In November, Ag Leader Technology, Ames, Iowa, and AutoFarm, Fremont California, announced an alliance that looks to be a win-win for the precision agriculture industry. The collaboration between the two companies brings together the successful precision ag products of Ag Leader with the latest embedded and integrated steering solutions from AutoFarm.
That marriage was consummated on Monday, Dec. 7 in Ames, Iowa, when the two companies introduced the combined line-up of precision ag equipment to the media.
“Ag Leader is not just good at building new products from scratch but we’re also good at partnering,” said Al Myers, founder and president. “Today Ag Leader and AutoFarm are entering a new partnership. Both companies’ customers will benefit greatly,” he added.
“This alliance allows both companies to leverage our strengths and experience to offer the world’s most advanced and complete precision ag solutions to our dealers and customers,” noted Herb Satterlee, CEO Novariant-AutoFarm.
One of the more exciting new products is the AutoFarm ParaDyme System. It’s a roof mounted module that provides planter control, application control, yield monitoring, data logging, data management plus hands-free GPS steering of tractors, sprayers, spreaders or combines via WAAS, EGNOS, OmniSTAR HP/XP, RTK and more.
“The new ParaDyme dual antenna roof module eliminates the need for a vehicle wheel-angle sensor to achieve RTK accuracy,” noted Michael O’Connor, AutoFarm.
AutoFarm also announced the new Central Business System (CBS), which is a website that allows AutoFarm and its resellers or dealers to offer customers unique new services. One is RTK ReadyConnect, which provides corrections by cell phone. Farmers can get RTK accuracy without a base station and without having to deal with third party carriers, monthly billing or contracts from a cell serice.
The system is 100% factory activated -- farmers and dealers don’t have to deal with cell phone plans, etc. “The system is ready to go from the factory,” said O’Connor.
Another feature is Remote Service via CBS, which is in real time and also set-up and factory activated to eliminate separate cell plans, equipment compatibility, etc. When the farmer presses “Call Support” on the controller touch screen in the tractor of the combine cab, his dealer receives a message altering them to a service request. If the dealer can not resolve the service request with a phone call, they can access the farmer’s ParaDyme system remotely to resolve the problem, in real time.
AutoFarm currently has over 50 wireless partners across North America to support this wireless system.
Among other products unveiled Monday is the AgLeader OptRX Crop sensors, which sense nitrogen needs by plants and vary nitrogen rates on-the-go based on the plant’s needs. OptRX crop sensors will be available early 2010.
Ag Leader also introduced the latest in display modules. The new Intergra display replaces the current Insight display. “Integra is targeted at cutting edge customers – those that purchase high-end, full featured displays,” said Matt Leinen, AgLeader. It’s a 12.1-inch high definition screen with 4 gig internal memory and a USB media slot for transferring or downloading data.
AgLeader will still offer the Edge display for those who want an entry level display. However, the Edge also provides an option for easy upgrade to Integra.