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Technology Journal

December 13, 2008
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Director of Content Development, Machinery Pete

Touchy-Feely Harvest

Integrating GPS data from the StarFire receiver and its tactical row sensors, John Deere's AutoTrac RowSense keeps corn heads on target in the field. The combine's steering is controlled by the AutoTrac system, while the RowSense system makes small front end adjustments to keep the combine on the row. It senses the base of cornstalks and is able to maintain the machine's positioning without manual steering. Tactile sensing systems such as RowSense work in varying crop conditions and downed corn, as well. Base prices: $5,350 with SF1 activation and $7,000 with SF2 activation. For more information, visit a John Deere dealer or


Irrigation Incorporates Precision Ag

GPS-enabled irrigation control boxes manage water and fertilizer application. Valley Irrigation's GPS-ready panels—PRO2 Pivot Control Panel, AutoPilot Linear Control Panel and Select2 Pivot Control Panel—eliminate the need for an external computer because the GPS calculations are performed inside the panels themselves. These control panels are compatible with different types of GPS receivers. Farmers can program varying rates across fields to prescribe the level of input. Applying this technology can reduce overapplication and allow for better crop management and input optimization. For more information, visit a Valley Irrigation dealer or


Updated Planter Display

Kinze Manufacturing's new Cobalt planter display system features a 6.5" (diagonal) color touch-screen display with integrated seed monitor functions. The Cobalt display is non-GPS- compatible and can replace the need for other KPM monitors. Capabilities include monitoring seed population and accuracy, controlling the planter's variable-rate drive system and allowing the operator to turn planter sections on and off. It also collects data regarding seed population and spacing by row, average seed population, area, groundspeed and target seed rate population. Seeding rate is controlled by settings preprogrammed by the operator. The color bar graphs that are generated can feature up to 36 rows simultaneously in front/rear or rear-only configurations. List price: $3,449. For more information, visit a Kinze dealer or

Next Generation of Guidance 

Topcon Sauer-Danfoss (TSD) and AGCO introduce the Auto-Guide2, AGCO's next generation of guidance technology. The Auto-Guide2 is a satellite-

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - December 2008

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