Scouting Tools: Being Prepared

Granted, as input costs stay high and crop prices remain low, growers will be looking to scouts to help them get the most yield out of their crops. But there’s another driver for the increasing demand for scouts, says Brian Stark, Farm Works Software marketing manager.

“With the growth of precision agriculture tools such as yield monitors, it’s becoming easier for growers to determine the cost — lost yield — of weeds, insects, and other problems,” Stark says. “Ultimately, this will drive more people to utilize crop scouts. In turn, scouts will need better ‘tools’ to help them cover more acres in the same amount of time.”

All In The Software

Farm Works’ new version 2010 of its Site Mate and Trac Mate field software was developed with these concerns in mind. The new “Image” feature in Site Mate Scouting allows scouts to utilize a GPS-enabled handheld device with a built-in camera to take a picture of a weed or insect. Linked to a map for future referencing, the photo can be tied in with notes and other information for further assessment back at the office.

Site Mate also is now outfitted with a sampling navigation line to connect the target points in numbered order. “As each point is logged, the program auto-navigates you to the next point — providing fewer steps and better navigation,” explains Stark.

The recent purchase of Farm Works by Trimble means users of handheld devices such as Trimble Juno and Trimble Nomad now have Farm Works software available. Once data is recorded, it can be mapped and analyzed back at an office computer or transferred onto a Trimble in-cab controller such as the FmX integrated display or EZ-Guide 500, according to Jorge Heraud of Trimble Flow and Application Controls.

Laptops and handheld devices in the field may eventually be replaced by netbooks, says David Krueger of AgRenaissance Software LLC. “It’s impractical to take a laptop into the field, however a netbook is small enough and cheap enough that it can be used in the field,” he says. “And since it’s running a full Windows Operating System, you have the benefit of running desktop software, unlike a handheld device.”

Krueger emphasizes buying a netbook with a solid state drive (SSD). An SSD has no hard drive that could crash, is more rugged than laptops, and all disk space actually resides in RAM. “It truly is instantly on when you open the lid, because there’s no hard drive to spin up,” says Krueger.

Software technology requires access to the Internet in the field. SST Development customer Crop Quest Agronomic Services provides network cards to its personnel using SST Summit and Paramount Reporting software on mobile laptops.

Sensory Upload

Other new tools target the soil’s nutrient health, including two from Veris Technologies. The pH Detector and Quad EC1000 are small yet powerful tools “more geared to soil and crop management than strictly crop scouting,” says Veris’ Eric Lund. “Both are geared to use with an all-terrain vehicle, which is a new way of deploying our sensors.”

The pH Detector rapidly, accurately, and affordably maps pH variability, whether on a small grid or measuring pH at several locations within management zones. The pH probe is inserted in the soil with an easy-push mechanism, and in about 10 seconds, a geo-referenced pH measurement is recorded on the Veris DataLogger.

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories

Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Speaks on Dicamba Issues in Arkansas
June 26, 2017
Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, Robb Fraley, issued the following statement following the Arkansas State Plant Board’s proposal to ban dicamba, Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechCorn Insect Bt Technologies Offer Cost-effective, Proactive Protection
June 26, 2017
When farm economics are challenging, farmers look for ways to bolster profit margins, including reducing input costs. Some may think Read More
Crop InputsArkansas Plant Board Votes to Ban Dicamba — Now What?
June 23, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has voted to pass a proposed emergency rule to ban the use of in-crop dicamba, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsBASF: ‘Closely Monitoring’ Dicamba Situation in Arkansas
June 22, 2017
BASF, whose Engenia herbicide is the target of more than 200 drift complaints in Arkansas, emailed the following statement to Read More
Trending Articles
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Redbanded-stinkbug-on-soybean-Photo-credit-Thomas-County-Ag
Crop InputsExperts: Mild Winter, Early Planting Will Increase Soybean Insect Threat
June 12, 2017
Higher than average temperatures this past winter affected much of the nation, especially the South and Midwest. The National Centers Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
Latest News
ManagementDow Field Day and More Cooperative Consolidation
June 28, 2017
CropLife Editor discusses his recent attendance at the Dow AgroSciences Field Day in Indiana and shares news on another pair Read More
Young Corn Plants
Eric SfiligojLaunching New Seed Traits: Wait on China . . . Or Else!
June 26, 2017
In life, no one likes the waiting game. In agriculture, however, playing the waiting game is very important – especially Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Speaks on Dicamba Issues in Arkansas
June 26, 2017
Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, Robb Fraley, issued the following statement following the Arkansas State Plant Board’s proposal to ban dicamba, Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechCorn Insect Bt Technologies Offer Cost-effective, Proac…
June 26, 2017
When farm economics are challenging, farmers look for ways to bolster profit margins, including reducing input costs. Some may think Read More
Crop InputsArkansas Plant Board Votes to Ban Dicamba — Now W…
June 23, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has voted to pass a proposed emergency rule to ban the use of in-crop dicamba, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsBASF: ‘Closely Monitoring’ Dicamba Situatio…
June 22, 2017
BASF, whose Engenia herbicide is the target of more than 200 drift complaints in Arkansas, emailed the following statement to Read More
ManagementConsolidation Update
June 22, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss progress on manufacturer consolidation, and another big move for Midwest cooperative Central Valley Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
Crop InputsThreat of Dicamba Ban Looms in Arkansas
June 22, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has rejected a proposed ban on the use of dicamba herbicide, but a procedural error Read More
Potash Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium-PotashCorp to become Nutrien upon Merger Complet…
June 21, 2017
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have announced today that once the anticipated merger transaction closes, the new Read More
Crop InputsMidwestern BioAg Hosts TerraNu Fertilizer Plant Opening…
June 20, 2017
Last Friday, Midwestern BioAg was joined by over 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names New President
June 19, 2017
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC announced this morning the appointment of Mary Tolke to the position of President/CEO, effective July 1. Read More
ManagementPlotting Corn, AGCO/Asmark’s Applicator Training Center…
June 15, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent visits to Columbus, OH, and Bloomington, IL, along with an Read More
Seed/BiotechDow AgroSciences Announces Launch of Enlist Corn for 20…
June 14, 2017
Enlist corn will be commercially available in the U.S. for the 2018 growing season. Dow AgroSciences announced the launch today Read More
ASMARK AGCO Applicator Training Center
EmployeesAsmark, AGCO Open Training Center for Beginning Applica…
June 13, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute have opened a new Applicator Training Center, created in a collaboration between the two Read More
Power to Do More Contest Winners
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Three Winners in Power to Do…
June 13, 2017
Thousands of votes have been cast and three farmers have been awarded the power to do more with a $10,000 Read More
Frogeye leaf spot
FungicidesStrobilurin-resistant Frogeye Leaf Spot Threat Looms wi…
June 13, 2017
Heavy spring rainfall throughout the South and Midwest delayed planting and created the perfect environment for diseases like frogeye leaf Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
LegislationICGA Praises President Trump’s Remarks on Waterwa…
June 12, 2017
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s comments Read More