Easy And Upgradeable

EZ-Guide 500 Trimble

“We used to think we had a demographic for the end-user of our product,” says Jeff Farrar, North America sales manager for Outback Guidance. “That demographic has blown up this last year.” Indeed, growers and dealers continue to enter the GPS guidance world at all levels.

Marlin Melander, marketing manager, Raven Flow Controls, says “manufacturers are starting to tailor their product more towards the demands of the customers.”

“There’s still a real strong demand for simple guidance and guidance only,” says Melander. “Envizio Plus fits that, with its ‘last-pass’ guidance program. We’re also looking at a market that is maturing, and steering is the next step up from guidance.”

Says Rhett Schildroth, ag product marketing manager with Topcon Po­sitioning Systems: “These entry level kits are good for allowing people to affordably get guidance on one of their vehicles and experience the ‘wow’ for themselves in their own cab.”

Farrar agrees. “I think manufacturers are improving this technology in part by offering starting-point, scaled-down, cleaner, more affordable packages.” Hemisphere GPS continues to offer its flagship product, the Outback S2 lightbar, plus the Outback 360 system. Trimble and business partners Ag Leader, Case IH, Hardi, and New Holland debuted their EZ-Guide 500 GPS lightbar, moving the EZ-Guide Plus to a lower price point ($1,995) for new adopters.

Simple To Add On

The secret to simpler systems is offering something that can be up­graded, believes Farrar.

Raven transformed its Envizio just six months after its introduction in 2006. Melander says users were asking for AutoBoom (automatic boom section control), AccuBoom (boom height level control), and data logging on the console — so Raven added the capabilities, dubbing the newcomer Envizio Plus.

Trimble’s EZ-Guide Plus lightbar has already been updated with EZ-Boom capabilities, and the EZ-Guide 500 will have the option later this spring. Sid Siefken, sales channel manager at Trimble, believes one of the biggest challenges facing retailers today is understanding the upgrade options available with the Trimble product line-up — keeping in mind what they’ll want to be doing in the next three months, or the next three years. The EZ-Guide 500 has the capability to use WAAS, OmniSTAR XP/HP, or RTK corrections for flexible accuracy options. And, with many systems, dealers need to consider if they’ll want to add auto steering or boom control capabilities.

Topcon’s upgraded X20 system now includes controls for these options, and for 2007 has added a weather station that integrates with the console, displaying and documenting real-time weather information. Also available is a camera system that allows better visibility around the machine, says Schildroth. Operators can install up to four cameras.

AGCO Global Technology’s new Con­sole I — available on select equipment this year — utilizes cameras for guidance. The display, mounted in the cab, is also able to control all guidance functions, including autosteer, implement steering, and application of inputs.

Retailers are also calling for guidance systems with upgradeability in GPS signals. Units can now operate using WAAS, OmniStar, or RTK — or, in the case of Hemisphere GPS, its new BaseLine HD portable transmitter.

Making It Comfortable

Options and upgrades are great, but drivers are also saying they want comfort and easy operation. Designers of the new EZ-Guide 500 increased the size of the display, added color, and increased the size of the text. “The large font size allows operators to comfortably read — and actually learn how to use it — as they sit in the driver’s seat,” says Siefken. The display complements the 31-LED lightbar situated above. “Simply looking at a computer screen for guidance can be difficult. With the lightbar, drivers don’t have to focus exclusively on the display.” Dave King, marketing manager with Ag Leader explains that the display — highly visible even in bright light — provides users with an “overhead” or “perspective” view of the operation, while the map view provides a real-time coverage map.

The GreenStar 2 (GS2) guidance system from John Deere features a 10.4-inch color, touchscreeen display with an on-screen path accuracy indicator that looks and functions much like a lightbar, says Emily Harringa, communications specialist with John Deere Ag Management Solutions. “It’s one less piece of hardware to clutter up the cab.”

AutoFarm LTi also has a friendly display, giving users a “virtual moving highway,” says Deane Malott, director of marketing for AutoFarm. Then, he says, the LTi is taken to the next level in the company’s Ag Technology Center (ATC). The ATC features 3-D color graphics — which are especially helpful in anticipating curves and headlands — and mapping, while leaving room for future capabilities.

Making It Easy-To-Use

Raven’s Melander says that Envizio users have told him that the company didn’t even need to write a manual for the product — the touchscreen handily guided them through set-up and use. “To have that type of product is very critical in the marketplace. Otherwise, you end up with frustration and service calls,” he says.

Manufacturers encourage retailers not to be overwhelmed by guidance choices available today. Different levels of guidance options can be a boon to retail managers who want to outfit their spray fleets but don’t want to — or need to — get the highest-end product available, says Siefken. “Their key machines may have lightbars or autopilots, but not all have a GPS lightbar system yet.” In either case, there are “strong economic cases to be made for investing capital in guidance with the increased efficiencies of all machines in the fleet,” he concludes.

Leave a Reply

Precision Ag Stories

Craig Houin Sunrise Cooperative iPad
Precision AgState Of Precision Ag 2016: Gut Check Time For Value
May 31, 2016
There’s no denying that precision technologies and practices are more vibrant than ever. Equipment manufacturers have fine-tuned the hardware for Read More
fertilizer blending and storage, Top 100
BlendersCHS Dakota Expansion Features AGCO’s GSI InterSystems Handling Equipment
May 25, 2016
The continued growth of precision agriculture has increased farmer use of customized fertilizer blends best-suited for their soil conditions. Several Read More
Topcon’s X30 display with CropSpec sensors
EquipmentGPS Autosteer Systems: Product Updates From Precision Ag Companies
May 24, 2016
Throughout 2015 GPS Steering solutions continued to evolve from what was once an after-market add on, to today’s cab where Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Trending Articles
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Latest News
ManagementUpdates on Glyphosate Use in the EU and Bayer/Monsanto
June 29, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the latest important developments on these crop protection fronts. Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Names Protassium+ Sales Director
June 28, 2016
Compass Minerals, the producer of Protassium+ sulfate of potash, has named Scott Johnson director of sales for Protassium+ North America. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-E…
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Turns Back Bayer Again
June 14, 2016
Bayer AG’s bid to buy Monsanto Co. for more than $60 billion has hit an impasse that could pose a Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionNext Generation Of Nitrogen Efficiency Technology Conve…
June 13, 2016
Commodity price projections indicate farmers will continue to face tight margins again this year. Delivering higher yields and more bushels Read More