Bringing Wireless To Indiana

When Raven announced its Slingshot solution for delivering cell-based RTK GPS and wireless data transfer late last year, it was understood that 2010 would be the year that its dealers would be ramping up to get ready for full implementation in 2011. Equipment Technologies (ET), a large Raven dealer based in Mooresville, IN, and manufacturer of the Apache line of sprayers, is on the downhill side of just such an implementation.

Rob Shellhamer, formerly a precision ag specialist with Raven, was brought on board earlier this year to coordinate the project and has made tremendous progress in setting up the system. ET’s goal is to have the entire state of Indiana covered under Slingshot, and as of early August only a couple of base station installations remained.

While there have been many details to attend to through the setup process, Raven built the Slingshot system to be a relatively straightforward implementation for its dealers. The system requires the establishment of a set of strategically placed base stations that broadcast the signal, and Shellhamer spent a lot of time nailing down these locations and penning agreements with businesses to install the stations – mostly ag retailers and equipment dealers.

As the system comes fully on line and gets tested, the next hurdle will be getting growers and agribusinesses to sign up for the service. “This summer has been all about getting the system up and going,” says Shellhamer. “Now we’re beginning to promote it for the 2011 season through field days and farm shows.”

The system is already compatible with Raven’s Viper Pro and Envizio Pro controllers, as well Trimble’s EZ Guide 500 and FmX and AutoFarm’s ParaDyme, so end-users operating with these products will be able to utilize the Slingshot system with more existing equipment and a lower additional investment. There will be a subscription cost to access Slingshot of $1500 per year for the first system and $750 for each additional system.

When the system is fully implemented throughout the state and all the base stations are networked, users of the Slingshot system will have access to RTK-level GPS correction (sub-inch repeatable) that is serviced by Raven, but is also compatible with CORS-based signals.

Slingshot also offers in-cab wireless Internet access, allowing operators the ability to simply browse or to use the Internet platform to transfer files. A Raven-operated Web site facilitates data transfer. Users also can get help with equipment problems from Raven or ET technicians remotely in the field – technicians can use the Slingshot system and a system generated code to actually go directly into the controller, look at the system and troubleshoot the problem. The system also provides vehicle tracking capability that users can access through the Slingshot website.

The one downside of Slingshot is that it’s not able to work with every color and brand of equipment, at least not yet. But Shellhamer says that compatibility is being broadened as rapidly as possible to accommodate whatever equipment the end-user is running.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementWashington Visit and Bayer/Monsanto Deal Update
May 26, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discusses a recent trip to DC and the latest news on the proposed pairing Read More
Fertilizer closeup in hand
Industry NewsVerdesian: Striking A Balance Between Yield & ROI
May 26, 2016
Finely tuned nutrient management plans are helping farmers throughout the U.S. improve nutrient use efficiency, increase return on investment (ROI) Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Announces Minnesota Water Quality Pa…
May 25, 2016
Governor Mark Dayton and Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski today announced a new public-private partnership to protect Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Establishes Global Headquarters In R…
May 25, 2016
Arysta LifeScience has announced plans to relocate its global headquarters from West Palm Beach, FL, to Cary, NC, over the Read More
fertilizer blending and storage, Top 100
BlendersCHS Dakota Expansion Features AGCO’s GSI InterSys…
May 25, 2016
The continued growth of precision agriculture has increased farmer use of customized fertilizer blends best-suited for their soil conditions. Several Read More
ManagementAgriculture 3.5: A Bumpy Road Ahead
May 24, 2016
You may have read my article a few years ago on Agriculture 3.0, which is a term I coined to Read More
Topcon’s X30 display with CropSpec sensors
EquipmentGPS Autosteer Systems: Product Updates From Precision A…
May 24, 2016
Throughout 2015 GPS Steering solutions continued to evolve from what was once an after-market add on, to today’s cab where Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Eric Wintemute, AMVAC
Precision AgAMVAC Ups The Ante With New Precision Ag Technology
May 24, 2016
A potentially industry-changing at-plant soil treatment system from American Vanguard Corp., or AMVAC, is coming soon to large growers in Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
CropLife 100CropLife 100 Map
May 24, 2016
The new CropLife 100 map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of the 2015 CropLife 100 retailers. The interactive Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Corn Field
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Names Veteran Account Manager To Lead Central…
May 23, 2016
With the continuing growth of the sulphur bentonite and precision crop nutrient industry, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has announced that Read More
Bayer sign
Industry NewsReuters: Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto…
May 23, 2016
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Hires Industry Veteran To Lead Plant N…
May 19, 2016
Compass Minerals has hired plant nutrition industry veteran Vatren Jurin to steer the company’s portfolio expansion into specialty liquid micronutrient Read More
ASMARK Retailers LIVE! Tour 2016 Group shot The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From HC2
May 19, 2016
The Andersons, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has rejected two non-binding, highly conditional, unsolicited proposals from HC2 Read More
glyphosate
Crop InputsWHO: Glyphosate ‘Unlikely’ To Cause Cancer
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter Kate Kelland: The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, Read More