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

Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsFortune: Inside China’s $43 Billion Bid for Food Security
April 26, 2017
(Via Fortune.com) The worst famine in human history occurred in China from 1959 to 1961. An estimated 34 million people Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Changes in Board of Directors
April 26, 2017
ChemChina and Syngenta announced changes relating to the new Board of Directors of Syngenta following the closing of the ChemChina Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Introduces PerCarb Broad-Spectrum Bactericide / Fungicide
April 26, 2017
BioSafe Systems announces PerCarb (Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate), a new alternative to potassium bicarbonate and lime sulfur products for use in Read More
Donald Trump
Crop InputsTrump Targets Agriculture with Latest Executive Order
April 26, 2017
(Via UPI.com) President Donald Trump on Tuesday took executive action in an effort to help grow the domestic agriculture industry Read More
Trending Articles
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
Latest News
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing…
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
BRANDT
CropLife 100Former PotashCorp COO Joins BRANDT Board
April 27, 2017
BRANDT has announced the appointment of another industry veteran to its board of directors. David Delaney, most recently EVP and Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsFortune: Inside China’s $43 Billion Bid for Food …
April 26, 2017
(Via Fortune.com) The worst famine in human history occurred in China from 1959 to 1961. An estimated 34 million people Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Changes in Board of Directors
April 26, 2017
ChemChina and Syngenta announced changes relating to the new Board of Directors of Syngenta following the closing of the ChemChina Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Introduces PerCarb Broad-Spectrum Bacte…
April 26, 2017
BioSafe Systems announces PerCarb (Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate), a new alternative to potassium bicarbonate and lime sulfur products for use in Read More
Deere Twitter
EquipmentTop 10 Twitter Pics for #Plant17
April 26, 2017
Despite some wet weather in parts of the Midwest, growers and ag retailers are working feverishly to plant this year’s Read More
Donald Trump
Crop InputsTrump Targets Agriculture with Latest Executive Order
April 26, 2017
(Via UPI.com) President Donald Trump on Tuesday took executive action in an effort to help grow the domestic agriculture industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
EquipmentAGCO Mourns Passing of Company Founder, Industry Vision…
April 25, 2017
AGCO Corp., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, mourns the passing of founder and former President, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsINNVICTIS CROP CARE Introduces VANDAL MOC Soybean Herbi…
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has announced the U.S. EPA registration for VANDAL MOC, a combination of sulfentrazone plus metolachlor. VANDAL Read More
Kochia
HerbicidesINNVICTIS CROP CARE Launches STAVE Post-Emerge Broadlea…
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has introduced STAVE as the newest addition to­ its expanding portfolio. STAVE will be a great Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationSonny Perdue Confirmed by Senate as Next Agriculture Se…
April 25, 2017
After months without a secretary of agriculture, the Senate voted Monday evening to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to Read More
BPIA logo
Seed/BiotechBPIA Files Comments with USDA
April 24, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) has filed comments with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Read More
Eric SfiligojHope for Application Equipment Sales
April 24, 2017
The old saying goes that a “rising tide lifts all boats.” If this is indeed the case, then things may Read More
Stewardship video screenshot
ManagementNew Video Raises Awareness of 2,4-D Stewardship
April 24, 2017
A new public service video developed and produced by the 2,4-D Research Task Force, in conjunction with the American Soybean Read More
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More