Autosteer Systems Continue To Evolve

John DeereMike Martinez, market manager for Trimble’s agriculture division, perhaps said it best when describing the heightened importance of GPS autosteer technology within the industry.

“Autosteering continues to be the most widely-adopted precision farming technology in the industry as it is the ‘core platform’ that all other precision farming activities are based on,” he says. “Without a solid auto-steering platform, other solutions may not have the return on investment (ROI) that a grower would expect.”

Austin Verbeck, marketing product manager for John Deere Ag Management Solutions, says that autosteer systems are becoming a prime target for growers looking for more than just improved profit margins.

“Producers are constantly looking to improve productivity in the field with less stress and fatigue on the operator, and these challenges are driving an increase in adoption of technologies, with automated guidance providing an entry level solution,” says Verbeck. “While automated guidance has been very popular in the North American agriculture industry for a while, we are now starting to see a growing interest on a global scale and expect that trend to continue.”

New Solutions

With GPS autosteering technologies having been available for quite some time now, manufacturers are flexing their muscles, upgrading system capabilities and specifications.

Trimble’s new xFill feature, a technology designed to fill in the gaps in case of any outages in RTK or CORS communications, has been released in time for the spring planting season and has many around the industry buzzing.

“RTK or other signal outages would normally cause an auto-steering system to disengage until the radio link or cellular modem is able to restore the signal,” says Martinez. “As we all know, any downtime is expensive during planting season or any other season for that matter. With xFill, it steps in and keeps your Trimble autosteering system running with fewer interruptions.”

Additionally, Trimble has released new Autopilot and EZ-Pilot platform kits for over 200 previously unsupported vehicles. According to the company, new vehicles supported include but are not limited to Gleaner combines, Krone Big M & X choppers, MacDon swathers, New Holland sprayers and Kubota GX series tractors.

“This means that growers can now outfit even more of their fleet with Trimble auto-steering solutions,” notes Martinez.

At Topcon Precision Agriculture, a new AGI-4 receiver/steering controller “continues Topcon’s strength in machine control and extends our modular product philosophy to both hardware and software,” says Mike Gomes, director of business development.

“With hardware, you can add higher accuracy inertials, or add RTK as single components, and with software this unit can interface to an existing ISO 11783 Virtual Terminal,” he continues. “Since all Virtual Terminals have some personality traits within the ISO standard that are unique, we are working to test and check inter-operability with a large number of equipment manufacturers. In addition to the AGI-4 hardware, we have added a suite of features that enable Controlled Traffic Farming and make repeatable RTK wayline use and management something that becomes both comfortable for operators and easy for guys in the office.”

Meanwhile, Ag Leader Technologies is excitedly launching a new software update, firmware 4.0, for its GeoSteer system.

“With this update, users can enable and disable coverage mapping based off steering engage status, define tramlines and receive notification when approaching/on tramline, utilize two nudge settings (small and large) with straight AB patterns and select guidance patterns with an intuitive graphic,” says Jenna Royer, marketing communications manager.

TeeJet Technologies has upgraded its Matrix Pro console to Matrix Pro GS for 2013, says Tim Stuenkel, global marketing communications manager.

“Updated features include the support of dry spreader automatic swath control, automatic sprayer section control for staggered spray booms and additional color-scheme options on the touchscreen display,” he explains. “Additionally, Matrix Pro GS can be equipped with Droplet Size Monitoring for real-time display of spray quality characteristics during applications.”

At Deere and Co., the equipment giant is concentrating on upgrades that improve accuracy and repeatability, according to Verbeck.

“John Deere recently announced additional features for the AutoTrac guidance system when using a GreenStar 3 2630 Display,” he says. “The new Swap Track feature provides operators the ability to toggle between up to four guidance lines in the same field, and operators also have the option to change the order of the guidance tracks, similar to a playlist.

“The GreenStar 3 2630 Display also offers operators the ability to set Tramlines when using AB lines, AB curves or Circle Track guidance modes,” Verbeck continues. “Tramline functionality allows operators to easily identify predetermined guidance lines by highlighting them a separate color on the guidance screen. Operators wishing to plant or harvest certain areas of the field without manually counting rows find Tramlines especially useful.”

Raven Industries has announced the release of SmarTrax MD which, according to Tim Heins, product manager, features added torque for faster operating speeds, increased accuracy, reduced noise and the ability to seamlessly transfer the system between multiple tractors including combines, windrowers and more.

Leica Geosystems has launched its mojoXact upgrade option for the company’s mojo3D and mojoMINI displays.

According to the company’s website, the high accuracy upgrade option provides RTK positioning with Leica patented terrain compensation and offers additional steering solutions like SteerDirect CAN, SRK and Hydraulic for further improve accuracy. Flexible mounting options for a variety of equipment, simple plug-and-play installation and remote support via Virtual Wrench are also notable upgrades to mojoXact’s capabilities.

Leave a Reply

Precision Ag Stories
Precision AgGoogle Glass: New Tool For Ag
October 8, 2014
New wearable smart technologies such as Google Glass show potential to greatly impact how we accomplish the business of feeding the world. 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
Precision AgUAS: The S Stands For Smart, Service And Sensors
May 1, 2014
The only thing occuring more rapidly than the technologies’ evolution is the clamoring to implement UAS into agriculture as soon as possible. Read More
Precision AgAg Retail: 3 Tech Trends To Watch In 2014
April 1, 2014
It's been a busy first quarter of technology developments in 2014. Here are some of the highlights, and things to watch in the months ahead. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer Warehouse
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
CropLife 100United Suppliers, McGregor Co., Five Others To Form Aligned Ag Distributors
January 20, 2015
These companies will continue to operate as independently owned and operated businesses, however, their crop protection divisions will now be formally aligned under the umbrella of Aligned Ag Distributors. Read More
CropLife 100Bozeman Named SEEDWAY Chief Operating Officer
January 16, 2015
He succeeds Donald Wertman, who will retire at the end of August 2015 after 40 years with the GROWMARK subsidiary. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis’ Craig Bair Honored For Safety Contributions To Ag Aviation
January 14, 2015
The William O. Marsh Safety Award recognizes significant achievements in safety, safety education or an outstanding operational safety program. Read More
Latest News
ManagementOABA Conference Set To Highlight Trends, Technology And…
January 29, 2015
The third annual Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) Industry Conference is set to take place February 4-5. Read More
FertilizerThe Fertilizer Institute President Jahn Testifies Befor…
January 28, 2015
The committee hearing, "Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce," looked at challenges facing our nation's freight rail network created by higher demand, rules and regulations and infrastructure needs. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue University Acquires Technology For Herbicide Mol…
January 28, 2015
Protea's LAESI DP-1000 Instrument System will be used in Purdue's College of Agriculture, the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, for the molecular imaging of herbicide active ingredients and other related compounds to optimize herbicide applications and improve weed management.  Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Hires New Crop Peformance Marketing Manager
January 27, 2015
As Marketing Manager for the Crop Performance division, Usman Khalid will work out of H.J. Baker’s global headquarters in Westport, CT, and will drive new initiatives for the division. Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
Exclusive state-of-the art Stueve Construction designed “Vista View” Elevated Control Room.
Eric Sfiligoj2015 Agricultural Market Read: Mixed
January 26, 2015
The agricultural market could look radically different this year, profit-wise, depending upon which segment you do business in. Read More
Edward Chell Biosafe
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Names Ed Chell California Territory Man…
January 26, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the recent addition of Ed Chell as California Territory Manager for the agrichemical division, supporting the crop protection, water treatment and food safety business segments. Read More
InsecticidesBayer CropScience Introduces Sivanto Insecticide
January 26, 2015
Sivanto precisely targets key damaging pests at multiple insect life stages to prevent damage to plants and help minimize the spread of diseases from insect carriers. Read More
ManagementRetail Collaboration, Communicating Agriculture’s Good …
January 23, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the recent creation of Aligned Ag Distributors, and the US Farmers and Ranchers Read More
FertilizerOSU Expert: Toledo Water Crisis A Turning Point For Ohi…
January 23, 2015
The August 2014 water crisis in Toledo, OH, impacted Ohioans’ views of Lake Erie algae problems by increasing the attribution of blame of algae growth on agriculture. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Launching TIGER XP
January 22, 2015
Tiger-Sul introduces this next generation sulphur-bentonite product with a proprietary activator – ensuring farmers have a well-balanced nutrient replacement program. Read More
Crop InputsH.J. Baker Expands China Sales Force
January 21, 2015
Global Agricultural firm H.J. Baker announced that sales veteran Shi Dongshen has joined their Shanghai office in China. This newest hire follows the recent opening of their Lianyungang Sulphur Bentonite Plant. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer …
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
Matt Hopkins5 Bold Predictions For Ag Retail In 2015
January 21, 2015
This past year was filled with ups and downs for the nation’s top ag retailers, but what will 2015 have in store? Read More
SoftwareDeere Launches App Center
January 20, 2015
The John Deere App Center provides users the ability to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations. Read More
Crop InputsNew Syngenta Herbicide Approved In Soybeans, Sunflowers
January 20, 2015
Syngenta will sell BroadAxe XC herbicide in 2015 for use on soybeans, sunflowers and dry peas Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
Crop InputsNovozymes Sales Figures Up For 2014
January 20, 2015
Novozymes announces its sales growth in 2014 was in line with expectations as sales grew by 7% compared with 2013. Read More