Confirmed Rumors: 2012

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Rumors by Year


Onsite Beta Update — May 17, 2012

Onsite set for June 25th launch at the IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference

With the release date fast approaching, the excitement level is building. The Onsite team is putting the finishing touches on the Onsite app based on feedback from our beta testers and the manufacturing of the Relay is in full swing.

The positive response to Onsite across the agricultural industry has already exceeded our expectations. Equipment, software, and input providers are eager to help create a more connected and productive industry through apps like Onsite. And the beta testers are thrilled about how easy it is to communicate important ag information with the people, equipment, and software they interact with on a daily basis.

phone-laptop-relay

So how can Onsite improve productivity for individuals working with precision ag information? Here are a few uses that our beta testers have found:

  • Save time and fuel by sending prescription files directly to the tractor or to someone closer to the field through a smartphone and the Relay.
  • Save time and energy collecting as applied data by sending the files directly from the planters or sprayers back to the office or directly into an agronomic software package to be processed.
  • Send geo-fence alerts to each operator out on the field when the tender truck is on it.
  • Send user guides, processes, or agronomic information with your network of connections in order to share knowledge and help troubleshoot an issue or make better decisions out on the field.
  • Growers especially like the ability to receive geo-fence alerts when their vendors and advisers access their fields (ex. Manure spreaders, scouts, etc.).

How else can Onsite be used to connect the agricultural industry? The next newsletter will announce several new direct connections with Onsite from equipment and agronomic software systems! Also, we invite you to join us at the IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference June 25-27 in Altoona, IA where we will have the opportunity to meet you in person and show you the Onsite program in action.

If you haven’t already registered for the conference, visit www.ideaggroup.com and enter the promo code AGDL to receive a discounted rate courtesy of your friends at Onsite.

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Croplife Article: Many New Options For In-Cab Displays — May 1, 2012

Article from CropLife: With manufacturers launching a plethora of in-cab displays last year, 2012 brings a bevy of enhanced capabilities and data synchronization features to the ever popular displays. Last year was marked by vast innovation in the in-cab computing realm, with many top manufacturers trotting out advanced and updated capabilities for the snazzy, “teched-up” retailer. It appears that 2012 will go down as the year of the software upgrade. Take Topcon Precision Agri­culture (TPA), for example. In the past year, the company rolled out its System 350, an in-cab precision ag control system featuring the all-in-one, 12.4-inch multi-touchscreen X30 console. Mike Gomes, TPA director of marketing, says: “Topcon’s System 350 sets the industry standard for performance in virtually every conceivable area of precision farming operations.” Helping the company maintain that so-called “industry standard” is its latest software update, Version v3.07.24. In addition to providing the X30’s standard high accuracy autosteering feature, detailed job summary reports for data tracking and multi-guideline settings (straight, adaptive curve and center pivot), the update bestows the following advanced capabilities upon users:
  • Swather vehicle support with the Topcon AES-25 electric steering system, GPS drift compensation.
  • Boundary creation from a shapefile.
  • ISO file server.
  • ISO XML taskdata data exchange.
Just as Topcon updated its X30 software package, so did Leica Geosys­tems. Back in March, the company released additional features for its mojoMINI and mojo3D guidance systems to further enhance usability and compatibility. The touchscreen of the mojoMINI has undergone several modifications. It offers now two lightbar modes: The traditional cross track only lightbar; and the Leica smart lightbar. Growers are able to choose the use of WAAS and EGNOS satellite constellations or to deactivate them, if desired. Also, the added support for kml files gives users of the mojoMINI the ability to export data of their most recent work for viewing in Google Earth or import that data into a mojo3D. The company has also linked steering between the mojo3D and the Leica Twist, which allows the steering of all Leica SteerDirect kits which are supported by the Leica mojoXact. To enable these extra steering options, a mojo3D SteerDirect kit is required. “We are pleased to introduce more open formats to further ensure the cross compatibility of our products,” says Peter Roberts, Leica’s global R&D manager. “The positive market response we receive because of the fact that we support open formats, like open correction formats, open data formats and open steering protocols extensively, reflects the need for flexible and versatile solutions.” Leica is also planning additional releases for mid-year, including an online service to monitor farm equipment as well as a new base station.

Synchronicity

Just as Leica is busy streamlining its in-cab computing options, an innovation from Trimble is making it easier for growers to synchronize different vehicles in the field. Vehicle Sync provides vehicle-to-vehicle communication for the Trimble FmX integrated display. Vehicle Sync is particularly valuable during planting season, says the company, as it allows operators in the same field to transfer guidance lines and coverage maps wirelessly between their FmX displays. This functionality helps to reduce overlap and speed up planting jobs. “The introduction of Vehicle Sync data communication in the FmX integrated display will save operators time while in the field and provide efficiency during the busy planting season,” says Erik Arvesen, vice president for Trimble’s Agriculture division. Besides allowing operators to share guidance lines between multiple vehicles, Vehicle Sync also goes hand-in-hand with Trimble’s latest initiative, Connected Farm. This Trimble offering is an integrated operations management solution that combines hardware and software to increase operations management efficiency. End users that own a DCM 300 Modem in the cab with Vehicle Sync technology can add-on Connected Farm for a relatively low price and “move up to the next level, which is automating that data transmission between the farm field and farm office,” says Micah Eidem, Trimble market manager. John Deere is also touting improved in-cab displays with the company’s GreenStar3 (GS3) 2630 Display. It features upgraded capabilities for 2012, led by the recently released Remote Display Access and Machine Sync updates. Remote Display Access functionality allows for real-time remote display access in the cab. The grower can designate who will have access to view any GS3 2630 Displays in the field to assist in setup, adjustments and troubleshooting, or if necessary, from any remote location using JDLink. This feature is designed to save valuable time and can mitigate some service calls, even from miles away. “Remote Display Access is a proficient tool and is a direct result of listening to what our customers’ needs are and making it happen,” says David Mulder, product manager for John Deere Ag Management Solutions (AMS). “Besides saving a drive out to the field, a grower or a John Deere dealer is able to remotely assist an operator immediately with setup or troubleshooting, saving time and fuel during the entire growing season.” As for the Machine Sync option, John Deere Representative Holly A. Brokaw says that “machine-to-machine communication will automate the most challenging harvest functions, allow unloading on-the-go and deliver ease-of-use for operators by enabling your combine and grain cart tractor to communicate speed, GPS and unloading-on-the-go logistics that are perfectly harmonized.” Just as John Deere introduced its Machine Sync option in response to grower and retailer feedback, TeeJet Tech­nologies also added customer-centric capabilities to its Ma­trix Pro display, starting with new screen display settings and the FieldWare Link PC app. “The additional screen display setting allows for enhanced viewing in bright conditions and provides the user with another display option,” says Tim Stuenkel, TeeJet global marketing communications manager. “The FieldWare Link app allows the user to more easily store, manage and retrieve field maps and job data. Additionally, boundaries and guidelines can be saved and reused for repeat applications on the same field saving the operator time and effort. “The need to be able to save and reuse guidelines/field boundaries and better manage map data was a common request from both growers and retailers,” he continues. “We are excited to offer this additional functionality and have made it available to all Matrix owners to download for free. Thus far, feedback has been very positive and the enhancements offered by FieldWare Link, in particular, have been well received by users.”

Cross-Platform Capabilities

Meanwhile, Ag Leader Technologies is currently highlighting its Versa display system, released in November of last year, which includes year-round precision tools, such as guidance, autosteering control, planter control, application control, yield monitoring and mapping, in a large, full color 8.4-inch touchscreen package. Ag Leader is marketing the Versa as either an economical stand-alone in-cab system or as a second display to switch between multiple vehicles. One of the main benefits in implementing the Versa system is the cross-platform capabilities it offers. “Whether you are a loyalist with a complete matching set of same-colored field equipment or you’ve got a multi-colored equipment shed, the Versa display will work with your equipment,” says Lori Costello, marketing communications manager for Ag Leader. “In fact, you can even switch it in between equipment of different brands — something that is not always possible with factory-installed precision farming equipment.” Finally, Raven Industries is excited about the roll out of Onsite, an AgIntegrated product that connects with Raven’s Slingshot Application Interface(API). OnSite is a cloud-based mobile and desktop app that assists with file management and communications to and from the field by socially connecting people. By tapping into the Slingshot API, the OnSite software is able to communicate directly with Raven field computers to efficiently transfer data and locate equipment in the field. OnSite can also connect with a variety of different displays (not just the Slingshot API). “AgIntegrated’s implementation of OnSite is a great example of the Sling­shot API at work,” says Paul Welbig, director of Slingshot Operations for Raven. “Slingshot provides the wireless connection to the hardware in the field and provides a great connection for AgIntegrated to provide a seamless solution for their customers.” Another driver of the OnSite system, as well as all of the other products highlighted in this piece, is the increase in adoption of mobile technologies and smart phones within agriculture, a trend that is likely to only grow in the coming years. “Mobile technologies are enabling the consumer to become the most important asset once again,” says Mike Santostefano, director of marketing and business development for AgIntegrated. “These consumers, including precision ag specialists, salespeople, agronomists, consultants, operators and growers, are the people responsible for adopting and embracing precision agriculture. As seen in other industries, these connected consumers will ultimately drive the need for lower cost, easier to use, integrated systems that make their day more efficient.” View source »

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Press Release from Cygnus Business Media — April 12, 2012

Article from reuters.com:

AgIntegrated to Unveil Onsite Data Management Tool at IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference

Technology promises to allow producers to be more integrated and connected to their data and human assets

Challenges with the interconnected farm will highlight the upcoming IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference, June 25-27, 2012, in Altoona, IA. Top producers from around the region have registered to attend the event, which is structured as an open forum of engagement and one-to-one participation showcasing next generation products and equipment. Today, AgIntegrated announced they would be unveiling Onsite™, their new data asset management tool, at the event.

“The key to the future sustainability of agriculture is connectivity,” says Mike Santostefano, director of marketing and business development for AgIntegrated. “Onsite combines cloud, desktop, and mobile technologies with the Onsite Relay™, a wireless data transfer device, to provide a low–barrier-to-entry, professional toolset to connect the people within agriculture.” Santostefano stresses that Onsite is an enhancement – not a replacement – for precision ag systems currently available through independent software vendors and equipment manufacturers. Onsite provides the ability to transfer and distribute files from any agronomic or precision ag software system to the field into any equipment, regardless of its operating platform, thus providing a mixed fleet solution for producers and service providers alike.

“With Onsite, producers can easily access and track staff, trusted advisors, and equipment asset locations in real time,” Santostefano explains. “The value is captured in costs savings and efficiencies for labor, fuel, and time, just to name a few, all the while keeping the producer connected to their operations via technologies they are already adopting – smart phones and tablets. The efficiency gains will be significant for a relatively small investment of less than $500.”

As part of the launch at the IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference, AgIntegrated plans to demonstrate Onsite’s integration with current equipment telematics and asset tracking systems, including Slingshot as well as direct connectivity with many of the industry’s precision ag software systems. For more information, please visit www.onsiteag.com.

IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference is sponsored by Platinum Sponsors – John Deere, Slingshot by Raven and AT&T. Gold sponsors include Trimble and AgIntegrated; Silver sponsors include Winfield Solutions, SST Software and Wells Fargo; and Bronze sponsors include CDMS, United Soils, AgSync and FHR.

The Conference debuts June 25-27, 2012 at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino. IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference will provide information and allow open discussion on the complexities and benefits of farming in the interconnected age. Attendees will include farmers, producers, and agribusiness leaders representing technologies essential for an interconnected future. To learn more, visit www.ideaggroup.com.

IDEAg and the IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference are properties of Cygnus Business Media. The company reaches millions of professionals annually. As one of America’s top business-to-business media companies, Cygnus is leading the way in providing targeted content to top decision-makers and organizations. The company’s corporate initiatives and organizational architecture are built with one goal: fully engaging audiences in aviation, building & construction, public safety & security, and agriculture vertical markets, as well as diversified industries such as transportation, printing, accounting, and vending.

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Farmindustrynews.com: Onsite offers solution for cross-platform precision communications — April 4, 2012

Great article from Farm Industry News:

“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.

hirezrelay2

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.

“Right now precision ag information is ‘siloed’ by brand,” says Santostefano.“The industry needs a cross-platform solution for growers to manage their data, equipment and personnel, while keeping them connected to their input dealers and trusted advisers.”

Onsite solves the cross-platform challenge by simplifying wireless data transfer to and from major precision ag hardware platforms. It does this by linking precision data stored on office computers to Internet servers that automatically download data to smartphones and tablet computers. Onsite’s Relay wireless data transfer device completes the final in-cab data transfer to precision displays.

Eventually, Ag Integrated hopes to be able to transfer Onsite data directly to precision ag displays. That’s already a reality with Raven displays through the Slingshot cellular communications system.

View source »

For now, final data transfer to most brands will be a two-step process involving a smartphone or tablet and the Relay device, which writes precision data to a compact flash card or USB drive for updating the precision display. The data transfer process is reversed to upload as-applied files to the Onsite server.

Onsite’s asset-tracking functions use GPS capabilities built into smartphones and tablet computers to track key personnel and the equipment they are operating. The Onsite system also includes technologies to enhance communications among key contributors on an enterprise’s management team, including instant file sharing and instant chat.

The annual fee per Onsite account is $499. The price of the Onsite Relay wireless data transfer device has not been announced. For more information, visit onsiteag.com or call 814/237-5617. “

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AgIntegrated to release Onsite this Spring — March 7, 2012

Onsite will be available to the Ag community this Spring!

Have you ever traveled miles to a field and realized you didn’t have the right prescription file or map with you? Ever have trouble juggling all those cards of as-applied and yield data? Wouldn’t it be nice to connect with your coworkers, customers, and vendors so you can easily move and share important information with key people? All without switching from your current agronomic or precision ag software system(s)?

Onsite can help and it’s within your reach.

OnSite combines cloud, desktop, and mobile technologies with the OnSite Relay, a wireless data transfer device, to provide a low barrier to entry, professional toolset with a focus on your needs.

Feature Highlights

  • Organize and access your files from anywhere.
  • Transfer files from the office to the field into any equipment or vice versa.
  • Directly access equipment telematics systems such as Raven Slingshot.
  • Build your network of connections to send and share files to other colleagues.
  • Locate connections (individuals or equipment) on your desktop or smartphone.
  • Setup geo-fences to alert you when individuals or equipment cross a field boundary or any area you define.
  • Access a variety of free tools to help with your day to day activities.

Your smartphone has enabled you, the precision ag consumer, to become the most important asset once again. Growers, Precision Ag Specialists, Salespersons, Agronomists, Consultants, or Operators, to name a few, are responsible for adopting and embracing precision agriculture. As seen in other industries, you, the connected consumer, will ultimately drive the need for lower cost, easier to use, integrated systems that make your day more efficient.

After over a decade of working in precision ag with people like you, we are close to releasing Onsite into the agricultural community. We appreciate the time and input from our beta testers. And a big thank you goes out to the equipment and agronomic software systems that are already connected directly with Onsite. Current connections include:

  • i-FARM by United Soils, Inc.
  • Slingshot by Raven Industries
  • Advisor by CDMS

..more connections will be announced in the near future!

Stay tuned to learn more about Onsite and be notified first of the official release date.

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Precision Ag Magazine Article — February 14, 2012

Article from precisionag.com

2012 Precision Ag Product Review

Leading product and software manufacturers provide insights on key trends in precision ag and reveal what they plan to bring to the market during the coming year.

AgIntegrated

“This year, we see a movement away from the classic do it all, closed system (silo) approach of precision ag solutions towards lower barrier to entry, consumer driven, connected solutions,” says Mike Santostefano, director of marketing and business development for AgIntegrated. “This movement will propel precision agriculture and overall industry efficiency to a whole new level.” According to Santostefano, there is a perfect storm taking place to make this happen. “First, each software and technology company is realizing that they alone are unable to deliver quality solutions to cover every need within the industry,” he says. “Instead, we see these companies focusing more on their areas of expertise and becoming more willing to collaborate and integrate with each other to meet the demands of the industry.

“Second, the industry is stepping up to drive standardization of data communication and technology integration through AgGateway,” he continues. “This standardization allows for more efficient communication of data, which results in more connectivity and integration of precision ag systems. “Third, and most importantly, the adoption of mobile technologies have enabled the precision ag consumer to become the most important asset once again,” adds Santostefano. “These consumers, including precision ag specialists, salespeople, agronomists, consultants, operators and growers, are the people responsible for adopting and embracing precision agriculture. As seen in other industries, these connected consumers will ultimately drive the need for lower cost, easier to use, integrated systems that make their day more efficient.” With an understanding of these trends, AgIntegrated is introducing a new product called OnSite. “OnSite combines cloud, desktop and mobile technologies with the OnSite Relay, a wireless data transfer device, to provide a low barrier to entry, professional toolset with a focus on the needs of the end user,” says Santostefano.

In addition, OnSite’s tracking features allow users to manage and view their team as they move through their jobs. OnSite also has integrated chat features. Data files are always available through a users smartphone and are easily transferred to and from the equipment regardless of its color. “But beyond the features that OnSite provides, it also interfaces with other solution providers and equipment manufacturers’ APIs, providing tight integration and access to a huge library of existing systems,” says Santostefano. “OnSite aims to bring all the trends in mobile and precision ag together into one cohesive package, enabling forward movement and growth while continuing to benefit from current equipment and agronomic software systems.”

Ag Leader

According to Ag Leader’s Dave King, these are the trends that will be the driving forces behind precision ag growth during 2012 — and how Ag Leader hopes to tie into them. “We continue to see that growers want to integrate more operations into one precision farming display,” says King. “They only want to learn how to operate one display and they want to be able to keep all their data together so that it is easily available. However, growers also want flexibility with their display as they only want to pay for the features they plan on using. The Versa display from Ag Leader helps growers overcome these issues.”

In operation, he adds, the Versa display is color blind so it can be used with any brand of farming equipment. “This makes it ideal for growers with multiple brands of equipment in their operation,” says King. “The Versa display has a broad range of features including guidance/steering, planter control, application control and yield monitoring as standard. Additional features such as AutoSwath, Boom Height control, Multiple Product application and ISOBUS functionality can be unlocked as needed. The ISOBUS functionality really expands the grower’s ability to easily integrate different pieces of farming equipment.”

The Versa is also interchangeable with the Integra display. “If a grower starts with a Versa display and wants to upgrade to the full featured Integra display it is as easy as disconnecting the Versa and plugging in the Integra,” says King. “All connections are the same and the file formats are the same between the displays. With the new .AGSETUP and .AGDATA file formats data can be transferred between displays with a USB drive. There is no need to load the files into an external software package.”

Leica Geosystems

According to Leica’s Harlan Little, the company is highlighting a pair of systems for precision agriculture in 2012. The first is the Leica mojo3D. “The Leica mojo3D guidance display is a smarter precision guidance system, loaded with industry leading advances designed to help save time and money for years to come,” says Little. “The versatile guidance display has multiple upgrade options; customize it to fit your individual needs. Right out of the box, Leica mojo3D is a unique manual guidance system with robust features. Work any field the way you want. AB Parallel, A+ Heading, Fixed Contour and Pivots are the four standard guidance patterns. In addition, Leica’s Ultimate Curve option provides guidance along any area already covered and works seamlessly with any other guidance options. Plus, steer-to-the-line technology produces straighter, more even lines with any of our guidance patterns.”

The other system is the Leica mojoXact. “Benefit from the latest high accuracy upgrade option for the Leica mojo3D and enjoy the flexibility for a variety of applications,” says Little. “The Leica mojoXact provides RTK positioning with the Leica terrain compensation and offers additional steering solutions like SteerDirect CAN, SRK and Hydraulic for further improved accuracy.”

OmniSTAR

According to John Pointon, director of sales for OmniSTAR, there are several precision ag product trends that will be driving the marketplace during 2012. “I expect there to be continued growth in the adoption of high accuracy positioning for use in machine guidance, auto-steer and steering assist,” says Pointon. “The return on investment for these technologies is very rapid and growers gain immediate benefits in terms of reduction in operating costs and reduction in fatigue.”

In terms of how OmniSTAR is tieing into these trends, the company is planning several new product introductions and upgrades for the year. “We are continuing to introduce refinements in accuracy and performance,” says Pointon. “The OmniSTAR G2 solution, which adds the Russian GLONASS signals to the solution, should be available on the Trimble CFX750 and FMX products in 2012. In addition the new Trimble Centerpoint RTX solution is available throughout the U.S. Midwest.”

In operation, he adds, the OmniSTAR G2 adds GLONASS to its solution options. “This means that more satellites are available at the receiver which in turn reduces the likelihood of signal loss and interruption in operations,” says Pointon. “More satellites means greater reliability and better results when operating around trees and obstructions. As for the Trimble Centerpoint RTX solution, which can broadcast over the central U.S. from satellite, is the highest accuracy available for wide area satellite corrections. Pass-to-pass accuracy is around 1-inch and, in the areas where ‘RTX Rapid’ is available, convergence to full accuracy is normally achieved in less than one minute. Both OmniSTAR G2 and Trimble Centerpoint RTX represent significant improvements in GNSS correction capabililties.”

Raven

According to Ryan Molitor, marketing supervisor, Applied Technology Division, Raven has its eye on many new trends and products in 2012. “A trend we continue to see is the importance of streamlining data management to help customers make important decisions in their operations throughout every phase of the season,” says Molitor. “Raven is taking advantage of this via our Slingshot high speed wireless system. Slingshot allows for file transfer between field and office, which eliminates the need for USB drives and trips back and forth from the office to the field, and gives customers a secure, online account they can access anywhere via the Internet to review job files, send prescription maps, etc.” In addition, he adds, Raven is taking its Slingshot system and “really opening things up” through the Slingshot API, which helps software vendors integrate all the wireless technology Slingshot has to offer into their existing software platforms.

“They don’t have to go back to the drawing board and can help their existing customers integrate Slingshot into what they are using today,” says Molitor. “So now, we’re not only streamlining how data is transferred and managed, but opening the door for software vendors and ag retailers to work together to even customize software to suit their dynamic needs. This approach is unique in that we aren’t trying to come out with a ‘one size fits all’ approach, as there are so many customers with varying needs in regards to their data management. Raven has several Slingshot API Community Partners that are currently integrating this solution into their offering, and we’re excited to help turn those ‘what-ifs’ we’ve heard over the last couple of years into reality.”

SST Software

According the SST Software’s Jeremy Bale, 2011 was memorable for several reasons. “Looking back over 2011, we believe trends in the data management space have matured over the past year,” says Bale. “A greater understanding of the need for compatibility between precision ag systems is taking form as the market shows less interest in standalone solutions. Systems capable of working together with greater efficiency and a higher level of consistency are increasingly being sought after.”

This year, says Bale, SST Software customers will find continued emphasis on building connections between our software and services and other solutions they employ. “Tools simplifying the acquisition, movement and analysis of data aid in its stability and accessibility and help to increase adoption of site-specific data management as a decision-making tool,” he says. “The industry has begun seeing the birth of crop production systems able to communicate more readily data collected on field activities. While there are still many milestones on the horizon we see a few key products taking shape in 2012 helping SST Software customers push the needle forward. The introduction of Web accounts allow service providers to create secure, customized Websites for their customers. Through Web accounts, growers have access to real-time weather radar and forecast information displayed directly over their fields. Data collected is shared directly to the grower’s Web account along with recommendations, reports and advanced information products aiding with in-season decision making and planning efforts. We believe added emphasis will be placed on the wireless movement of data between the office and field. A continued focus on broadening the ability to share data wirelessly from SST Summit directly to field equipment by connecting to emerging solutions will be evident this year. With the vast amount of data collected over recent years and new data types becoming accessible we will maintain our core philosophy of developing tools and services aiding service providers as they strengthen the business of the growers they support by managing data and producing valuable information products. Incorporating data layers such as in-season imagery and historical weather information will allow for an even greater depth of analysis and lead to exiting new information products down the road. Each of our products achieve greater success due to the efficiency and stability provided by the framework of agX. The agX standards employed provide a platform capable of scaling to fit the demands of the largest crop production companies in the world. Our customers are strengthened through the consistency agX provides and we are committed to advancing the products made possible through agX both nationally and internationally in 2012.”

TeeJet

According to TeeJet’s Tim Stuenkel, the company sees two trends driving the precision ag market in 2012. “One is the ability of growers to more effectively manage the data they collect from various field operations and the other is in the growth of field operations that require increasingly precise GPS signals,” says Stuenkel. “The ability to gather map and application data in the field has gotten much easier in recent years, but has increased the burden on the grower in terms of properly managing and utilizing this data. At the same time cultural practices such as strip-till, precision nutrient placement, controlled traffic patterns and high-precision auto-steer require increasingly accurate GPS receivers.”

To tie into these trends, TeeJet is promoting several systems this year. One is the FieldWare Link PC utility, which was launched to enhance the data management capabilities of the Matrix Pro guidance platform. “Matrix Pro, offered in two sizes — 570G (5.7-inch screen) and 840G (8.4-inch screen) — and features an intuitive touchscreen display, easy setup and industry exclusive features like NextRow guidance mode and RealView guidance over video,” he says. “Matrix Pro can be configured to the best fit for your operation including lightbar guidance, video monitoring, hydraulic auto-steer and automatic boom section control. We also recently introduced the RX510 and RX610 family of high precision GNSS receivers, which are a great complement to the Matrix Pro guidance system.

“FieldWare link PC utility provides a simple database structure, using a traditional precision farming hierarchy of client, farm, field, and job,” he continues. “It allows easy storage and retrieval of field boundaries, AB lines, and coverage maps.” The other systems TeeJet is highlighting are the RX510 and RX610 dual frequency GNSS receivers. These utilize a rugged, one piece smart antenna design and are available with a quick release mounting system for easy movement between farm vehicles. “The RX510 is compatible with OmniSTAR XP and HP signals for applications requiring 4- or 6-inch pass-to-pass accuracy,” says Stuenkel. “The RX610 RTK receiver provides 1- to 2-inch pass-to-pass accuracy and year-to-year repeatability for high precision applications like strip tillage. The RX610 features an internal cellular modem for access to CORS/Network RTK signals, many of which are accessible for free or for a reasonable annual fee.”

Topcon

According to Topcon’s Joe Robertson, there is a growing trend is additional functionality beyond steering; namely rate and section control as well as compatibility via ISO11783 to bring functionality with various implements. To this end, Topcon’s X30 console is an example of where the industry is headed. “The X30 offers large 12.1-inch display, multi-touch, drag-and-drop functionality, mini views and configurable dashboard capability that let the operator view information from multiple control loops, sensors, etc.,” says Robertson.

“The X30 is also equipped with ISO functionality, so it is plug-and-play with ISO compatible implements.” In November, Topcon added the ability to interface with NORAC boom leveling systems via ISO — an example of expanding the capability of your primary precision farming display. “This is all in preparation for spring planting and spraying,” he says. “Last, is adding the existing Topcon ASC-10 to bring the functionality of rate control and section control in a single component.” Then there is the X30/System 350. “With a unique drag-and-drop interface, the Topcon X30 console gives all-in-one control of guidance, high-accuracy autosteering (to 2 cm), sprayer control, spreader control, planter control, mapping and data management,” says Robertson. “Topcon System 350 is a complete precision ag control system featuring the X30 console. The X30 and AGI-3 receiver are ISO compatible and ready to plug into steer-ready vehicles. The AGI-3 offers snap-in upgrades for RTK with 900 mHz, Digital UHF, or GSM. OmniSTAR option is also available and it is compatible with Topcon base stations, GSM and CORS networks. For non-steer-ready vehicles, the optional AES-25 Electric Steering system offers fast, accurate steering response with up to 2 cm accuracy and full terrain compensation. The Topcon ASC-10 Electronic Control Unit offers 10-section sprayer, planter or spreader autosection control with liquid rate control.” Finally, there’s the newest system from Topcon, SGISfarm software. This is an ag information management system designed specifically for ease of use by professional farm operators on their office PC.

“SGISfarm is an easy-to-use precision farming software that includes all of the mapping and drawing tools customers expect for displaying and working with their data,” says Robertson. “The new system utilizes field data collected from soil testing, GIS mapping and yield monitors to help farmers make better crop input decisions. “It features a simple, reliable process for creating variable-rate crop input by focusing on basic but proven recommendation methods,” he continues. “These methods are ‘pre-packaged’ as templates eliminating the need for users to learn the complex process of writing equations.”

Joe Tevis, Topcon precision ag director of agronomic products and services, says: “SGISfarm was developed to allow Topcon to offer full farm solutions and complete the value proposition of its many hardware products, including all of its consoles and controllers. This specialized data management software specifically targets precision farming for the owner-operator.” SGISfarm also offers “tight integration” with a number of machines from AGCO, a Topcon strategic partner. “With the high cost of seed, it is an excellent tool for use with variable-rate seeding, turning data of choice into VRC seeding maps for AGCO White planters as well as those planters equipped with DICKEY-john IntelliAg controls,” says Tevis. He says: “SGISfarm is capable of creating variable-rate maps for virtually all of the common controllers used in application and seeding control. It is also compatible with the harvest monitors of other brands of combines and, in addition to supporting those monitors, it can easily merge data when multiple combines are used in the same field.”

Trimble

True precision agriculture lets you harvest and manage data from your fields as efficiently as you harvest and manage your crops. This is possible with a system of software and communication services from Trimble that combines precision guidance and machine control with data management software and wireless communications technology. Trimble’s Connected Farm is an integrated operations management solution that combines industry-leading hardware and software to increase efficiency and effectiveness for today’s farming business. It enables improved management of farming operations between the field and office through wireless communication from handheld-to-office, vehicle-to-office, and now vehicle-to-vehicle. The newly released Vehicle Sync enables this vehicle-to-vehicle communication between operators in the same field, allowing them to share coverage maps, A/B guidance lines, and other pertinent field data – saving time, and simplifying data communications.

Additionally, you can transfer such information as yield data, coverage maps, A/B guidance lines and field records from in-cab displays to the farm office simply by pushing “send” on a touchscreen. Data is sent and received using a cellular data modem and the wireless data plan of your choice. There is no need to run USB flash drives or data cards from one place to another. Using integrated software, you can take your precision farming data and merge it with your accounting program to generate true profit maps and enterprise statements. Profit maps are automatically generated to show which precision farming practices are more profitable so that you can make better management decisions. Managers can also see a live map of vehicle locations in the office to help manage fleets. Using geo-fences within the office software, alerts can be sent to a cell phone when employees enter restricted farming zones or if equipment is stolen. Trimble plans to expand its telematics solution in the Spring of 2012 by offering My Connected Farm, an online solution for accessing more equipment information. This solution will provide more up-to-date information regarding fleet management, a virtual dashboard of cab monitors, fuel usage, engine reporting, and performance analysis.

Connected Farm can be used with a variety of hardware and software components. For example, the Trimble in-cab FmX integrated display can serve as the hub of Connected Farm operations by performing such precision ag functions as monitoring yields, controlling chemical application rates, or field leveling. It’s easy to set an A/B line and then immediately share it with other vehicles in the field for improved guidance management.

The Trimble Juno SC and Nomad handheld computers and the Trimble Yuma tablet computer can be used to send and receive soil sampling locations and scouting data with digital photographs between the field and farm office using the same wireless functionality. This is especially handy when multiple mobile computers are collecting information. Connected Farm allows the data from each mobile computer to wirelessly synchronize to one location for quicker analysis.

Farm Works Mapping software can be used to keep field records such as spray coverage and crop plans; to track profitability on a field-by-field basis, or print detailed reports for fertilizer, hybrids, weather and more.

Just like every farm is different, there’s no “one” Connected Farm solution. Trimble can develop a plan to meet your farm’s particular requirements, and if possible, may utilize equipment you already own. For more information, visit www.trimble.com/agriculture.

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