Compact and a la Carte

October 28, 2011 07:47 PM

Display provides range of features for multiple functions at a budget-friendly price

Doing more with less isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, precision ag monitors are able to do more with a single interface.

The sleek new Ag Leader Versa offers farmers an easy-to-navigate 8.4", full-color touch screen designed for year-round operation control. The display features a robust range of practical functions that producers can tap into—from built-in manual guidance and full-screen mapping to yield monitoring, automated steering and real-time data logging—all for a base price of $2,195.
The display was introduced to dealers this month, and Farm Journal got a first look.

Low barrier to adoption. The Versa is a particularly good choice for farmers who need a solid suite of basic functions or who are new to precision farming practices, says Al Myers,
president of Ag Leader Technology Inc., based in Ames, Iowa.

"It’s a great fit for someone who has single-function uses in mind, whether it’s steering a tractor or using a sprayer," Myers says.

The display is compatible with the Ag Leader steering systems and can be paired with a receiver for the full range of GPS accuracies, from WAAS to RTK.

In time, Myers says, the Versa will replace the Ag Leader Edge, the company’s current entry-level display, which was introduced to the marketplace in 2008.

The Versa is lightweight and easy to move between vehicles. Yet, Myers says he foresees the continuation of the current industry trend of farmers buying multiple displays that can be made implement-specific. That trend runs counter to the past, when farmers tended to purchase one or two more comprehensive displays, which they then had to move between vehicles.

"Not every farmer needs a complete range of functions from every single display that he owns,"
Myers says.

As part of a full-screen mapping package, the Versa display provides multiple map views, allowing operators to determine the level of detail needed to monitor applications. Implement-specific tabs can be minimized to view more mapping information, if desired.

"Having multiple displays is also a convenience factor," adds Matt Leinen, product manager.

Pick and choose. With the Versa, farmers have the flexibility to select the specific unlocks they want to purchase, as well as the flexibility to disregard those that they don’t. The latter are available to unlock on an as-needed basis, Leinen reports.

"It gives our customers the opportunity to pick and choose what [feature] they want when they want it, which is what helps make the display so versatile," Leinen says.

One of the most interesting features the Versa offers is the ISO 11783 (ISOBUS) Virtual Terminal Standard. The virtual terminal provides farmers with the limited ability to have cross-branded equipment that works with each other.

"That allows our display, without the need for any other equipment, to plug into certain OEM implements," Myers adds.

In addition, the display features four video camera inputs that provide operators a better view of their equipment operation and improved safety.

Leinen says that technical support, product enhancements and upgrades are provided to customers who buy the Versa at no additional charge for the life of the product.

"We also offer support during regular business hours, plus extended hours in the spring and fall," he says.

For more information about the Versa, visit and click on "Dealer Search" to locate a retailer based in your area.

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