The Precision Farming 2015 event gave an opportunity to catch up with the latest technology for tractors, implements and harvesters. Geoff Ashcroft reports.
RDS Technology has introduced the Isocan family of universal terminals and controllers. Using a seven-inch colour touch-screen display, the Isocan family is aimed at the OEM market and offers the Apollo version for variable rate muck spreader control and the Isocan Artemis model for variable rate drill control.
With a target rate input into the display and the inclusion of load cells on a spreader, the Isocan Apollo can be used to control floor conveyor speed proportional to forward speed.
It can also be used to measure disc speed and rear discharge door height.
In addition, the Isocan display can be used as a universal terminal, acting as an interface for IsoBus machines, and with a licensed version of Patchwork’s BlackBox system, it can also offer steering guidance.
RDS says different levels of software can be unlocked for the Isocan display, affording a degree of expansion to suit the level of precision farming technology required. This is achieved through the firm’s website by purchasing unlock codes.
Gloucester based Agricultural Supply Services offers more efficient pasture management for livestock farmers with its Feed Reader – a vehicle-mounted ultrasonic sensor which calculates the height of pasture in millimetres, taking 10 readings per second.
A faster and more efficient alternative to the firm’s Platemeter, the Feed Reader is mounted onto an ATV or UTV. Its sensor works in conjunction with a display to generate pasture yield maps, and show just how much grazing potential is available in each field.
The system also enables automatic pasture recording and monitoring of available forage. By monitoring the height of pasture, use of the Feed Reader is said to avoid over- or under-grazing.
Feed Reader is priced from £2,250.
Newcastle-based Helliguy, a distributor of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, has developed a CAA-approved training course for those wishing to earn industry-recognised qualifications to fly commercially.
Justin Pringle from Helliguy says: “The huge interest in quad-copters and drones among the farming industry will place increasing pressure on operators to learn to fly safely and with due diligence.
“We have been working with industry bodies to develop a five-day fast-track course which will provide flight training, ground schooling with exams, operations manual and flight test.”
Mr Pringle says the role of a quad-copter among farms is expected to grow as new uses are realised for remote surveillance of fields, stock and buildings using drones.
“While there is currently no requirement to gain certification for private use, due diligence would suggest those wishing to carry out drone flights should be aware of the regulations around CAP722,” he says.
The cost of the five-day course is £1,300 plus VAT.
Kverneland Group has released a new software version of its free e-learning app called the IsoMatch Simulator.
The PC software, which allows users to practice operation of IsoBus equipment, has been given more features. In the latest version (1.04), users can integrate their own field maps into the software, and enjoy an updated quick-start guide; GPS position of tractor with task data map; a new menu structure, and use of the IsoMatch Simulator application on Apple iOS and Android tablet platforms.
With GPS simulation, PC users can now sit at their desks and replicate operations as if they are in their own fields. Such innovation makes it possible to go through set-up processes in advance of fieldwork, to ensure productivity is boosted.
The IsoMatch Simulator can be downloaded free fromwww.isomatchtellus.com
John Deere Farmsight now offers wireless data transfer (WDT) and remote display access through www.myjohndeere.com.
This latest development supports seamless data flow between the GreenStar 2630 display and the website allowing yield data to be sent wirelessly to the web portal as soon as the combine operator finishes the field.
WDT also allows the user to transmit information to the GreenStar display and prepare equipment for the next job. This can include set-up data or prescription maps for sprayers, spreaders and drills, for example.
As its name suggests, remote display access enables the farm office or machinery dealer to remotely view the GreenStar 2630 display and CommandCentre in the cab of a tractor, combine or forage harvester.
Importantly, it does not allow remote control or adjustment, but offers an easy means of advising the operator on how to optimise machine and implement settings.
AS Communications used the Precision Farming event to reveal the Trimble TMX-2050 display. The android-based tablet can be used as a universal terminal, can be loaded with apps to carry out section control, rate control and steering guidance.
The A4-sized tablet uses a glass screen and can be linked to 3G and 4G data networks with the use of a modem. Expect to pay £4,995 for the TMX-2050.
The latest Muller control system from David King electronics includes the Touch 800 and Touch 1200 units.
With screen sizes of 8in and 12in, respectively, the Touch series is aimed at drill manufacturers and offers section control and seed unit control for the OEM market.
In addition, the device is capable of individual nozzle control when combined with the Vario-Select system, where one controller can be used to manage four nozzles.