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

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
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
AGCO AgControl system
Precision AgPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
November 28, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
Corn Field
FertilizerBridging Crop Nutrition Science And Technology
September 7, 2016
The future seemed to draw nearer for the 1,600-plus attendees of the co-located InfoAg and International Precision Agriculture conferences in St. Read More
Trending Articles
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
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsanto Merger
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
STS16 2017
SprayersHagie Manufacturing Releases 2017 STS16 Sprayer To Market
November 16, 2016
Hagie Manufacturing LLC’s largest full season applicator is now available with enhancements for the 2017 model year. Hagie is officially Read More
Latest News
ManagementARA 2016 Report and Crop Mix for 2017
December 9, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the recent Agricultural Retailers Association meeting and the projected acreage mix for Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In …
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
Ryan Bartlett
Crop InputsCompass Minerals Appoints Vice President, Innovation An…
December 8, 2016
Ryan Bartlett, Ph.D., has joined Compass Minerals as vice president, innovation and product development. Dr. Bartlett will be responsible for Read More
HerbicidesHerbicides 2017: New Cropping Systems Set For Debut
December 7, 2016
Herbicide-resistant weed are inching ever-closer to a potentially frightening saturation point here in the U.S. Heading into 2016, USDA planting Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
December 7, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
Fertilizer storage The Andersons
CropLife 1002016 Fertilizer Report: Another Really Rough Year For A…
December 7, 2016
In many ways, the fertilizer category cannot seem to catch a break. During the early part of the 2010s decade, 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
Winter wheat
HerbicidesTalinor Herbicide Approved For Wheat And Barley
December 7, 2016
Talinor herbicide from Syngenta has received federal registration from the U.S. EPA, giving wheat and barley growers a new option Read More
Forage Sorghum
UncategorizedMilestone Achievement Continues For Dow AgroSciences, A…
December 7, 2016
New and innovative forage products are on the horizon driven by continued collaboration between Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesNew WSSA Factsheet Explores Weed Seeds And Their Longev…
December 7, 2016
Did you know some weed seeds can lie dormant in the soil for more than a century and then sprout Read More
Crop InputsARA 2016: 5 Developments Worth Monitoring Into 2017
December 6, 2016
You can pretty much set your watch to it (do people even still wear watches? I know I do…but I’m Read More
Tim McCardle, ARA Chairman
CropLife 100BRANDT COO Named ARA Chairman
December 5, 2016
BRANDT EVP and Chief Operating Officer Tim McArdle has been named chairman of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) during a Read More
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Receives ResponsibleAg Certification At Mo…
December 5, 2016
Wilbur-Ellis Co., a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution of crop protection products, announces the ResponsibleAg certification Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Eric SfiligojThe Read On 2017 For Agricultural Fortunes Is Anybody’s…
December 5, 2016
As I (and others) have written in recent months, the nation has just experienced one of the most offbeat election Read More
Acceleron B-300 seed coating
Crop InputsThe BioAg Alliance Launches New Yield-Boosting Microbia…
December 5, 2016
As part of their commitment to develop and commercialize innovative microbial solutions for farmers through The BioAg Alliance, Monsanto Co. Read More
ManagementCorn and soy planting update; Takeaways from Climate Co…
December 2, 2016
AgriBusiness Global Editor Dave Frabotta Joins Paul Schrimpf for a discussion of global corn and soybean planting trends, and a Read More
Radish cover crop taproot
Crop InputsSoil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant To E…
December 1, 2016
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research have announced a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify the 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