Trimble Adds UAS to Ag Portfolio

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 7.33.39 PMToday Trimble announced the addition of its Trimble UX5 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to their agriculture products portfolio for aerial imaging and mapping. The system provides farmers’ trusted advisors—such as agronomists, Trimble resellers, and other Ag service providers—with a powerful data collection tool that can aid with recommendations to improve farming operations.

The new product can to easily capture aerial images for scouting and monitoring crop health such as detecting pests, weeds and nitrogen deficiencies. It can even locate cattle and what forage they have available over large areas, measure crop height and generate topographic maps and models for land leveling and drainage applications.

Trimble UX5 flies at 50 mph and is stable in crosswinds and even light rain. In a 50 minute flight it will cover a two sqare kilometer area at five centimeter image resolution. The camera can capture the near-infrared spectrum, which helps in deducing vegetation indexes for crop health assessment. The output of a single flight provides geo-referenced precision images, a digital surface model (DSM) showing elevations as a color image and a dense 3D point cloud that includes elevations.

“The addition of the Trimble UX5 system strengthens our agriculture product portfolio and enables us to provide a solution that benefits a broad range of customers including growers, ranchers, water management contractors, agronomists and other Ag service providers,” said Joe Denniston, vice president of Trimble’s Agriculture Division. “High-speed aerial imaging is a powerful tool that can quickly and easily locate problem areas to be addressed. The faster a problem area is discovered, the better the chance it can be evaluated and resolved before crop yield is impacted.”

Trimble provides training for system operators and their observers, which focuses on safety precautions and the application of the UAS. Trimble UX5 system is available from Authorized Agriculture Distribution Partners and is subject to regulations and restrictions defined by local civil aviation authorities. Unmanned aircraft systems are currently not allowed to be flown in some regions or for certain applications. For more information on the Trimble UX5 system, visit.

Trimble Acquires Assets of C3

trimblelogo_hpTrimble announced that it has acquired the assets of privately-held C3 of Madison, Wis. The acquisition will enable Trimble to provide unique soil information as well as decision recommendations to farmers’ trusted advisors—such as agronomists, Trimble resellers or Ag retail suppliers. Farmers will be able to view the C3 data and recommendations from their trusted advisor on the Connected Farm™ dashboard, a Web portal that provides one centralized location for farmers to view key information impacting their operations. To align with Trimble’s brand agnostic strategy, the data can be applied to all manufacturer equipment types. Financial terms were not disclosed.

C3 combines crop information with detailed soil data to enable a more complete assessment of the site-related factors that impact crop yield, quality and health. The C3 Soil Information System™ (SIS) solution is a collection of innovative tools and techniques for digital, 3-D mapping of soil characteristics—analyzing 120 unique soil and topographic properties. With SIS, it’s now possible to precisely map the top four feet of the earth’s surface using above and below ground sensors combined with GPS. The data is processed with a series of algorithms resulting in more than 60 precise 3-D soil models for physical and chemical soil characteristics including root zone depth, soil texture, plant available water, compaction depth and severity, macro and micro nutrient levels, soil nutrient holding capacity, and salt and toxicity concentrations.

By providing a greater understanding of the physical and chemical characterization of the soil, including how inputs move through the soil, agronomists and other Ag service providers will be able to help farmers implement a more effective solution to resolve the unique challenges of each area of their field. For example, if a field has areas of high soil compaction, the farmer may be over watering or over fertilizing to accommodate for areas of low productivity without realizing that the main issue is lack of root expansion. SIS helps service providers pinpoint problem areas, develop a more effective strategy for improving output, and provide a recommendation such as the exact depth and area to break up hard soil.

Connected Farm Solution Adds RainWave Precipitation Monitoring

RainWave WidgetTrimble announced a new feature for its RainWave precipitation monitoring solution for agriculture. As part of the Connected Farm solution, the new feature adds actual rainfall activity in 10-minute increments plus accumulated rainfall over a 24-hour period. With this comprehensive rainfall information, farmers can have a better understanding of the rainfall intensity, which can be used to make more informed decisions for irrigation and other farming operations.

For example, if RainWave information shows that a large amount of rain fell in a short period of time, much of that rainfall may have run off the field and be unavailable to the crop. In contrast, if the information shows a slow steady rain, farmers may assume that the rainfall has a better chance of being absorbed in the soil and can be available to the crop.

The RainWave solution enables farmers across the U.S. to set up virtual rain gauges by entering GPS coordinates for identified locations in order to receive a rainfall report for those locations. Since on-site rain gauges are not needed, farmers no longer need to monitor dispersed gauges or manually track precipitation. Farmers are able to obtain the RainWave information through their Connected Farm dashboard, a Web portal that provides one centralized location for farmers to view key information impacting their operations.

Trimble Introduces New Agriculture App

smart-appTrimble announced the Connected Farm Fleet app built to serve managers and technicians by enabling them to access their fleet information from any location. Using smartphones and tablets, the app enables the fleet management portion of Trimble’s industry-leading Connected Farm Web solution to go mobile. With the app, managers can track the location of vehicles, receive geo-fence and curfew alerts, analyze vehicle status, and view historical positions.

The app can display current status information such as whether the vehicle is idling, moving, working or delayed. This information flows into the Connected Farm Web solution, which allows managers to analyze the efficiency and productivity of their fleet.

Features of the Connected Farm Fleet app include:
· Map the locations of landmarks (such as structures, storage locations, irrigation/drainage, etc.) and view them for reference when navigating in remote areas
· Use turn-by-turn navigation to locate vehicles from your current position
· Receive geo-fence and curfew alerts
· View historical positions

The free Connected Farm Fleet app is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2013 and is compatible with a variety of smartphones and tablets using an iOS or Android operating system. To download the app, go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or visit: www.connectedfarm.com.

New Agriculture App for Fleet Management

monitor_with_assettrackingTrimble announced the Connected Farm Fleet app built to serve managers and technicians by enabling them to access their fleet information from any location. Using smartphones and tablets, the app enables the fleet management portion of Trimble’s industry-leading Connected Farm Web solution to go mobile. With the app, managers can track the location of vehicles, receive geo-fence and curfew alerts, analyze vehicle status, and view historical positions.

The app can display current status information such as whether the vehicle is idling, moving, working or delayed. This information flows into the Connected Farm Web solution, which allows managers to analyze the efficiency and productivity of their fleet.

Features of the Connected Farm Fleet app include:

  • View the position and status of each vehicle overlaid on background imagery or road maps
  • Map the locations of landmarks (such as structures, storage locations, irrigation/drainage, etc.) and view them for reference when navigating in remote areas
  • Use turn-by-turn navigation to locate vehicles from your current position
  • Receive geo-fence and curfew alerts
  • View historical positions

The free Connected Farm Fleet app is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2013 and is compatible with a variety of smartphones and tablets using an iOS or Android operating system.

Adoption Survey Sneak Peek

croplifePrecision Ag Special Reports’ sister magazine CropLife, in cooperation with the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and Department of Agronomy at Purdue University with financial support from Trimble, have partnered to complete the 16th Precision Agricultural Survey. Sent to 2,500 agricultural retailers across the U.S., the survey looked at the use of precision technology and services at the retail level.

While the majority of the survey’s results will be presented in the June 2013 issue of CropLife magazine, recently completed analysis provides insights into how the technologies are being perceived. Survey respondents (ag retailers) were asked to categorize different precision technologies by how they perceive the anticipated future of these products.

According to survey results, as new technologies emerge, such as the variable-rate seeding and chlorophyll sensors, the impact will be different than for more mature technologies. These technologies are new and used by few, so growers are more likely to have questions and potential concerns with applicators and retailers using them. For example, promoting nitrogen application with a chlorophyll sensor might create confusion about what the sensor is and how the technology works. Retailers will have to think critically about which technologies they decide to adopt and how they decide to promote them.

Trimble Connects Farms, Regardless of Brand

classic-13-jamie-172-editedTechnology allows farmers to do what they do and do it well. Commodity Classic is the place to share what’s new in the technology world and Trimble was there to do just that.

During the event I spoke with Southern Region Distribution Manager for Trimble, Brad Rouse. He pointed out that Trimble’s early technology was in steering, but has evolved into much more. The message they still share with growers is they can interface with any vehicle, regardless of brand and make them more efficient.

Connected Farm is our big push right now to allow the grower to move data to machine, back to the office. Whether it be from any kind of field application, such as variable rate planting or prescription maps. So, to be able to wirelessly move that data around from machine to office is our focus right now.”

Many growers who passed through the Trimble booth wanted to know how their software would work with equipment they currently had on their farms and what the biggest advantage would be.

“The big advantage is to reduce the inputs, which is very expensive today and impacts the bottom line in a positive way.”

Listen to my interview with Brad here: Interview with Brad Rouse

2013 Commodity Classic Photo Album



Trimble Helps Manage Data with Connected Farm

nfms-13-trimbleThere’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.”

You can listen to the interview with Mike here: Interview with Mike Martinez

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:

2013 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Two New Products From Trimble

trimblelogo_hp2Trimble introduced a new high-accuracy correction service available to the agriculture market. The Trimble RangePoint RTX correction service is an introductory, cost-effective correction service available to farmers across the contiguous U.S. as well as most of Canada, South America, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Africa, Asia and Australasia. The RangePoint RTX service is ideal for broadacre agriculture applications. For 2013, all compatible devices—the Trimble CFX-750 display, FmX integrated display and the AG-372 GNSS receiver—are eligible for an introductory, free 12-month subscription to the RangePoint RTX correction service.

The new service uses satellite broadcast capabilities to deliver real time accuracies of better than 50 centimeter (20 inch) repeatable, or a superior 15 centimeter (6 inch) pass-to-pass, and does not require the use of traditional reference station infrastructure. Trimble RTX technology supports both GPS and GLONASS satellite constellations, increasing accuracy and reliability for users by leveraging the availability of multiple satellite systems. As a result, the RangePoint RTX service can provide a more accurate, reliable correction solution than some of the traditional Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS), and is also available in certain geographic areas where SBAS is not currently accessible.

The Trimble RangePoint RTX service is expected to be available by March 2013.

Also from Trimble… a new feature of the Connected Farm app which automatically calculates the recommended nitrogen rates for crop readings taken by the GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor, an easy-to-use measurement device designed to assess the health of a crop.

The Connected Farm app allows farmers to conduct scouting and mapping activities from their smartphones and tablets. The new feature provides an easier and more efficient process for recording crop readings and determining application rates using the GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor.

Farmers using the GreenSeeker handheld can now enter their crop readings into the Connected Farm app, which will calculate the recommended nitrogen rate from each reading and geo-reference the location. Logged data is sent to www.connectedfarmso.com users can view their information online.

The new Connected Farm app feature is expected to be available in January 2013 for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.

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.

Trimble Partners With Great American Insurance Group to Automate Crop Reporting

Trimble announced a strategic alliance with Great American Insurance Group to help farmers automate their crop insurance reporting under the USDA Federal Crop Insurance Program. The new recordkeeping system makes it possible for Farm Works™ users to submit their crop insurance records electronically to Great American Insurance Group. The time-saving solution makes it simple for farmers to transfer planting and harvest data directly to the Great American Insurance Group systems from their Farm Works Mapping software.

In 2011 the USDA Federal Crop Insurance Program, administered by the Risk Management Agency, began accepting precision agricultural data which meets the specific requirements listed in RMA’s Crop Insurance Handbook and/or Loss adjustment Manual. The new reporting system will help farmers more quickly, easily and accurately meet USDA requirements related to acreage, planting and harvest. Geo-referenced data may be collected from the tractor or combine cab with a compatible precision farming display such as the Trimble® FmX® integrated display or CFX-750™ touch screen.

Trimble to Deliver CenterPoint RTX Correction Service to Farmers in Australia

Trimble announced that its high-accuracy CenterPoint™ RTX™ correction service is now available for farmers in Australia. The GPS- and GLONASS-enabled correction service is delivered via cellular communications.

Trimble CenterPoint RTX can deliver better than 4 centimeter (1.5 inch) accuracies in real time without the use of traditional reference station RTK infrastructure. The initial coverage area for CenterPoint RTX offers a direct, satellite-delivered correction service over a broad, central swath of North America. The new coverage area offers cellular-delivered corrections throughout Australia, where reliable cellular connections are available.

The global expansion of Trimble’s RTX technology further extends the broad portfolio of correction services offered by Trimble, which already includes OmniSTAR VBS, HP, XP and G2, Trimble VRS Now™ TEC, network-based Trimble CenterPoint VRS, as well as the CenterPoint RTX service.

The Trimble CenterPoint RTX correction service pairs the RTX positioning innovations with convenient, widely available cellular communications delivery. Agriculture customers subscribing to this CenterPoint RTX service will need the Trimble DCM-300 modem and a cellular data plan. The service is compatible with both the Trimble CFX-750™ and FmX® displays.

Trimble Expands Harvest Solution to Include Yield Monitoring and Row Guidance

Trimble introduced yield monitoring and row guidance capabilities providing farmers with an integrated solution to meet their harvesting needs. These new capabilities help farmers record and analyze crop yield and moisture performance in the field, as well as accurately steer combines along rows.

Yield Monitoring
Trimble Yield Monitoring allows growers to accurately view and map yield and moisture data as they harvest, providing instant information about the performance of their crop. In addition, Trimble Yield Monitoring enables growers to track the amount of grain loaded onto the trucks in the field and wirelessly transfer the information back to the office to reconcile yield records using Farm Works® software.

RG-100 Row Guidance
Trimble RG-100 row guidance utilizes sensors on the combine head to signal the Autopilot™ steering system when to adjust to changes in the corn rows. It also centers the combine head on straight, curved, or hillside rows. The system operates in conditions that are traditionally difficult for the combine operator, such as down corn, long passes, and other poor visibility conditions, allowing the combine to harvest more corn without manual input from the farmer.

Trimble Yield Monitoring and RG-100 row guidance are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2011.

Precision Farming Growing in the Southeast

The growing use of precision technology in the southeast, especially among peanut farmers, led AgLeader Technology to become a sponsor and exhibitor at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference (SPGC) this year for the first time.

AgLeader’s Russ Morman (left) says being at the conference was good for two reasons. “Number one, it’s certainly helped to educate us as to where the peanut industry is going and number two, it’s helped to show the growers in the area that AgLeader is definitely a big power in the precision ag industry and we’re here to help them.”

Listen to my interview with Russ from the SPGC here: Russ Morman, AgLeader

Ag Technologies and Trimble were also at the SPGC, sponsoring the conference blog for the fourth year.

Robbie Tabb of Ag Technologies, pictured here on the far right, says they love coming to the conference and talking to peanut farmers about how they can help them be more efficient. “The southern peanut grower can stand to increase yield by 300-400 pounds per acre simply by having GPS,” he told me. “That’s why we’ve grown so much in the southeast is because of our peanut growers. They’ve really seen an increase in profitability just by having the guidance on the tractor.”

Listen to my interview with Robbie here: Robbie Tabb, Ag Technologies

Both Scott and Robbie say the use of GPS for farming in the southeast has improved dramatically over the last several years, thanks to additional satellite availability and improved technology.

High-Accuracy GNSS Correction Service for Ag Introduced

Trimble introduced its new high-accuracy Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) compatible correction service. The Trimble® CenterPoint™ RTX™ correction service can offer 4 centimeter (1.5 inch) repeatable accuracy and will be available initially through Trimble’s Agriculture Division.

CenterPoint RTX is a GPS and GLONASS enabled correction service that covers approximately a 1.8 billion acre swath of central North America, extending fromCanada into northern Mexico.

The CenterPoint RTX correction service can deliver a fully-converged position in less than one minute at startup within the five central U.S. “corn belt” states from Nebraskato Illinois, so farmers can begin work immediately. For the area outside of the five U.S. states, the CenterPoint RTX correction service provides the same 4 centimeter (1.5 inch) repeatable accuracy, but farmers will experience additional convergence time to reach full accuracy. By using Trimble’s FastRestart technology, this convergence time can be reduced and full accuracy can be achieved in less than 3 minutes.

The corrections are satellite-delivered directly to the GNSS receiver, so there are no additional hardware costs such as radios, antennas or cellular data plans.