Lowering The Boom

Outback Automate

Financial experts don’t expect the current economic crisis to be over anytime soon, but there are certainly ways that you and your grower-customers can reduce input costs — including boom section controls.

Boom section control allows the user to precisely apply fertilizer or a crop protection product; it also reduces driver fatigue. “The result is chemical savings by not leaving a section or an entire boom on too long or reducing the re-sprays that occur by forgetting to turn boom sections back on when switched off manually,” explains Ken Lehmann of Case IH. “By relying on electronics to monitor boom position in relation to as-applied maps and control boom sections accordingly, the operator is free to focus their attention on other tasks.”

Popularity Growing

Boom section controls have been in the market around five years, and for those who haven’t tested the waters, the cost won’t be too hard to take. “They’re one of the easier products to justify due to the quick payback and relative low cost compared to other precision products,” says Raven Industries’ Tim Heins. The majority of sprayers with GPS installed are also utilizing Raven’s AccuBoom Section Control technology, he adds, and the company has enhanced its center rack functions and added to its list of ISO AutoBoom machine-specific kits.

Jeff Farrar of Hemisphere GPS — makers of Outback Automate, an automatic boom shutoff product that offers up to 10-section automatic control — says boom section control is a smart buy. “Given the increased cost of herbicide and fertilizer, the operator should realize a quick return on investment,” he says.
Certainly the technology has been popular, and the industry has seen a lot of growth in this area, says Ag Leader Technology’s Dave King. The AutoSwath boom control feature is part of the company’s DirectCommand application system sold by Ag Leader and under the Ag Leader brand by AGCO Corp., Hagie Manufacturing, and GVM.

John Deere’s Barry Nelson says performance is the key. The Swath Control Pro from John Deere is an automatic boom section control that utilizes precision GPS software via the company’s GreenStar 2 Rate Controller.

That popularity is not just with dealerships, but also large-acreage growers with high-end GPS systems, says TeeJet’s Rich Gould. “This technology is about reducing input costs through automation,” he states. “The primary benefits are precise application and less operator fatigue. The more irregular shape the field, the more benefit the applicator will realize.”

More Benefits

Another plus is the environmental profile, Jon Olson of Ag-Chem points out. Ag-Chem’s RoGator and TerraGator liquid systems offer section control through the optional AccuBoom system from Raven. “I know that we all look at the cost savings side of this equation, but I think that stressing the environmental side is equally as important.”

Topcon Precision Agriculture, part of Topcon Positioning Systems, unveiled its two newest products in mid-October, the ASC-10 and GX-45 display, according to the company’s Mike Gomes. The ASC-10 provides automatic section control, and is part of the company’s System 150.

Another new product is the BoomPilot Pro from TeeJet Industries. “This product is designed to bring the rapid benefits of automatic section control to operators with almost any type of sprayer, planter, or spreader,” says Gould. The stand-alone product installs quickly, has an intuitive user interface, and is “a snap to operate.”

Hemisphere GPS will offer machine- and rate controller-specific Outback Automate interface kits for a wide variety of vehicles and applications, says Farrar.
Some products match up manufacturers’ resources, like FarmPRO. This unit combines Raven’s Viper PRO with sub-inch real-time kinematic (RTK) AutoSteer from AutoFarm all on a single large-screen display. Marketed mutually and available through select dealers in the distribution channels of both AutoFarm and Raven, its features include auto boom section control, says AutoFarm’s Joe Robertson.

But no matter what the cost or the bells and whistles, it still comes down to performance. “Applicators want to improve application efficiences, and these capabilities deliver, ” says TeeJet’s Gould.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Lowering The Boom

Equipment Stories

Precision AgPrecision Agriculture: Finding The Payback
September 6, 2014
Profitability in precision ag is not about any one technology, but the result of employing technology in a total system approach that is agronomically sound. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Factory Layoffs
August 18, 2014
Deere & Co. has announced it will reduce the size of its manufacturing workforce at some agricultural equipment factories in response to current market demand for its products. Read More
A finished Willmar 16-ton side-shooting tender.
TendersNew Production Facility Helps Willmar
July 17, 2014
In 1963, a group of businessmen started Willmar. Today, a half-century later, the company is one of the ag industry’s longest-running brands. Read More

Trending Articles

CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More

Latest News

StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More
StewardshipCCAs Making Headway With 4R Program In Lake Erie Wester…
September 9, 2014
Certified Crop Advisers are implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Lake Erie's Western Basin to improve water quality. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
Crop InputsFMC Announces Cheminova Takeover
September 8, 2014
FMC Corporation today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cheminova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries. Read More
HerbicidesValent’s Fierce XLT Herbicide Receives EPA Approv…
September 8, 2014
Valent U.S.A. Corp. announced today that Fierce XLT Soybean Herbicide is now federally registered for preemergence weed control in soybeans Read More
Eric SfiligojIndustry Consolidation Set To Increase Going Forward
September 8, 2014
As the agricultural marketplace moves into fall, one observer predicts the pace of consolidation will grow at all levels. Read More
LegislationCropLife America Leaders Address Regulatory Landscape, …
September 8, 2014
As CropLife America enters its 81st year, the organization’s leaders have seen another period of rapid and visible policy and public issue activity. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
Precision AgPrecision Agriculture: Finding The Payback
September 6, 2014
Profitability in precision ag is not about any one technology, but the result of employing technology in a total system approach that is agronomically sound. Read More