Lightbars Become Brilliant

Hemisphere GPS Lightbar

Basic lightbars have been around for a long time now, but manufacturers are still finding ways to make them better. “The improvements seen in lightbar products are generally in features and application,” says Tom Causey, Topcon Ag and OEM advertising manager. “The PCS-100 brings core features with the benefit of simple operation, rugged design, and upgrades to the industry in display screen.”

Lower Prices, Better Accuracy

In January 2008, Trimble introduced an affordable lightbar system designed with consistent pass-to-pass accuracy and advanced, easy-to-use guidance patterns. “With the introduction of the AgGPS EZ-Guide 250 lightbar system, Trimble has set a new standard for affordable guidance solutions,” says Trimble Agricultural Division General Manager Erik Arvesen, describing the new system as economical and packed with features, as well as “costing considerably less than comparable solutions available today from any manufacturer.”

As with any technology, improvements continue over time as more manufacturers get involved. The increased competition and advancing expertise that reduce pricing have also improved lightbar accuracy. “As with any electronics, improvements in components and manufacturing capabilities, coupled with advances in GPS technology are allowing for more affordable and more accurate lightbars to be produced and marketed,” explains Jeff Farrar, channel marketing manager of Hemisphere GPS.

Increased Demand

With more machinery in the fields, there has been an uptick in demand. “Topcon has seen an ever-increasing interest in all segments of precision ag, from entry lightbar systems to full precision control systems,” says Causey. “The Topcon PCS-100 will address a group of producers who are looking for basic guidance and coverage mapping as well as a new group of producers who are just entering the market.”

Farrar adds: “Basic GPS lightbars are now available for under $1,000, which has opened the door to a broader demographic of farmer to incorporate GPS into their operations to assist with offsetting the ever-growing input costs. After seeing the benefits, GPS utilization in ag seems to be somewhat addictive, with most users realizing the need for more.”

Technology Trends

“Visual awareness and autosteering systems appear to be the hot items for ’08,” says Farrar. “Utilization of this technology is allowing growers to be more productive and efficient.” With competition from graphic displays, lightbars must not only be able to offer themselves as the cheapest option, but as a viable alternative that can offer growers equal visual cues and accurate information.

“Precision agriculture products will continue to grow in features and applications, allowing the producers to maintain control of the increasing input costs,” says Causey. “With additional features, applications, and markets, the trend is for precision agriculture products to become complicated for the user to install and use. Simplicity, flexibility, and stability will be key features of new products.”

New Offerings

Several manufacturers are raising their game in 2008; new equipment includes the Topcon PCS-100 lightbar guidance system and two new guidance products from Hemisphere GPS, along with Trimble’s EZ-Guide 250 system for new GPS guidance users.

“The PCS-100 combines core features like multiple-pattern guidance, on-screen mapping, and acre calculation into a rugged and simple to use unit,” describes Causey.

Hemisphere GPS’s Outback Guidance line has introduced two additional GPS guidance products since May 2007, explains Farrar: “The Outback S-Lite is an entry level GPS lightbar which retails for under $1,000.” It includes straight guidance, contour guidance, and return to point, and is expandable to work with Outback AutoMate, which monitors and controls individual sprayer sections to minimize overlaps and skips.

“The Outback S3 is an all new GPS guidance and mapping system which retails for $3,995,” says Farrar, with an 8.4-inch color touch screen providing constant situational awareness and easy-to-read job data in real time.

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
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
Aerial Drone
Precision AgA Deeper Dive Into The Future Of Precision Ag
May 9, 2016
For about two decades now, through the good and the bad times, the ups and the downs inherent in agriculture, Read More
Latest News
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
Industry NewsLa Crosse Seed Acquires Cover Crop Solutions Brand
June 10, 2016
La Crosse Seed announces that it is the new and exclusive owner of the entire family of brands of Cover Read More
ManagementTravel Plans and EU Rejection of Glyphosate, Biotech Cr…
June 9, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trips and the latest in the European Union’s moves against glyphosate Read More
Aspire with Boron
Crop InputsStudy: Aspire with Boron Ups Alfalfa Yields
June 8, 2016
Alfalfa growers are successfully improving yields through the cutting season by applying an important micronutrient. In a recent study, The Read More
Industry NewsAGCO Announces Tragic Death of Longtime Employee
June 8, 2016
It is with deepest regret that we announce the passing of our dear friend, colleague and customer advocate-in-chief Kevin W. Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Industry NewsBASF Inks Northern Seed for Clearfield Wheat R&D Li…
June 6, 2016
BASF has licensed Northern Seed LLC to perform research and development of BASF’s proprietary and patented Clearfield technology in wheat. Read More
ManagementBayer/Monsanto, EU/Glyphosate, Corn/Soybeans
June 2, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the latest regarding industry mergers, the glyphosate debate in Europe, and an update Read More
Growers looking at soybeans
Industry NewsKoch Licenses 2 Marrone Products For North American Dis…
June 2, 2016
Koch Agronomic Services (Koch), with support from its affiliate, Koch Biological Solutions, has secured exclusive rights to sell REGALIA Rx Read More
Gypsum
Industry NewsBeneficial Reuse Management Launches GYPSOIL BLENDABLE
June 2, 2016
Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM) has introduced GYPSOIL BLENDABLE, a new high-quality pelleted gypsum fertilizer that supplies 17% sulfate sulfur and Read More
StewardshipAgrible Joins Field To Market To Pursue Sustainable Sou…
June 1, 2016
Agrible, Inc. has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member. As a leading multi-stakeholder Read More