In what appears to be a page taken from handheld GPS units used by hikers and outdoorsmen, the Cultiva Marker Lite system presents a “virtual highway” to guide you down the field, whether the field is straight, curved or irregular. Steer the tractor so that it stays on the highway on the screen and you're on the right path in the field. In addition to a “steer toward” indicator, the screen tells distance from desired line, ground speed and number of passes.

After you set in boom widths, make headland boundary passes, and stake your field points, the system will guide you within the headland and provide a countdown warning as the machine nears the end of the row.

Custom applicators who have tested earlier versions of the Cultiva say the product is intuitive, making it easier to use and install than most lightbar guidance systems. It is well adapted to operations such as spraying soybeans or spreading lime. Field and file memory lets you stop spreading after a couple of rounds, refill and go back exactly to where you left off.

Simple installation allows you to move the system from one machine to another with little difficulty. There are no junction boxes or hornet's nest of wires to deal with. The adjustable, backlit, 8.1-in. LCD screen has suction cup mounts, and the GPS antenna mounts magnetically. An easy-access port on the back of the console allows you to update system software as new technology becomes available. Price: $3,500. Contact Sprayer Specialties Inc., 5149 N.W. 111 Dr., Grimes, IA 50111, 800/351-1587, www.sprayers.com.