Site Pro Dispatch, a new software package, provides the ability to track equipment locations in real time. More important, it can relay prescription job orders to individual application rigs, as well as capture as-applied maps on main computers soon after the applications occur.
Co-Alliance, a 26-location co-op based in Tipton, IN, uses a mobile computer-based communications network, plus the new software package, to manage six fertilizer application rigs. Being able to relay variable-rate application files in real time has been a major benefit, says Luke Lightfoot, a technology specialist with Co-Alliance. In the past, each morning the co-op's operations manager prepared thumb drives with the day's jobs for each application rig. If there was a last-minute change of plans, new application files often had to be driven to the field. And at the end of the day, as-applied files from computers on each rig had to be downloaded and transferred to the co-op's main computers.
“Now it is a couple of clicks of a mouse to update job files instead of having to run new files out to them,” Lightfoot says.
Another time-saver, he says, is the ability to diagnose and fix on-board computer problems from afar. Through use of remote-access software, he is able to log on to mobile computers and make necessary changes to keep them running.
Site Pro Dispatch is an add-on to Farm Works' Site Pro software, which is targeted for agricultural retailers and large-acreage farmers. Site Pro contains key components of the company's Farm Trac/Farm Site field record-keeping and mapping software. The Dispatch add-on overlays computer-based communications and tracking capabilities, including a live map that shows where all the applicators are at any given time. Site Pro Dispatch software sells for $2,000 (or $1,000 to current Site Pro owners).
Farm Works also offers a remote file-synchronizing program called Farm Sync, which sells for $250. Jobs and maps are transferred via a wireless Wi-Fi network. With an enhanced wireless network using antennas or repeaters, Farm Sync can transfer files from 1,000 ft. or more.