Behind all the arable equipment hardware is a raft of software to make it go, and the Cereals event had plenty on show for users to enhance their efficiency and make life easier. Jane Carley reports.
Specialist sprayer manufacturer S&K Services has developed a wireless Android tablet-based sprayer control system, which can be fitted to new and existing machines.
Smart Control offers automatic multiple section control, 3D mapping overlaid on Google maps, and field management records which can be uploaded to the Cloud for use on other devices.
Purchasers can add functions as required and software updates are made free of charge as they become available. A new option is automatic hydraulic function control which gives one-button boom folding, and S&K is also developing vehicle/implement steering and seeder control functions.
The Samsung tablet touchscreen display can show 2D or 3D graphics and has a high visibility night mode. With basic rate and section control for up to 12 sections, Smart Control starts at £5,000.
Trimble has introduced Auto Sync, which can share data between TrimbleTMX-2050 and GFX-750 displays with Precision- IQ software on several tractors, the farm office or any mobile device using WiFi.
Field information such as guidance lines, field names, boundaries, landmarks, and operator details recorded by one tractor goes to a cloud-based management system for upload into Trimble Ag Software and on to connected devices. USB sticks are not required, avoiding possible data loss, and information is readily available to operators performing a sequence of operations in the same field or farm.
The system is included as part of Trimble’s latest Farmer Core farm management software package. The company also announced that it is now offering an IsoBus-controlled ECU for sprayer liquid control under the Trimble brand, following its acquisition of Muller, available as a retrofit as well as through OEMs.
Trimble’s sister company AS Communications has launched a new seed counting system for air drills, using optical sensors.
The USC-Pro system from Italian manufacturer MC Electronics eases calibration by counting seeds against a desired seed rate input by the operator on a virtual terminal and adjusting metering and distribution accordingly.
Blockage monitoring, variable rate seeding and tramlining can also be incorporated and the modular design of the system allows it to be fitted to a wide range of drills. An ECU IsoBus bridge offers compatibility with universal terminals on tractors and the company can also offer remote monitoring for easier troubleshooting.
CNH Industrial recently announced the introduction of the AgXtend range of precision farming equipment and several of the products have been working on farm this spring.
The Isaria crop scanner is a familiar tool for identifying variation in growing crops which can be addressed by varying nitrogen applications, but the CropXplorer version uses LED lights which have a 50,000 hour service life and thus don’t require users to enter into a service contract.
Operators can choose to tailor nitrogen applications to even up the crop or to ‘push’ better performing areas. The data can also be overlaid onto yield potential maps for further fine tuning; IsoBus compatibility allows the CropXplorer to input to the rate controller of any suitably equipped fertiliser spreader.