Vibrant Visual Guidance

GPS guidance product sales are remaining strong, thanks to technology’s promise of a speedy return on investment and input savings. Dave King, marketing manager, Ag Leader, would add other benefits: “The adoption rate continues to grow as guidance helps applicators be more efficient, allows them to work at night, and reduces stress.”

While there’s no official industry reporting on guidance system sales, Kayla Reynolds, product marketing manager at John Deere, has seen a “heavy uptake” in purchases over the last few years, both in manual and automatic steering units. In just the last few months, Leica has signed on many value-added guidance resellers — equipment dealers and ag suppliers alike, says Christina Roth, marketing and communications manager.

Companies continue to introduce and tweak systems for all levels of work. This month, CropLife focuses on visual (or manual) guidance products, and in June, we’ll cover automated steering lines.

Displays For All Tastes

Guidance companies are offering more screen options than ever. Reynolds says Deere’s “Cadillac” of displays is the GreenStar 2 2600 Display, now standard equipment in every 4000-Series sprayer shipped. The color touchscreen measures a little over 10 inches and comes standard with manual guidance, coverage maps, documentation, and prescriptions. An AutoTrac-ready kit is built in, making it simple to add an automatic guidance system.

The GreenStar 2 line can now be used — with the addition of a GreenStar rate controller — to vary anhydrous ammonia rates. “It’s something everybody’s starting to dabble in, using GPS to control the on-off of anhydrous,” says Reynolds. In fact, the GS2 System can handle four inputs at one time, controlling seed, liquid, and gas while simultaneously controlling implement sections with GreenStar Swath Control Pro.

Leica just launched the Leica iNEX mapping and guidance display. This new full-color touchscreen is compatible with most GPS receivers and rate controllers. It comes with standard guidance options, unlimited line storage, and multiple field views. “Software upgrades allow users to customize the display’s functionality to fit their individual needs,” says Roth.

Just introduced in February, Outback STS from Hemisphere GPS combines the most popular features of the Outback S2 with a 7-inch, high-resolution color touchscreen that offers excellent situational awareness. The unit includes Hemisphere GPS’s patented Crescent Technology that provides industry-leading satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS/WAAS) performance, says Jeff Farrar, channel marketing manager.

Upgradability in displays continues to be popular with operators. Many units can easily add features such as automatic boom control, automatic section control, and automatic steering. For instance, Raven’s Cruizer integrates with SmartBoom and SmartRow easily, says Ryan Molitor, marketing supervisor. These features control section shut-offs for both sprayers and planter. “Applicators need this technology to ensure they are not overlapping or skipping — this is especially important when using guidance and data logging,” he believes. “Being able to hand the customer a map of his field that can prove they sprayed only where they needed to, and didn’t skip, is critical.”

The AutoFarm ATC (Ag Technology Center) offers a realistic “virtual highway” look on its display, making visual guidance “as easy and intuitive as driving your car down the road.” The “Center” part of the system’s name means the users can do other tasks besides guidance, including where-applied mapping and field recordkeeping. The unit can also integrate with popular rate controllers and show individual boom sections’ shut-off and coverage.

Trimble’s newest product is the AgGPS FmX Integrated Display, which replaces the Trimble Field Manager Display. “It includes two integrated GPS+GLONASS receivers for the latest GNSS technology,” says Wayne Wenzel, public relations manager. This allows the unit to do guidance for a tractor and an implement behind it. “A 12.1-inch color touchscreen with plain and 3D views is 35% larger than the industry standard 10.4-inch screen,” he notes. The unit supports a host of signal choices and optional capabilities.

Trimble has focused on “future proof” technology, says Wenzel, “which means the equipment is designed to be upgradable so farmers and custom applicators don’t have to worry so much about their equipment becoming obsolete soon after they buy it.” He adds that Trimble is “color-blind and brand-neutral,” so the company’s equipment can be added to almost any existing farm equipment.

TeeJet’s new CenterLine 230BP combines simple guidance with automatic boom section control. It has all the features of the company’s entry-level CenterLine 220 (which has a new low MSRP price) plus headland and adaptive curve modes and applied area counter display. It also works with most spray controllers.

Bright Lightbars

While displays continue to do more, “we think there is still a pretty big market for lightbars,” says Deere’s Reynolds. Indeed, Deere has typically focused on more advanced solutions, targeting the automatic guidance market, but “now we’ve come back around and we’ve seen an opportunity to fill out our line-up, to offer an entry-level system also,” she explains. Enter the GreenStar Lightbar, new this season. It can be teamed with any Deere receiver, but customers are mainly pairing it with the new StarFire 300. “It’s a price fighter because when you put these two products together, you can benefit from manual guidance for $1,400. It’s a fairly inexpensive system that you can put on any machine — it doesn’t care the color,” says Reynolds.

Topcon Positioning Systems’ new System 110 combines GPS lightbar guidance with a simple screen set-up. Its detachable lightbar can be placed anywhere in the cab for optimum viewing, says Tom Causey, ag & OEM advertising manager.

The AgGPS EZ-Guide 250 and AgGPS EZ-Guide 500 Lightbar Guidance Systems from Trimble use a color display to aid manual guidance. The EZ-Guide 250’s 4.3-inch screen contains 15 bright guidance LEDs for quick on-line visual feedback, while the EZ-Guide 500’s 7-inch screen boasts 31 highly visible LEDs. At different price points, the units are targeted for different needs, with the EZ-Guide 500 offering accuracy and application control upgradability.

Leave a Reply

Precision Ag Stories

Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision AgGrowing Demand For High Tech Agriculture Sparking Discussion
March 3, 2017
How can information technology be best harnessed to solve challenges in food and agriculture? That’s a question being asked more Read More
EquipmentWhat Does FBN’s Latest Attempt At Disintermediation Really Mean For Ag Retailers?
February 6, 2017
When Farmer’s Business Network (FBN), the Silicon Valley-based ag data startup that promises to leverage all kinds of on-farm data Read More
Farmobile Dashboard Heat Map
Precision AgFarmobile’s EFR Dashboard Brings Real-Time Metrics To The Coffee Table
January 1, 2017
Farmobile is one of many data start-ups that we’ve been closely observing with a sense of keen curiosity since they Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Trending Articles
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
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Latest News
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s R…
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Corn Field
LegislationTFI Hopes Court Dismissal Is ‘Final Chapter’…
March 20, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) released the following statement from President, Chris Jahn on the March 17, 2017, federal court dismissal Read More
Wheat Growers
Industry NewsWheat Growers CEO Dale Locken To Retire
March 20, 2017
CEO Dale Locken has announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers. Locken has served almost 15 years as Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Eric SfiligojBayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of R…
March 20, 2017
As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrien…
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
ManagementSnowstorms, Asset Sales, and Soybeans Prices
March 16, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the weather, precision ag, crop protection company mergers, and commodity prices in this Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In Th…
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
CHS
CropLife 100CHS Acquires Western Co-op Transport Association
March 16, 2017
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has purchased Western Co-op Transport Read More
Young corn plants in soil
HerbicidesBest Management Practices To Control PPO-Resistant Weed…
March 14, 2017
Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Eric SfiligojFungicide Resistance On The Horizon
March 13, 2017
For many years now, the agricultural market has struggled to keep ahead of an ever-growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. According Read More
Management2017 Commodity Classic Review
March 10, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss what happened at the recent Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Read More
Farmer using AgriSync
ManagementMajor AgriSync Update Aims To Extend Ag Experts’ Power …
March 10, 2017
AgriSync announced a major update to its leading collaboration and service management tool for professional ag advisors and their farmer Read More
Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying …
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BPIA logo
Crop InputsBiological Products Trade Association Changes Name, Exp…
March 9, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), formerly the BioPesticide Industry Alliance, is the new name of the rapidly growing U.S.-based Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationARA: Sonny Perdue Confirmation Delay Simply A Paperwork…
March 9, 2017
It’s been seven weeks since the White House named former Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-Ga.) as the nominee for the next Read More
Storage Tank The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons To Sell Farm Center Locations In Florida
March 8, 2017
The Andersons, Inc. has signed an agreement to sell its farm center locations in Florida to Wedgworth’s Inc., of Belle Read More
Nebraska landscape Photo courtesy of Richard Hurd
ManagementNebraska Water: Another Opportunity To Sell Value
March 8, 2017
Keith Byerly has been an Advanced Cropping Systems (ACS) Manager with York, NE-headquartered, No. 13-ranked CropLife 100 retailer Central Valley Read More