New technology by its very nature can be intimidating. Topcon Precision Agriculture officials say they have tried to make it as easy as possible to learn basic precision ag management with the recent release of their SGISfarm software package.
"SGISfarm is trying to focus on people who don’t necessarily have a great deal of computer background to easily take their data, bring it onto the computer and view reports and other things," says software support manager Rich Haynes. "The premise is we want someone who’s never used it to be able to create fields, import data and view reports 10 minutes after it’s out of the box."
Haynes says that farmers can download aerial images of their fields from NRCS or other online resources so they can create field boundaries. Once they have drawn up the boundaries, they can then draw up variable rate recommendations on those acres.
Farmers have found a wide variety of uses for the software so far, Haynes says.
"Soil types, yield, previously applied nutrients," he says. "A lot of people use it with drainage, or elevation, or runoff. Whatever you want to base the application off of, there’s a way to build it."
For those still intimidated with the learning curve, Topcon is developing about 40 short tutorial videos it will post on its website.