Raven Industries made two big product announcements last night at the 2013 Raven Innovation Summit in Sioux Falls, SD. The company unveiled its new fourth-generation field computer, the Viper 4, and a new Multi-Hybrid planter controller that varies the type of seed you plant on-the-fly according to changes in field conditions. 

Raven says the new Multi-Hybrid planter controller, parts of its OmniRow variable-rate seeding system, is a first in the industry.

“Previous packages would let you vary the seeding rate during field operations but not the type of hybrid planted,” explained Matt Burkhart, vice president and general manager of Raven’s applied technology division, who spoke in front of dealers and industry partners at last night’s event. “Variability can vary greatly in the field. You now can switch out different hybrids and also do variable-rate seeding.

The new Viper 4 field computer, also new, is modular and tablet-sized and lets you adjust the orientation of the screen. You can download apps, each of which controls a different product application such as granular or liquid fertilizer, seed or pesticides. The computer comes loaded with new Raven operating software, which Burkhart says allows for third-party integration with other data management systems.

“Information management is the next breakthrough in precision agriculture,” Burkhart says. “Our system allows for ‘one size fits all’. ‘Big Data’ analytics and decision support tools be the future.”

Raven also announced eight other products, including a mechanical sprayer controller for pull-type sprayers..< Field demonstrations will take place today.

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