Visual Guidance: The Places You’ll Go

Raven Weather-Resistant Cruizer

Visual guidance systems have long changed the way growers manage their fields, and updates to the premium systems already available are taking their users in new directions with expanded options. For example, the new weather-resistant Raven Cruizer, due out this spring, can be used on a four-wheeler or tractor with an open cab. “A version that’s tolerant to drizzle or rain was a big request from our customers,” says Paul Welbig, business development director for Raven’s Ag Division.

Rolling Out The Changes

Water-resistance isn’t Raven’s only new offering this season; the company also provides wireless connectivity to the field with Slingshot, which works with EnvizioPRO and ViperPRO displays. “You can get on the internet, or send files from the cab of the tractor to the office or vice versa,” says Welbig. “If you’re having trouble in the field, your technician can see your screen from their office.” Adds Welbig: “The good news for customers is that if you’ve already invested in one of our field computers over the last few years, this adds an incredible new capability to those, and you don’t have to buy another display.”

John Deere is also updating its premium display; the GreenStar 2600 now has the ability to convert prescription shape files. “Customers have been asking for it, especially ag service providers,” says Jake Stien, product manager, displays. “The ability to bring in a prescription shape file from a third-party desktop software program and then basically convert that to a format the 2600 can use is very important.”

Manufacturers are listening to growers, and many of the new products and updates reflect that. “To meet grower demands, we’ve recently introduced a new guidance system, Matrix, and integrated the Matrix interface into our FieldPilot assist­ed-steering system,” says TeeJet Tech­nologies Vice President, Guidance Bus­iness Manager Rich Gould. “What sets Matrix apart from all other guidance devices is RealView Guidance Over Video,” Gould explains. “RealView allows operators to see guidance information displayed over an actual image of the field rather than a virtual image.” Up to four cameras can be used with the system to view and monitor hard-to-see implement operations. Later in 2010, TeeJet will release Matrix 840G with an 8.4-inch display, all the features of the Matrix 570G, and the ability to connect up to eight RealView cameras.

For a cleaner cab, Ag Leader has added guidance, steering, and boom height control to its EDGE display to eliminate redundant controllers. “The latest firmware for the EDGE display has a built-in, full-featured guidance system including an on-screen lightbar showing cross-track error and pass number,” says Jessica Reis, marketing communications specialist. The L160 companion lightbar can be mounted on the windshield or dash, allowing for a view of guidance in front and enabling operators to see cross-track error, pass number, and degree heading, Reis says.

Creating even more cab room is the mojoMINI with a 4-inch color touch screen from Leica Geosystems. A plug-and-play manual guidance product, the mojoMINI includes a street navigation function, so the user can simply pull the screen from the tractor and stick it to their vehicle’s window for on-road navigation. The mojoMINI comes with a SmartAg antenna with a magnetic mount, and wireless communication with the display via BlueTooth.

Investment Pays Off

“In these economic times, people want to hang on to what they’ve got and make them better,” says Welbig, which is why Raven’s displays are scalable. “You can make a modest investment now and continue to build on that investment later with all these other capabilities,” Welbig explains.

Following that trend of making existing units customizable for the end user is a new Leica display with high-quality, three-dimensional graphics. “The mojo3D provides guidance and a range of customized controls via option packs so users can add other functions such as single- or multi-section control,” says Harlan Little, North American business manager, Leica Geosystems Ag Solutions. With a standard base of features and a series of upgrade options, producers only have to purchase the functionality they need, Little says. Available later this spring, the mojo3D has a 7-inch color touch-screen display, an integrated GPS receiver, and offers multiple viewer perspectives and an icon-based menu structure that allows users to change settings without leaving the main navigation screen.

Even with the introduction of new products to the market, Little says 2010 sales on existing products are likely be even with 2009. “We continue to see interest in guidance products that give the user the ability to upgrade to better accuracies once they have gained confidence that there is a return in using them,” Little says. “This desire to leverage their initial investment while increasing accuracy is why we can start a user with our mojoGLIDE console, and then help them upgrade over time to RTK by remotely unlocking the unit’s built-in RTK potential using our Virtual Wrench service.”

This payoff on an initial investment is keeping customer requests coming, and manufacturers responding. “Growers continue to evaluate the ability of any technology to deliver a payback to their farming operations,” says Gould. TeeJet is doing its part to provide growers with plenty of options. “Automatic boom section control and assisted steering have been designed into Matrix,” Gould says. “This makes it extremely easy and affordable for growers to add these capabilities to the Matrix.”

“With the new Farm Bill offering incentives for precision farming, now is the time to invest for both those growers looking to upgrade from older lightbar technologies or those purchasing their first guidance product. Now that the cost of these systems can be quickly recouped through efficiency gains, growers are willing to make the investment,” says Gould.

Leave a Reply

Precision Ag Stories
Precision AgGoogle Glass: New Tool For Ag
October 8, 2014
New wearable smart technologies such as Google Glass show potential to greatly impact how we accomplish the business of feeding the world. Read More
Precision AgPrecision Agriculture: Finding The Payback
September 6, 2014
Profitability in precision ag is not about any one technology, but the result of employing technology in a total system approach that is agronomically sound. Read More
Precision AgUAS: The S Stands For Smart, Service And Sensors
May 1, 2014
The only thing occuring more rapidly than the technologies’ evolution is the clamoring to implement UAS into agriculture as soon as possible. Read More
Precision AgAg Retail: 3 Tech Trends To Watch In 2014
April 1, 2014
It's been a busy first quarter of technology developments in 2014. Here are some of the highlights, and things to watch in the months ahead. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Creates, Fills New Pacific Northwest Sales P…
March 30, 2015
H.J. Baker announced today that Gary Bingham has joined the company’s Crop Performance Division to further deepen its sales portfolio Read More
Algal blooms
StewardshipStudy: Algae From Clogged Waterways Could Be Used As Bi…
March 30, 2015
Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists are reporting Read More
Young corn plants
Stewardship4R Nutrient Stewardship Summit Coming To DC
March 30, 2015
The annual 4R Nutrient Stewardship Summit will be held on May 12 in Washington DC. The summit will include a full Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More