Author Archives: cdemuro

  1. Enhance Your Equipment with Precision Ag | How to upgrade your current equipment with new technology

    As farmers, we can’t control everything, but we can always make improvements. Short of being able to dial into the perfect temperature or annual rainfall amount, precision ag technology is one of the best ways to get the results – and peace of mind – we’re after. 

    Precision ag solutions are changing the face of farming, and getting started with PA is easier than ever before. You can enhance your equipment with precision ag, reaping all the benefits of the technology without a tremendous cost. 

    Upgrade with Precision Ag

    After asking what is precision agriculture, many farmers want to know how to upgrade their current vehicles with the technology. Let’s face it, input costs and land prices have stretched many farmers thin. Many are seeking ways to improve yields but keep costs down. When buying new isn’t an option, upgrading what you already have with precision ag is the way to go. 

    Take row guidance, for instance. Many farmers aren’t prepared to fund a brand-new tractor or combine just to boost their accuracy, but they can take advantage of guidance technology with a GFX-750™ Display System to make every day on the field a little easier. Imagine perfect passes, acre after acre, on a steamy morning or a late harvest night—all from upgrading what you’ve already got. 

    Enhance Your Equipment’s Performance

    When it comes to enhancing your equipment’s performance, it’s essential to get into the details of what you hope to accomplish. What is the goal of using precision ag on your operation?

    For example, do you want to spend less time behind the steering wheel and more time doing what matters? 

    An Autopilot™ Automated Steering System might just be the tool for you. It’s a hands-free way to achieve maximum precision and can provide high accuracy even on rugged terrain. For assistance, affordability, and accuracy, the EZ-Pilot® Assisted Steering System will keep you on line, making both low-accuracy broadacre and high-accuracy row-crop farming much easier. 

    One of the most significant benefits of these precision ag parts is precisely that: they’re just parts that can be plugged into vehicles you likely already have. When input and equipment costs are already high, the best type of precision ag technology minimizes the need for additional equipment. 

    Benefits of Investing in Precision Ag Technology 

    If you’ve been reluctant about incorporating precision ag into your operation, we understand many of your reasons. Whether you’re satisfied with your current practices, concerned about time constraints, or skeptical of the costs entailed, investing in precision ag technology can afford many benefits—even for you. 

    It can help you make use of what you’ve already got. 

    Because of the versatility of many precision ag technologies, they can transform that Massey Ferguson 5200 that’s been on your farm since 1990 into a new and improved machine. Whether your farm is small or your operation is complex with hundreds of acres, most guidance systems can pair with machines from most brands—making the technology simple to bring on-farm. 

    If hesitation has kept you from trying out this technology, consider starting with the GFX-350™ Display System. It’s compatible with several steering solutions and can be optimized with even more technology in the future. 

    It can boost ROI.

    It makes perfect sense: fewer errors, less time, more accuracy, and better yields all translate to better productivity and a boosted ROI. In a 2019 study, fertilizer application accuracy alone translated to ROI benefits of 7.2%. Similarly, another study found that crop row guidance improvements by precision ag reduced input waste and minimized soil compaction, also providing some financial savings.  

    Many precision ag solutions will quickly pay for themselves, and they often go beyond benefits to your bottom line. When you’ve got a clutter-free way to tackle your farming applications with ease, you’ve got more time to do what matters—whether that’s planning for next season, working on a marketing plan, or spending time with your loved ones. 

    It’s the tool of the future.

    Simply put, things are changing. Many farmers are experiencing weather like never before, and constant fluctuations in the commodity market are throwing curveballs left and right. Even if you’re content with your current operations, precision agriculture implements will continue to become more useful in the years to come. 

    Small and large farms alike stand to benefit from precision ag—and so does the environment. Across the board, precision agriculture is associated with environmental benefits like increased yields, reduced soil compaction, reduced nutrient runoff, improved soil health, net greenhouse gas reductions, reduced soil, and fewer energy requirements. 

    At its current levels of adoption, precision agriculture has already prevented 10.2 million acres of cropland from being cultivated, all thanks to more efficient use of existing land. This results in significant economic savings around the world.

    Precision agriculture technologies have been proven to foster yield increases for many major crops. 

    Even if you’ve been hesitant to try it out yourself over the past few decades, now is the time to bring it on board. The future of farming is optimized, automated, connected, and precise—and Trimble’s got the precision ag services, options for retrofitting existing equipment, and dedicated team to ensure that you and your crops don’t get left in the dust. Connect with your local reseller to enhance your equipment with precision ag today.

  2. Autonomy in Agriculture | How autonomous solutions work in precision ag

    How autonomous solutions support farmers in precision ag

    Agriculture is the driving factor behind countless industries. It generates over 2 trillion in revenue worldwide. However, farming requires constant oversight of crops, soil nutrients, and more. Thankfully, there are more efficient options to maintain farms than manual labor, especially for larger operations.

    Autonomous agriculture is changing the way we farm. Farming operations are seeing healthier crops and getting more of a return on harvests. 

    Autonomous Agriculture

    Autonomous agriculture is a facet of the larger precision agriculture movement. Precision agriculture is the practice of using fine-tuned calibrations and technology to make farming more efficient. Autonomous agriculture allows farming equipment such as tractors to operate without a human driver. Technology such as the Trimble BX992 and similar equipment allow for remote control use and monitoring of farm equipment. More and more farming operations are using autonomous agriculture technology to gain an edge in the global market.

    Autonomous Agriculture Equipment

    Autonomous farming utilizes advanced technology. For maximum efficiency, several systems will need to be installed and work in tandem. These systems include the following:

    Soil Sensors: Sensors installed on the farm will monitor soil and crop health. Sensors can also be used to monitor changes in weather and adjust water and nutrient schedules and amounts accordingly. These sensors will report any change in real-time to the farmer via their workstations or cell phones. The most significant benefit of sensors is the ability to monitor crops from a distance.

    Autonomous Tractors: Much like sensors, autonomous tractors allow a farmer to move freely while maintaining seeding, soil, and crops. An autonomous tractor will spread fertilizer and seeds to the areas that need them most based on sensor data or farmer input.

    GNSS: Global Navigation Satellite Systems are essential to most forms of autonomous agriculture. A GNSS monitors the location and driving patterns of farming equipment and keeps an eye on poorer-performing crops. Once you have the equipment, gaining access to a GNSS is as simple as connecting Bluetooth.

    The Future is Now Check out this agricultural robot named Annie! It uses Trimble’s autonomous navigation capabilities and Corteva’s innovative approach to helping farmers overcome agriculture’s most pressing challenges.

    How Autonomous Machinery Benefits Farmers

    Traditional farming methods are quickly being outpaced by precision agriculture. Here’s why:

    Time and Energy: Autonomous farming equipment works 24/7 with little oversight. That means farmers have more time to focus on other tasks than watering, seeding, soil testing, etc. Autonomous machinery also lowers the risk of personal injury from overworking, heat exhaustion and saves your body the wear and tear of excessive repetitive movement.

    Farming is hard enough. The sheer amount of physical labor adds up. And of all the benefits of autonomous agriculture, the ability to rest a little longer and spend more time with the family shouldn’t be overlooked.

    Greater Savings: Autonomous agriculture equipment constantly monitors all aspects of crops and resources. This means that fewer resources will be used on thriving crops which lowers operation costs over time. Plus, yields will be healthier and harvested more efficiently, allowing for more harvests to be sold.

    Accurate and Detailed Data: Every farmer understands the importance of knowing every square inch of their land. Agricultural sensors relay information about soil, crop health, temperature, light positions, and air quality. Essentially, anything you’d want to know about your crops is readily available from the palm of your hand. It provides a little peace of mind should you ever take that vacation.

    The data gained can also help farmers plan out which crops to plant the following year and where. And with the lowered risk of human error in crop analysis, farmers may be able to prevent overextension on resources and finances.

    How does Trimble Agriculture contribute to autonomy?

    For over 20 years, Trimble Ag has led the way for autonomous technology in agriculture, mining, and construction. Recently, we’ve partnered with HORSCH to make autonomous tractors and other equipment more accessible. Our goal is to ensure the technology keeps up with the growing agricultural market while also offering sustainability to large farming operations. For example, Trimble agriculture technology can be integrated into most pre-existing farm equipment. You won’t need to purchase new vehicles when instead you can upgrade the ones you have.

    We provide farmer-focused solutions and ways to fuse digital technology with real-world applications. As autonomous agriculture becomes increasingly mainstream, we plan to provide solutions and establish access for the customers that need it most.

    To learn more about Easier Farming with Precision and Trimble Ag equipment, connect with your local reseller today.

     

  3. What You Need to Know about the GFX-350 Display

    Everything You Need to Know About the Trimble Agriculture GFX-350

    When you’re ready to go in the field and get work done, the last thing you want to do is spend time hassling with your equipment. There’s something to be said for just being able to plug things in and knowing that they’re going to do what they’re designed to do.

    Who can use the Trimble Ag GFX-350 display?

    While all of Trimble’s products are designed for ease of use in precision agriculture applications, one of the best ways to see this in action is with the GFX-350: an affordable, entry-level, Android-based display for anyone who hasn’t yet made the step up to precision agriculture for their operation. It’s also a great add-on in an operation that’s already implemented the technology without having to make a deep financial investment.

    GFX-350 Display Features

    This unit was designed with a reduced user interface called Simple Mode – which allows you to become familiar with some of the basic elements of precision agriculture first. Once your comfort level increases, you can add more complex tasks. This approach also accommodates multiple types of users, so if you have a worker that’s not as familiar with the technology, he can simply switch to Simple Mode for primary GFX-350 use or even manually guide the tractor using the display.

    At the same time, the GFX-350 offers all the features and functionality that experienced users are accustomed to as well, so it’s great for users who want to expand how they use it, including input, section control, and even ISO-mechanical control for a variety of different implements and tools. You can also upgrade the GFX-350 by adding a receiver or a Trimble steering solution. The built-in adaptability makes this an excellent choice for really customizing how you want to integrate the GFX-350 into your existing operation.

    Out of the box, you’re essentially ready to roll with fast and easy installation and hookup, as well as a quick release if you want to transfer it between cabs. The GFX-350’s display is a little smaller than the other options in the Trimble lineup, but at 17.8 cm/7 inches, its compact size doesn’t take up a lot of room in the cab, which is a nice size for getting used to a display if this is new for you. Trimble’s Precision-IQˇ platform is easy to understand and control, and if you ever decide to upgrade, it’s the same platform used on all our displays. You can input information once and use it forever with this platform.

    What equipment is the GFX-350 Display compatible with?

    Often, when integrating precision agriculture for the first time, farmers are concerned about how it will interact with their existing equipment. This unit has you covered on all accounts. It’s backward compatible with older Trimble solutions like EZ-Steer, which is a great entry point for anyone beginning to integrate precision agriculture for the first time. It also offers ISOBUS connectivity to various implements, from balers to spreaders and everything in between.

    The GFX-350 also comes standard with Bluetooth and WIFI, so the data you use and collect over time can be shared directly with your office. If you’re still making a connectivity transition, the unit also has one USB port for transferring data. Regardless of how you collect and analyze data, it’s a critical component that gives you accurate information about how well your operation is doing. Having a system that easily collects data gives you a broad picture of how your operation has done historically and helps in planning for the future.

    Take the next step

    If you’re thinking about the GFX-350, it’s likely this is a first step in integrating precision ag technology into your operation, and it’s a great choice for its ease of use, simplicity, and reliability. You’ll only need a small time investment to get things rolling – and once it’s up and running and you’ve had the opportunity to see what a difference it makes, the next question is most likely a simple one: What took you so long to give precision ag a try?

     

  4. How to Connect Your Farm with Different Equipment Brands

    As a farmer, you’re familiar with the concept of herding. It’s something you actually do every day, whether or not animals are part of your operation or not. 

    All successful farmers are data herders. 

    This data herding is not much different than managing a herd of dairy cattle. When you have a good understanding of what’s happening when and where, with no surprises or problems cropping up unexpectedly, it simply makes things hum like a well-oiled machine. 

    But this is where the analogy stops. Most dairy farmers stick with one breed for their herd, maybe Jersey, Holstein, Guernsey, or Brown Swiss. That’s not the case with data herding. Think of it like having a herd of cows made up of a dozen different breeds.  

    That’s the type of herd most farm operations have. Most likely, you’ve built the optimal inventory of tractors, implements, vehicles, and equipment to best suit your needs – and there’s a good chance it’s from a variety of manufacturers. The end result is that you get a mix of information. Trying to manage this information manually – and translate it into a compatible, useful tool – can take a lot of time and effort. That’s when it can go from herding cattle to herding cats … a completely unenjoyable experience for you as well as the cats.

    Different equipment brands? No problem.

    Fortunately, that’s where Trimble bridges that gap. We believe that precision ag should be accessible and easy to use for every farmer, regardless of what or how you farm, where your farm is located, or what brands you use. One way we do this is by creating an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand system for translating and working with all that great information.

    We do this by providing a brand agnostic solution that translates all this data into one display, through Trimble’s Farmer Core software, powered by AutoSync™.  This innovative feature runs in the background to automatically sync all your guidance lines, field names, boundaries, materials, implements, vehicles, and operator information across all connected devices. It does it automatically, so you don’t have to worry about manual data entry, human error, or USB wrangling to move data from one system to another. It’s not something you have to program or learn either: it’s seamless and automatic.

    Connect your farm data with ease

    While Farmer Core lets you input static data, such as AB guidance lines, locations, and names, it also provides a steady stream of precision ag data from Trimble displays and other sources via our Application Programming Interface (API),  which brings all the information together in one place. This cloud-based solution complements your existing Trimble solutions and compatible third-party solutions to pull all of your farm data into one central location.

    Our solutions are compatible with most vehicles and implement brands to help you easily collect and manage your farm data. Trimble’s API connects with third-party farm management systems include leading brands like AGCO VarioDoc Raven Slingshot, AgCommand, CNHi AFS Connect and PLM Connect, as well as John Deere Operations Center, Case IH Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) Connect™, and New Holland Precision Land Management (PLM) Connect, among others.

    Build your farm’s future with Farmer Core

    What’s great about this connectivity is that it not only manages what’s happening now, it also helps you plan for the future. You can build your farm records and growing history on real data, so with each year, you get a clearer historic picture of things like crop yields, fleet efficiency, and true operational profitability. You’ll know where change is needed and what parts of your operation are hitting their sweet spots. 

    While Farmer Core consolidates all this data into one location, it also lets you use that information operation-wide. You can incorporate prescriptions or Variable Rate applications or treatments and share them on multiple displays. You even have the ability to create web-based work orders for in-field tasks that they can access on their own in-cab displays.

    This consolidated data also drives Trimble Ag’s Yield Data Cleaning tool, which automatically fixes issues with grain flow delays, GPS errors, sensor errors, and overlaps – none of which has to be fixed manually again when your data sources effectively communicate with each other. With more farmers moving toward precision ag to increase their yields and overall productivity, it’s a feature you’ll come to appreciate.

    Having all your information readily available in a central location is a true game-changer. To learn more, connect with your local Trimble Authorized Dealer today.

  5. The History of Precision Agriculture | When did precision farming start?

    How Did Precision Ag Start?

    It began with a seed. Some thousands of years ago, the first seed was intentionally planted. And from it came what we now call farming. Ancient civilizations used farming to feed, clothe, and sustain massive kingdoms – much like we do today. Countless harvests, fertilized soil, and hard work have led us to where we are now. The question is – where do we go from here?

    Farming isn’t easy. It requires savvy spending, the right farm equipment, time, and more factors than most people realize. It goes without saying that when that amount of effort is put into farming, it’s important to maximize what comes out. It’s from that thought that precision farming is harvested.

    What Year Did Precision Agriculture Begin?

    Precision ag was initially theorized in the 1980s by Dr. Pierre Robert, the father of modern precision farming. He came up with the concept while in college and spent many years studying and pioneering precision farming principles. He opted to use technology to scan for soil irregularities, germination, drainage, and other key aspects of successful crops.

    Robert argued that by focusing resources on poor crops instead of using a blanket approach, they could spend more money and time on the crops that need the extra attention. And they gained the ability to preserve good crops before they could go bad.

    However, like any great idea, it’s only flawless on paper. At the time, and despite using cutting-edge equipment, some aspects of precision farming were beyond the technology limitations. As such, it was time for new equipment.

    Important Early Inventions of Precision Ag

    One of the most important early inventions for precision agriculture is variable rate application (VRA). Spot checking and treating crops is an important component of precision farming. But managing hundreds of acres or more manually is nigh impossible without a blanket approach. To assist, variable rate application and equipment help farmers apply inputs only where needed. 

    Here are some benefits of VRA:

    Saves Resources: Variable rate application cuts down on excess use of inputs, which helps farmers save both money and time.

    Higher Yields: VRA increases the yields of poor crops to acceptable levels. That equals a larger harvest for the same amount of land.

    Better for the Environment: With VRA, less harmful chemicals are used to maintain crop integrity. Fewer chemicals are better for the environment, soil, and harvest. Much like the other benefits of VRA, this benefit increases exponentially for larger farms.

    The Growth and Future of Precision Farming

    Precision farming wasn’t overly utilized for the first few decades of its existence. In the early days, farmers were either unconvinced of the benefits of PA or lacked the funds to install the system. Various renovations and changes were made to precision agriculture equipment to ensure ease of use, financial profit, and long-term applications.

    In the early 2000s, the practice began to pick up steam among niche farmers. These niche farmers utilized the systems in such a way that profitability and benefits were no longer considered a question but instead a guaranteed time.

    Modern precision farming is moving toward accumulating more data and sharing info to suss out better farming options. While current farming equipment may become more efficient with time, adjusting crops, finding the best areas for crops, and the right time for planting is the overall goal.

    How Trimble Ag Helps Farmers

    Trimble Agriculture is an innovative leader in precision ag. We provide farmers high-quality, long-lasting solutions designed to help farms thrive around the world. Using GPS-based technology and connected your data across all devices, you can make the most of your acreage with effective data-driven decision-making that boosts yields and maximizes productivity.

    We provide sensors, spot sprays, precision layers, and more. You’ll be able to use our systems to monitor every square inch of your farm, letting you work better, longer.

    We’ve been supporting farmers for decades with cutting-edge technology and innovative products. We got our start back in 1978, a little before Pierre Roberts would go on to pioneer the very industry that we are in today. As a long-standing industry leader, we will continue to support our farmers from field-to-plate. Trimble Ag solutions are designed with farmers in mind.

    To learn more about Trimble precision ag solutions, contact your local reseller today.

  6. Understanding ISOBUS | What is ISOBUS? How can I use ISOBUS on my farm?

    With dozens of moving parts in any farm operation, the last thing farmers need to worry about is the ability of their fleets and equipment to communicate with each other. Thankfully, these issues are becoming part of the past thanks to industry-wide ISOBUS collaboration.

    What is ISOBUS?

    ISOBUS is the standard protocol that allows agricultural machinery, equipment, and implements to essentially “talk” to each other. Before it came to be, attempting to make this happen required additional control devices, cords, manuals, and unnecessary cab clutter. Adaption of the ISOBUS system and the availability of ISOBUS-certified equipment has helped farmers increase their productivity, reduce their overall operational costs and save time. 

    In real terms, this ability broadens the ways in which you can get work done by enabling you to select the best equipment for your needs. It unlocks the ability for every part of your operation to communicate with ease. With ISOBUS-certified equipment, everything becomes “plug and play,” with standardized plugs, cables, and software. If a piece of equipment has ISOBUS, you can plug it into any display and get the same user interface (UI) and workflow, display to display, tractor to tractor. 

    How Do I Use ISBOBUS?

    Whether you have ISO-ready equipment or you’d like to retrofit your implements, there are two basic components every grower needs to get started with ISOBUS: a Universal Terminal compatible display (think computer monitor, and you’ll have a basic idea of this display’s function) and an ISO Electronic Controlled Unit (ECU), which provides the intelligence for the equipment and the ability to control it from the cab. 

    Additional ISOBUS functionality and features build upon these two basic components. If you’re not familiar with this technology, your equipment or precision ag dealer can definitely get you started. 

    ISOBUS For My Farm

    The great part about incorporating ISOBUS into your operation is that you can pick and choose what works best for your farm. You don’t have to remain brand loyal to any particular tractor or equipment brand (unless, of course, that’s a priority for you), and the certification guarantees that everything can talk to each other. This gives you the freedom to invest in the right equipment for your needs and improves the ability to assess the total value of your equipment. 

    There’s a good chance that many of the tools you rely on for your day-to-day work already are ISOBUS certified, and integration may be easier than you think if you haven’t already done so. And don’t forget about the resale value – if you’re looking to trade in or trade up, having that ISOBUS certification adds value for the next owner.

    The History of ISOBUS in Agriculture

    At the very least, ISOBUS is a term you’ve likely heard thrown around, but what exactly is it? It’s a technology protocol and the brainchild of the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF). This organization was founded to address known incompatibility issues within the industry. The AEF has established cross-manufacturer compatibility of ag equipment electronics and electric components.

    This is something the industry knew was needed: it doesn’t just benefit their customers, it also helps these companies design and build equipment that is better prepared to communicate, offers more functional value, and better meets the needs of their customers. Working together, more than 200 industry members are ensuring transparency about known compatibility issues and improving cross-manufacturer compatibility. 

    How ISOBUS Works in Ag

    Farmers can register for access to the AEF database, which provides information on ISOBUS-certified equipment, implements, and accessories. More than 40 manufacturers are listed in the database, making a quick search easy and educational. This information also helps separate the wheat from the chaff – items marketed as  “ISOBUS prepared” or “ISOBUS light” are not certified and won’t be listed in the database.

    Knowing this simple difference can help you avoid wasting time and money on products and equipment that will need extensive troubleshooting to get up and running or not work at all. It’s not to say that equipment identified this way won’t work, but it will require you to try them out. Purchasing ISOBUS-certified equipment and implements pretty much guarantees you can skip these steps.

    Trimble Solutions with ISOBUS

    The Trimble Field-IQ system makes it easy to connect your ISOBUS-certified implements, get into the fields, and get to work. The Field-IQ™ crop input control system is an ISOBUS-certified solution that allows you to take complete control of your crop inputs. Instead of finding room for multiple displays in your cab, you can use just one and have complete control at your fingertips when using ISOBUS-certified equipment. 

    In addition to our Field-IQ™ crop input control system, Trimble also offers the ISOBUS liquid control system, which can be used on any implement applying liquid for an operation. Connecting this system is easy – just plug it into any ISOBUS terminal.

    Keeping an eye on the weather through all seasons – from field prep to harvest – is simplified with Trimble’s Field-IQ™ ISOBUS Weather Station. This unit calculates both apparent and true wind speed, as well as direction, without requiring any additional sensors. Internal temperature and barometric pressure sensors help predict changing weather patterns, help plan your day as well as give you real-time weather information while at work. Even better, the unit also calculates the Delta T value, one of the standard indicators for determining acceptable spray conditions.

    Sharing the same communication ease as our other ISOBUS certified products, the Weather Station sensor determines field-specific weather data and displays it on an ISOBUS terminal. It also offers an additional functionality – the ability to save weather data in your records. It’s great both for your current growing needs and when planning for future crop rotations and harvests.

    Helping You Work Better

    The ag industry is constantly looking for ways to improve our products by adding value whenever and wherever possible. The adoption of ISOBUS as an industry standard is a major step forward in helping our customers improve their efficiencies and improve overall operational profitability.  

     

  7. The Truth About ROI with Precision Farming Technology

    The current economic environment has left the agriculture industry spinning. Farmers are looking for ways to maximize profit in a market where input costs tend to exceed commodity pricing. 

    When money gets tight and concerns about revenue abound – or you simply want to streamline your business finances – it makes sense to tighten expenses by cutting unnecessary costs and optimizing your spending wherever possible. 

    Farmers realize that making one wrong decision can significantly impact their farm, so they are constantly looking for ways to minimize wasted time and resources in order to create a more profitable business. However, spending money on the right things can be a game-changer – and one of those things is precision farming technology. 

    Does Precision Ag Pay Off?

    One of the most prominent concerns we hear when talking to farmers about purchasing precision ag technology is around cost and ROI. Many farmers believe their equipment is too old, that they are already experienced enough (or alternatively, are new enough that they don’t have the experience) or that they simply won’t get enough in return to make investments in precision ag a top priority – especially when they’re already saddled with extra costs and looming lower commodity prices. 

    We’re here to tell you, this isn’t the case! The benefits and ROI of precision farming solutions far outweigh the costs. Here are a few specific misconceptions and the truths we’ve seen to help you further understand how the investment in precision ag solutions can pay off on your farm. 

    Experienced vs. New Farmers – Let Technology Do the Work

    Farmers that have planted and harvested for years are experienced drivers, so it can be hard to see how precision farming technology will make a big enough difference to justify the cost. No matter how skilled you are, technology is always more accurate. Trimble’s selection of assisted and automated steering systems steers your vehicle on-line with the precision you require, minimizing any skip or overlap pass-to-pass. This also helps you to work longer hours, making it easier to work into the night when needed. Letting precision ag technology take the wheel also significantly reduces fatigue while you’re working in the tractor, which means you can spend your valuable mind space on other field activities. 

    Expert Support for Farmers

    We also hear this concern from farmers that are on the other end of the spectrum – those that are just starting out – and don’t have the money to spend on precision farming, especially as they think it will be a huge out-of-pocket expense and they don’t have the experience to make it worthwhile. Trimble Authorized Resellers are available around the world to help you with any needs, and your local reseller is the best resource to support any questions about getting started or your current precision farming solutions. Dipping your toe in the water of precision ag technology doesn’t have to be a huge expense. A few simple solutions can completely transform your farm. 

     

    “Precision ag just makes things easier. It’s so much easier to get work done when I can focus on what happens behind the tractor.” – Aron S., North America

    Older Equipment? No Problem!

    Another scenario we hear frequently is that farmers think their equipment is either too old for precision farming technology or that the technology is not worth it because it’s too expensive. Trimble has a variety of solutions that are affordable and can help increase yields, save time, maximize productivity and increase profits. The GFX-350 display is a great place to start. It is compatible with a variety of steering solutions and expandable if you want to add additional technology options in the future. Trimble also has several options, such as steering platforms, that easily integrate to give that older tractor new life – and also make it more efficient. 

    Understanding ROI 

    Some farmers are simply cost-adverse – and for good reason. You run a lean operation and can’t see that the value or ROI of putting more money out will ever put enough back in your pocket to make up for it. Trimble offers a variety of solutions that aren’t a huge out-of-pocket expense. By investing in the future of agriculture, you’re investing in the future of your farm. We like to think of it as a way to keep your business sustainable in a time where everything seems to be changing.   

    Precision Ag Pays for Itself

    As an entry point, there are two precision ag solutions we recommend that can quickly pay for themselves – especially for specialty crops like carrots and potatoes. Implement steering pays for itself quickly, as it ensures the implement stays in position on the bed, creating a big advantage for growers to ensure proper placement, minimize crop damage and maximize yields in a short amount of time. 

    Additionally, Trimble CenterPoint RTX correction services require the same accuracy licenses as RTK, but without the need for a modem, radio or base station – creating an even lower overall cost and just as accurate correction services. Both of these solutions are a great place to start for those who want to test technology with a lower cost and high return. 

    The True Cost of Precision Ag

    Overall, ROI and perceived costs tend to be a large barrier to entry for farmers to adopt precision farming solutions. While we can’t always control crop prices or other variables, precision farming gives you the control you need to ensure you are decreasing variable input costs and becoming a more efficient operation. 

    To see how just one solution can save money based on your exact farm specifications, check out our newest ROI and savings calculators here: WeedSeeker2 ROI calculator + RTX Input Savings calculator

     

  8. Best Tips to Save Money on Farm Inputs in 2021

    Managing a farm successfully in 2021 requires dedication and a balance of well-rounded skills, plus some important decision-making strategies. 

    It’s important for farmers to effectively manage farm inputs to save on time, cost, and materials wherever possible. There are several options within precision ag technology that farmers can use to save money on farm inputs in 2021.

    Like all industries, the quality of decision-making driving business strategy determines the bottom line and success of the operation. Knowing how to best minimize wasted time and resources is the key to creating a more profitable business. 

    Here are some of the best tips farmers can use to save money on farm inputs in 2021:

    Maximize Your Purchase Strategy

    Reducing farm input costs is key to remaining profitable in the farming business – the lower the total input costs, the higher the profits generated.

    Farmers have to implement a sustainable purchasing strategy for farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, herbicides, and other farm inputs. You need to get the best value for inputs that you purchase for your farm. 

    Some suppliers are able to provide discounts and financing terms for input purchases made well in advance of planting. Enhancing a sustainable purchase strategy can be a sizable cost savings opportunity for your farm.

    Optimize Input Use with Variable Rate Application (VRA)

    Properly treating your fields and efficiently managing farm inputs such as herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers doesn’t have to be difficult.

    You can use effective, connected solutions from Trimble to enhance your application accuracy, which helps reduce wasted inputs and increase your farm’s overall productivity – while saving you money in the process.

    Variable rate application (VRA) helps you manage variability in your fields by targeting precise areas based on the unique needs of that section of the field. Compared to traditional agricultural methods, this allows more precise targeting of the correct amount of planting and seeding operation at the correct time and location, helping you save money by using your inputs efficiently.

    Reduce Farm Input Costs with Variable Rate Technology (VRT)

    Variable-rate technology (VRT) allows the farmer to control the amount of inputs they use while also conserving the natural environment. 

    It provides optimization on planting density and improved application rate efficiency of pest protection products and nutrients, resulting in farm cost reduction and reducing negative environmental impact. 

    Used in combination with VRA, these technologies provide a huge volume of important data on farm activities to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

    VRT technology paired with Trimble precision ag technology allows you to apply farm inputs at a precise time and field location to attain site-specific application rates. Instead of spraying every row, you can create prescription maps, which accurately guide your machinery to precisely apply and monitor and control your applications, therefore reducing required labor, fuel, and materials. 

    Achieve Precision with Field-IQ

    Trimble’s Field-IQ makes it simple to automatically manage and control the flow and application of farm inputs. This precision ag system guides your equipment to automatically apply the right rate of input at the right place at the right time, avoiding harmful overapplication AND underapplication.

    Concerned that your current system won’t connect with Trimble technology? The Field-IQ ISOBUS Control Solution ensures that your farm equipment can communicate with different consoles, no matter the brand. Plus, Trimble’s rate and section control technology is compatible with many implement controllers. This enables automatic control functions with your current hardware.

    Overall, it is possible to save money on farm inputs and maintain your farm business’s long-term productivity. With Trimble agriculture technology, farmers can reduce their input costs while increasing profits by being more in control of their farming business.

  9. How to Calculate Your Farm Savings

    There’s no doubt that inputs have a big impact on farm profits. While you can’t always control crop prices, you can decrease variable input costs with the help of precision ag technology. But how much can you really save?

    Return on investment (ROI) is important — you always want to be sure your investment is worth it. To find out how much you can save on your farm, Trimble Agriculture has created two ROI calculators to show you just how much using our innovative precision ag technology can pay off!

    RTX Input Savings Calculator

    In your current setup, you’re likely overlapping between passes when you’re tilling, planting, spraying, and harvesting. Depending on your land, machinery, and operator, this overlap could be anywhere between a few inches to a few feet  and each overlapping inch means higher input and labor costs.

    By utilizing CenterPoint RTX correction technology, you’ll correct your position’s accuracy to 1”, which means you can substantially decrease your overlap between passes — and a smaller overlap means lower labor and input costs. 

    The exact amount CenterPoint RTX can help you save depends on your current set-up. That’s where our RTX Input Savings Calculator comes in.

    An Example

    Let’s say you have a 6,000-acre corn farm. You use a 30-foot planter with a one-foot overlap to plant seed that costs $60/acre. By utilizing the RTX calculator, you find that you can save $10,918.50! But that only accounts for planting — let’s look at herbicides and pesticides.

    You use a 60-foot boom sprayer with a 1.5’ overlap to apply products at the cost of $56/acre. By utilizing RTX, you’ll save $7,816!

    When you combine the costs of planting and spraying, you’ll find you save just shy of 20K. Plus, we didn’t account for the costs of fertilizing, harvesting, or spraying multiple times.

    WeedSeeker 2 ROI Calculator

    No matter what type of crops you’re growing, herbicides are a major input cost. If you are dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds, your costs are even higher.

    You’re probably already taking steps to reduce your herbicide costs, such as properly calibrating your sprayer and utilizing the proper adjuvants. Even so, you’re still overapplying herbicides! Not only does this overapplication of herbicides lead to unnecessary costs, but it can also harm the environment and damage your crops.

    Our WeedSeeker 2 spot spray system allows you to decrease your herbicide applications by only applying the product where weeds are present. This leads to a decrease in the amount of herbicide you need since you’re not spraying weed-free sections. 

    While it’s clear that this system will save you money, the WeedSeeker 2 ROI Calculator will show you just how much.

    Using the Calculator

    To determine how much the WeedSeeker 2 can help you save, you’ll need to know information about the herbicide, your equipment, and your fields.

    Let’s say you have a 2000 acre field with 30% weed pressure. You’re using a sprayer that has a 60’ boom and 1,000-gallon tank. The herbicide costs $5.25/oz, and you’re applying 5oz of product per acre and 18 gallons of mixture per acre.

    Using a conventional spray system will cost you $52,500. But when you implement Weedseeker 2, you can cut costs to $15,750! Plus, you’ll need 11 tank fills rather than 36.

    Learn How Much You Can Save

    Are you excited to see how much you can save? Then head on over to our calculators to try them for yourself. Feel free to change up your input information to account for various products you use and that new piece of equipment you’re considering.

    To learn more about CenterPoint RTX or Weedseeker 2, contact your local Trimble reseller today.

  10. Trimble Partners with HORSCH for Agriculture Automation

    Automation is a hot topic these days, as companies worldwide aim to streamline various systems related to manufacturing and production. The agriculture industry has begun to introduce this technology, with established autonomous solutions such as autosteering and self-propelled machines prevalent throughout the market.

    Trimble Inc. is excited to announce a collaborative partnership with HORSCH, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of modern agricultural technology, that will focus on autonomy in agriculture.

    The partnership will be centered on developing solutions, including autonomous machines and workflows, which speaks to many exciting developments to come.

    Trimble Agriculture and HORSCH

    This collaboration of global ag leaders will surpass autonomously controlling machines and extend to full workflow automation from the office to the field. Trimble is no stranger to autonomous solutions, pioneering the industry with expertise in autosteering and guidance systems, path planning, and in-field process automation with HORSCH’s equipment fleet.

    HORSCH focuses on the issues facing farmers and strives to anticipate farmers’ future needs. They are constantly developing new ideas to continue to meet the future and anticipated demands of the agriculture industry.

    “We consider automation in agriculture to be one of our next key technologies, and our goal is to ultimately deliver a platform of various applications to help farmers meet the challenges of the future,” said Theo Leeb, managing director for HORSCH.

    Forward Thinking Partnership

    Trimble and HORSCH will strive to build a future for autonomous machines and workflows in the agricultural industry. They previously collaborated on implementing control technologies with much success and are extending this initiative to include full-machine control solutions.

    The companies are currently implementing a high level of automation and driver support with steering systems, which allows a driver to perform additional in-cab tasks during active field work.

    Customer-Focused Solutions

    This technology partnership will enable the companies to deliver unique, innovative solutions — with farmers at the forefront.

    “We are building new customer-focused solutions as part of our existing connected farm ecosystem to deliver a unique and compelling solution for our customers—simplifying the complex, logistical and operational challenges of modern agriculture,” said Finlay Wood, business area director for Trimble Autonomous Solutions.

    “Combining the forward-thinking nature of HORSCH with Trimble’s cutting-edge autonomous technology creates an opportunity for the companies to develop innovative applications for the OEM and Trimble’s agriculture network.”

    Building Blocks for the Future

    The first phase of the collaboration will improve machine performance and reduce operating errors in sprayers. Aiming to improve the challenges that sprayer operators face, including planning, machine control, and logistics, automation can significantly reduce the driver’s workload. This technology will establish a basis for operating fully autonomous machines in the future.

    “The unique opportunity with this collaboration is not that we are presenting a future utopia but that we are moving step-by-step towards autonomy in a pragmatic, consistent manner,” said Leeb.

    To learn more about Trimble Agriculture and precision technology solutions, visit agriculture.trimble.com. To learn more about HORSCH, visit their website at horsch.com.