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.
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 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.
Trimble announces several new and updated precision agriculture products, including new wireless vehicle navigation synchronizing capabilities, global expansion of its Centerpoint RTX correction service and a new Web-based platform to help customers manage precision farming data and monitor vehicle performance and logistics.
Precision Planting has harnessed Apple’s iPad 2 tablet computer to provide real-time in-cab mapping of planter performance data captured by its 20/20 SeedSense monitor. The free FieldView App (application) uses the iPad as a secondary monitor and processor, as well as a mobile scouting and office computing tool, a first for agriculture, the company claims.
If you think the future of crop production means ever-wider equipment pulled by ever-bigger tractors, think again.
Self-driving so-called autonomous vehicles could change the face of crop production and resurrect machinery sizes common on farms 75 years ago. Instead of 500-hp tractors and 48-row planters, think of fleets of small power units pulling narrow implements with the combined capacity of today’s behemoths. Payoffs will include higher yields, reduced labor costs and greater overall productivity.
This is the year when autonomous vehicles will emerge from research and development tests to farmers’ fields. By harvest, Case IH, John Deere and Kinze plan to have commercialized guidance systems that allow a tractor-and-grain-cart unit to be driven without operator input while unloading combines.
In time for spring planting, Case IH will offer two new telematics products to track field machinery in real time, monitor machine operations data and transfer field application records between the field and farm office.
Continued record-breaking sales — including two in Iowa this fall that topped $16,000/acre — have heads shaking, tongues wagging and Federal Reserve officials warning of a price bubble ahead. That warning has ag economists, farm lenders and land brokers on the defensive as they explain the economics supporting today’s hot market and the risks that lie ahead.
The new entry-level Versa display from Ag Leader Technology features a full-color, 8.4-inch touchscreen, integrated guidance and steering, plus full-screen mapping, planter and application control, yield monitoring and real-time data logging.