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

EquipmentAGCO Announces Finalists For Operator Of The Year Honor
November 19, 2015
AGCO Corp. has announced the four top operators chosen as finalists for AGCO’s 10th Annual Operator of the Year program, Read More
Tiger Sul Crop Nutrient Calculator
FertilizerH.J. Baker Launches New Nutrient Calculator App
November 12, 2015
H.J. Baker, a global agriculture firm, has launched a new agronomic nutrient calculator app. This innovative and powerful tool will Read More
Yargus Layco 16 Ton Rotary Drum
Blenders15 Fertilizer Blenders That Will Meet Your 2016 Mixing Needs
November 11, 2015
Manufacturers of fertilizer blending and mixing systems continue to develop some of the fastest, most durable, most accurate units ever for Read More
Precision AgXS Inc. Expanding Ag Retail Reach With AgVeritas
November 5, 2015
AgVeritas, the patented cloud-based yield analysis application launched by XS Inc for the 2015 season, is making a significant impact Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100United Cooperative Acquires Four ADM Wisconsin Facilities
November 12, 2015
United Cooperative, based out of Beaver Dam, WI, recently acquired four grain and agronomy locations from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Car Makes NASCAR Xfinity Series
October 29, 2015
BRANDT will join JR Motorsports with driver, Justin Allgaier, for the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity (NXS) Series season. Allgaier will pilot Read More
CHS Building exterior
CropLife 100CHS Leaders Help Shape Succession Report
October 22, 2015
Succession planning was listed as a main concern of cooperative leaders at this summer’s 15 regional CHS owner town hall Read More
Fall Harvest
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases Eight Regional Seed Companies
October 12, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has announced the purchase of eight regional seed companies to advance its seed business. Pinnacle has acquired: Read More
MRM Agricultural Service
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires CropLife 100 Ag Retailer
October 8, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has successfully acquired the Missouri-based agronomy business of MRM Agricultural Service, LLC and its affiliates (MRM). Operating Read More
Eric Jenks, Wilbur-Ellis
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Opens Dry Fertilizer Storage And Blending Facility In Washington
October 8, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co., ranked No. 4 on the CropLife 100, has constructed and opened a 22,000-ton dry fertilizer storage and blending Read More
Latest News
HerbicidesBREAKING: EPA Pulls Registration On Dow’s Enlist …
November 25, 2015
EPA on Wednesday withdrew approval of a controversial new weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans, Read More
FertilizerYara Tampa Ammonia Terminal Garners ResponsibleAg Honor…
November 25, 2015
Yara has received its first ResponsibleAg Certification for its Tampa, FL, Ammonia terminal location. This achievement demonstrates Yara’s commitment to Read More
ManagementReviewing The Top Ag Stories For 2015
November 24, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf discuss the most noteworthy events from this past year in agriculture. Read More
EmployeesAgriculture Jobs May Be Plentiful, But New Grads Are Sc…
November 24, 2015
Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture each year for the next five years, but there's not enough grads to fill them. Read More
Radish cover crop
StewardshipCover Crops Guide Helps Growers Improve Water Quality
November 23, 2015
A publication that teaches growers the advantages of using cover crops to improve soil health and crop yields has won Read More
Crop InputsThe Andersons’ Products Receive California Organi…
November 23, 2015
The Plant Nutrient Group of The Andersons, Inc. announced today that its Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG products are Read More
Eric SfiligojNew European Study Seems To Support Glyphosate Safety
November 23, 2015
Looking at any international news over the past few years, it might seem as if the European Union (EU) is Read More
Toggle Biostimulant corn roots
Crop InputsTwo New Biostimulants Added To United Suppliers’ …
November 20, 2015
Winfield US announces the launch of two new products in the United Suppliers portfolio for the 2016 crop season, Optify Read More
StewardshipNRDC Report: Cover Crops Contain Vast Benefits
November 19, 2015
As harvest season ends and farmers in the United States ready themselves for winter, one small change could make a Read More
Fall Harvest
Seed/BiotechArysta Launches New Seed Protectant
November 19, 2015
As spring wheat growers begin planning for a strong start to their season, Arysta LifeScience North America announces RANCONA V Read More
Crop InputsInocucor Receives U.S. Patent For Microbials
November 19, 2015
Inocucor Technologies Inc., the Montreal-based agriculture biotech company, was issued patent No. 9,175,258 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect Read More
ManagementSyngenta Rumors and ARA 2015 Preview
November 19, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj looks at the latest rumors involving Syngenta selling its crop protection business and talks about events Read More
EquipmentAGCO Announces Finalists For Operator Of The Year Honor
November 19, 2015
AGCO Corp. has announced the four top operators chosen as finalists for AGCO’s 10th Annual Operator of the Year program, Read More
High Plains Aquifer
StewardshipStudy: High Plains Aquifer Overall Usage In Decline
November 18, 2015
A new Kansas State University study finds that the over-tapping of the High Plains Aquifer’s groundwater beyond the aquifer’s recharge Read More
Golden Harvest Corn healthy leaves
FungicidesArysta Launches New Corn And Soybean Fungicide
November 17, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America has recently launched ZOLERA FX Fungicide. The highly systemic, powerful fungicide delivers broad-spectrum disease control with Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance: Microbials Targeted For 250-500 million…
November 17, 2015
Monsanto and Novozymes have announced a new 2025 acreage target that will guide the companies’ microbials business for the next Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Still Being Eyed For China Takeover
November 16, 2015
China National Chemical Corp. approached sovereign wealth funds including China Investment Corp. to help pay for a potential acquisition of Read More
Cedar Country Cooperative
Eric SfiligojCooperative Consolidation Continues
November 16, 2015
As I put this enewsletter column together, we’ve just put the finishing touches on our magazine’s annual CropLife 100 report. Read More