Technology Journal

February 23, 2009 12:32 PM

Two Technologies from Topcon

Topcon expands its precision ag product lineup with a new lightbar guidance system as well as an auto-steering system.

The System 110 lightbar guidance system features three basic operating modes and a detachable lightbar that can be positioned to optimize view of the field. The boundary mapping feature allows the operator to record the size and shape of the field. The on-screen automatic coverage mapping tracks areas covered to identify overlapped or missed spots. An optional automatic section control (ASC) handles up to 10 boom sections. List price: $2,795.

The System 150 auto-steering system incorporates 3G technology, allowing users to receive signals from all available satellite systems. The screen displays areas applied, speed, row number and satellite information. Features such as boundary mapping, which creates an outline of the field, and U-turn recognition help the user complete turns and lock on to the next swath. Components of the portable System 150 include the GX-45 control console and AGI-3 receiver. The ASC feature is optional on the System 150. List price: $8,605.

Contact: Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc.; 7400 National Dr., Liver- more, CA 94551; (925) 245-8300;


Automated Down Pressure

Building on the planter monitor functionality of its 20/20 SeedSense platform, Precision Planting launches 20/20 AirForce for automated down force control. The 20/20 AirForce air bag system delivers consistent down force at the prescribed setting and automatically adjusts for row unit weight and varying soil conditions. A compressor and control box receive down force readings from the 20/20 SeedSense to regulate the pressure in down force air bags and Precision Planting's new uplift bags, which creates an even ride on the planter gauge wheels. With the uplift bags, the 20/20 AirForce can reduce the down force when needed.

All functions of the 20/20 AirForce are displayed on the 20/20 SeedSense planter monitor, along with real-time data for seed singulation, seed spacing and planter ride. The 20/20 AirForce system is available for John Deere and Kinze planters.

Contact: Precision Planting, Inc., 23207 Townline Road, Tremont, IL 61568; (309) 925-5050;

Maximize Map Data

To help farmers glean as much information as possible from their precision ag maps, Farm Works introduces Pro. The office software includes analysis tools for yield averaging, profit and loss mapping and prescription map creation for variable-rate farming.

Users can normalize yield data by selecting any combination of crop and/or year for the average. This eliminates abnormal years and creates better visualizations of history zones, resulting in quality prescription maps.

The profit and loss maps are formulated from layers of each crop year and integrate the financials. Costs can be manually entered for each input by using the Trac and Site software.
Retail price: Pro software, $400; required Trac and Site software, $650.

Contact: Farm Works Software, P.O. Box 250, Hamilton, IN 46742; (800) 225-2848;


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