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

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