David Hest

David
Hest
Articles
Video surveillance advances bring high-end security to the farm 29

As the value of grain, livestock and machinery continues to climb, driving down the farmstead driveway and noticing that something is amiss is getting scarier than ever.

Hemisphere GPS introduces Outback MAX with ConnX data transfer service 1

The new Outback MAX integrated display terminal from Hemisphere GPS offers section and variable rate control, GPS and GLONASS guidance, video support for up to four cameras, plus wireless data transfer capabilities to automatically import and export prescription application maps, as-applied files and other critical precision agriculture data.

Prescription crop nutrient management tool now online 3

Real-time access to complex nutrient management tools is a click away for users of the new i-F.A.R.M. Web-based resource management program from United Soils Inc. (USI).

i-F.A.R.M. is designed to bring sophisticated crop nutrient management tools to any Internet-connected computer running a Web browser, whether in the field or the office, says USI agronomist Greg Ikins. “We try to make things as easy as possible to get the best possible fertilizer recommendation to the field.”

Hemisphere offers AgJunction Mobile app to synchronize precision field data 1

Piggybacking on the popular iPhone and iPad operating system, new AgJunction Mobile from Hemisphere GPS brings key elements of the AgJunction precision agriculture data services platform to the field.

AgJunction Mobile is an in-field data collection system featuring GPS-enabled boundary mapping and soil sampling. In short order, it also will display yield, planting, as-applied, aerial imagery, soil sampling and electrical conductivity data as background layers for viewing and to help guide field sampling.

LightSquared files for bankruptcy

LightSquared Inc., whose proposed high-speed wireless network threatened to disrupt GPS navigation systems, including those used in agriculture, has filed for bankruptcy.

 

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was filed May 14 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. It followed a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision in February that it would withdraw preliminary approval for the LightSquared network after government tests confirmed that it would interfere with global positioning systems.

 

R7 Tool streamlines variable-rate decision making and variety selection 39

Winfield Solutions, the seed and crop protection products arm of Land O’Lakes, introduces a new Web-based precision planning tool that allows farmers to get a start in variable-rate seeding and fertility programs.

The R7 Tool uses satellite imagery as a stand-in for actual yield and soil test data. Working with retailer agronomists, farmers used the tool to develop crop plans on millions of acres scheduled for planting in 2012.

RTK navigation systems may boost controlled traffic farming

Controlled traffic farming barely rates a blip on the radar of farming practices across the U.S. today. But that could change as farmers become more aware of the yield-boosting potential of using real time kinematic (RTK) navigation systems to guide implements over the same tracks year after year.

At least that’s the hope of promoters of controlled traffic farming, which they say not only increases yields, but also cuts fuel costs, reduces machinery wear and tear and curtails erosion.

Onsite offers solution for cross-platform precision communications 1

Onsite, a new cloud-based mobile and desktop application, promises to solve the challenge of wirelessly transferring precision ag data across multiple hardware and software platforms.

Onsite also provides new avenues for tracking mixed equipment fleets, as well as key personnel, says Mike Santostefano,director of marketing and business development for AgIntegrated, the precision agriculture software development company behind Onsite.

New tools protect crop producers when dire weather strikes

Last summer, when extreme heat hit his crops, Jon Kenady slept easier than he has in the past, thanks to innovative weather insurance that paid $64,000 in claims even before the crop was harvested.

“It helps me sleep better at night when the weather goes against me,” says Kenady, who farms in west-central Illinois near Plainville. “Why sit up at night worrying about the weather?”

7 paths to faster Internet service 12

Posted 3/12/12

 

Rural areas are notoriously slow for Internet speeds. New technology can help farmers leave these slow downloads behind.

Nine outmoded technologies 7

In the computer and communications technology world, today’s hot technologies can become has-beens almost overnight. Here are nine that have largely gone by the wayside.

1 Dial-up modems

MultiBob sensor system automates bin level management

 

BinMaster’s MultiBob inventory management system automatically monitors bin levels based on readings from up to 32 SmartBob sensors strategically placed in a bin, tank, silo or flat storage warehouse. Levels are reported via eBob software, which calculates the average level or headroom and estimated percentage full. Software can be set to measure materials at scheduled time intervals or on demand.

Data analysis lessons from Indy Family Farms 1

Last fall, access to real-time yield monitor data paid off big time for Indy Family Farms.

Soon after yield data from each harvested field began to roll in via a new wireless communication system, Chester Birch and Dan Moeller had confirmed what they had feared — yields were running lower than expected.

“This year, we knew that yields would be down by the second day of harvest, so we were able to react,” recalls Birch, manager of business development for Indy Family Farms.

Next wave of precision ag data

The first wave of precision agriculture began with the yield monitor and the promise of improved productivity from a better understanding of the relationship between soils, fertility, genetics and yield. Despite that promise, first-wave profits have been largely generated by hardware that steers tractors and turns planter row units and sprayer sections off and on.

DPL America launches universal CAN bus telematics solution

DPL America has added CAN bus functionality to its Titan Equipment Monitoring System, allowing it to monitor diagnostic fault codes, fuel consumption, idle versus work time, engine direct hour meter/odometer readings, temperatures, pressures and more.

The Titan system is designed to wirelessly monitor and track mixed fleets of construction, agricultural and other off-road equipment, as well as over-the-road trucks, to increase productivity and reduce fleet costs. Machine data can be accessed from any Internet- connected device.

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