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

Drone
EquipmentFarming Drones: The Future Of Agriculture?
April 7, 2017
Chances are, you already know drones are amazing. After all, this is something DroneLife readers just understand. But if you’re Read More
Falcon soil sampler
EquipmentSerious Soil Sampling Rigs
April 6, 2017
The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated Read More
Farmer Scouting Weeds in Soybean Field
EquipmentSoil, Scouting Programs Continue To Gain Value
April 5, 2017
How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision Ag6 Key Takeaways from Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
April 5, 2017
Advisory investment group The Mixing Bowl teamed up with Forbes for its New York-based event this year to discuss technology’s Read More
Trending Articles
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
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Latest News
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
ManagementTalking Responsible Ag
April 13, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the Responsible Ag program with director Bill Qualls. Read More
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
Crop InputsWhat do Roundup and Mickey Mouse Have in Common? Califo…
April 13, 2017
(SOURCE: East Valley Times) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and many other weed killers, is being added Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSource: ChemChina to Divest Assets to Adama Following S…
April 11, 2017
China National Chemical Corp. plans to redistribute agrochemical assets to its Adama unit after the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta Read More
Farming drone air
Eric SfiligojThe Interest in UAVs for Agriculture Grows
April 10, 2017
At times, it seems as if experts have been predicting “big things” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for several years Read More
OpinionOpinion: Taking On The Farmers Business Network
April 8, 2017
Well, another round of venture capital funding has come to Farmers Business Network (FBN), followed up with the obligatory feature Read More
Drone
EquipmentFarming Drones: The Future Of Agriculture?
April 7, 2017
Chances are, you already know drones are amazing. After all, this is something DroneLife readers just understand. But if you’re Read More
ManagementFMC-DuPont, Crop Plantings, and UAV Updates
April 6, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Jackie Pucci discuss the purchase agreement between DuPont and FMC, the 2017 crop acreage mix and Read More
Falcon soil sampler
EquipmentSerious Soil Sampling Rigs
April 6, 2017
The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated Read More
Iowa waterways
FertilizerDow AgroSciences Recognizes Ag Retailers’ Role in Prote…
April 6, 2017
The state of Iowa and its agriculture community have worked for decades to preserve soil health, protect water quality and Read More
Farmer Scouting Weeds in Soybean Field
EquipmentSoil, Scouting Programs Continue To Gain Value
April 5, 2017
How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision Ag6 Key Takeaways from Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
April 5, 2017
Advisory investment group The Mixing Bowl teamed up with Forbes for its New York-based event this year to discuss technology’s Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsQ&A With Pam Marrone On The World’s First All-Biolo…
April 4, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. and Israel-based Ground­work BioAg in February announced successful field trials of the world’s first all-biological comprehensive Read More
Corn soil
Crop NutritionBiostimulants Clamor For A Piece Of The Row Crop Market
April 3, 2017
The question these days isn’t who is venturing into biostimulants — it’s who isn’t. Or more to the point: The Read More