The precision agriculture marketplace saw a milestone recently with the announced collaboration of Ag Leader Technology and AutoFarm to combine precision ag tools and innovative steering solutions together for one-stop shopping.
The move comes as Ag Leader unveiled a host of new products for precision agriculture customers, and AutoFarm announced ParaDyme, a totally integrated farming system boasting planter control, application control, yield monitoring, data logging and mapping, and GPS steering.
Ag Leader founder Al Myers says the alliance is a "win-win" for precision agriculture and for the customers of both his firm and AutoFarm. "Each company brings strengths to the table allowing us to develop better precision farming solutions quicker, ultimately furthering the industry."
Herb Satterlee, CEO of Novariant, Inc., the parent company of AutoFarm says the alliance will allow ParaDyme products to operate with Ag Leaders' new INTEGRA display as well as with its recently-launched EDGE display, used in planter and application control, and yield monitoring roles.
The new products unveiled by Ag Leader include:
* EDGE, a display unit that allows the purchase of an entry-level precision agriculture system without the redundancy of additional controllers for the various system functions.
The display has a built-in, full-featured guidance system including an on-screen lightbar showing cross-track error and pass number as well as a perspective view to monitor guidance applications. With the EDGE operators can pause, resume, nudge and shift patterns, or import/export saved patterns to software or other precision ag hardware.
* INTEGRA, a full-color 12.1-inch high definition touchscreen control display for year-round operation day or night control. Ag Leader officials say this control is ideal for operators who want a manual guidance system but plan to expand their precision agriculture technologies in the future. INTEGRA provides multiple map views and offers four video camera inputs for better operator view of equipment.
* L160 CAN bus Lightbar, a stand-alone lightbar that can work equally well with the EDGE or new INTEGRA diplay, can be mounted on the windshield or dash in the operator's front field of vision for easier monitoring of activities. The L160 features an easy-to-read display with 16 multicolor LEDS that can be seen easily in day or night operations.
* OptRx Crop Sensor, a real-time crop sensor for mapping and data collection as well as variable rate application of agrochemicals -- particularly nitrogen. OptRx uses patented light sensing abilities to allow its use day or night, regardless of ambient light. OptRx shines a light on the plant, correlates its "greenness" to plant vigor and signals for a given nitrogen application on the go. Data collected by the OptRx is also useful for determining the effectiveness of various crop chemical applications as the season progresses.
* OnTrac2, an easy-to-install solution for growers seeking to add assisted steering to their operation. OnTrac2 uses the EDGE display and the interface, and helps eliminate skips and overlaps and can help reduce fuel consumption and operator fatigue. OnTrac2 features "Lock-n'-Roll" installation, and transfers easily across multiple brands and types of vehicles.
AutoFarm and Ag Leader's ParaDyme introduction features a full-featured steering system with integrated wireless and cellular communication for remote diagnostics. The patented dual-antenna roof module provides operators automatic steering control with sub-inch accuracy.
The antenna uses Logic 7D technology to track roll, pitch and yaw, as well as vehicle position and heading at all times -- even when the vehicle is parked. Once installed, ParaDyme also boasts auto-calibration that allows it to "learn" individual machine characteristics without the use of wheel-angle sensors.
For more on the products of the Ag Leader and AutoFarm collaboration, click on www.agleader.com.