales Representative. “We’ve had a line of guys around that from nine o’clock in the morning to six o’clock at night.”

The second biggest draw at the NFMS is AgFiniti – Ag Leader’s cloud-based data management platform – and Russ says keeping data private is a big concern for farmers. “Who owns the data? Well, to Ag Leader the grower owns their data,” Russ says. “In fact, with the AgFiniti data cloud, we absolutely guarantee that the farmer has his own exclusivity of his data. We do not use it for any marketing or any research – the farmer has 100% ownership of his data.”

Because NFMS is such a huge show with 850 exhibits and 27 acres of show floor space, Ag Leader has booths on each end. You can find them at booth #416 or #914.

Listen to my interview with Russ here: Interview with Russ Morman, Ag Leader

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology