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

Precision AgUAVs To Take Flight At 2015 Farm Science Review
August 14, 2015
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have taken the agriculture industry by storm and will soon be Read More
Crop InputsFSR Agronomy College Aims To Keep Agronomic Professionals Sharp
August 11, 2015
From watching for insects and diseases, to carefully applying chemicals and curtailing runoff, to keeping up with ever advancing technology, Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
Topcon AGI-4 on MF Planter
EquipmentAutosteer: Compatibility, Accuracy Remain Top Of Mind
July 3, 2015
The world of automatic steering solutions in agriculture has evolved rapidly in the last few years. From after-market add-ons that Read More
Top 100 Articles
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
Latest News
ManagementReviewing MAGIE 2015
September 2, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks what he saw at the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show. Read More
Melissa Olds Dow AgroSciences
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Highlighting The Past, Present & …
September 2, 2015
In general, media events held by large agricultural suppliers tend to focus primarily on what plans the company has in Read More
Mobile tablet
OpinionTaking Data Head On
September 2, 2015
As you read this column, I’m hoping that if you picked up the phone and gave me a call, you’d Read More
Young soybean field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Announces New Business Unit Head For…
September 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America announces the addition of Rico Christensen, Business Unit Head, North America. Christensen will have responsibility for Read More
Wilbur Ellis Pink Soybean Seed Treatment
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Goes Pink With Soybean Seed Treatments For…
September 1, 2015
This past year, proceeds of pink-dyed soybeans treated and sold to Wilbur-Ellis seed customers in Chester, SD, went to two Read More
SprayersNORAC Active Wing Roll Slated For More Sprayers
September 1, 2015
NORAC Systems, a member of the Topcon Positioning Group, announces the release of Active Wing Roll for RoGator, Apache, New Read More
Syngenta Sign
FungicidesSyngenta’s Newest Fungicide Receives EPA Approval
September 1, 2015
Syngenta announced today that its newest succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicide – Solatenol – has received registration from EPA and Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
Crop InputsDelaying The Fertilizer Decision
September 1, 2015
Comments gathered from several retailers recently evidenced a classic good-news-bad-news scenario. Good news is prices and supplies of nitrogen, phosphate, Read More
StewardshipBee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers
August 31, 2015
The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Read More
2015 ShowStopper Award, MAGIE
EquipmentA ShowStopper From Case IH: The Patriot 2250
August 31, 2015
For nine years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with not only Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, FMC Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Platform
August 31, 2015
FMC Corp. and Monsanto Co. announced today an expanded agreement to continue their participation in the Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Read More
Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
CPS Morenci receiving its 4R certification
StewardshipCPS Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified I…
August 31, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, MI, has been Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsWhat’s Next For Monsanto, Syngenta?
August 28, 2015
After dropping its $47 billion bid to take over Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta, Monsanto may be turning its focus to Read More
Golden Harvest Corn stalks
Crop InputsMonsanto: Syngenta Not The Only Horse In Crop Protectio…
August 28, 2015
Monsanto Co, having ditched an audacious $46 billion (£30 billion) offer for Syngenta AG, may downshift to a humbler strategy Read More
ManagementConsolidation hits and a miss; And a look at China’s ch…
August 28, 2015
As Monsanto suspends its pursuit of Syngenta, consolidation news at the retail and distribution level heats up. CropLife magazine’s Executive Read More