Updating Technology: A Valuable Assessment
A couple of months ago, the McGregor Precision Team moved out of our offices into temporary quarters for the winter while our building is being fixed. When picking up all the stuff we’ve accumulated to pack it into storage, it provided us an opportunity...a moment to assess the value of our "collection".
As we sorted through some of the out-of-date technology, we really got to assess how far agriculture application technology has come and what it takes for it to be successful.
The older displays we packed away were largely first generation units that were manufactured 10 years ago. In my dated opinion, I remember them as being groundbreaking when they were new. Ten years isn’t all that long ago by farm machinery standards but these older units, while still functional, are dinosaurs in comparison to the new technology. For comparison, 10 years ago the Apple iPhone was the only cellular phone with a touchscreen interface and Google had just released their new operating system called Android.
The older displays were stand alone units that did product control and were very good at collecting data, but that data was often stranded on the display and wasn’t of much use to the farming operation. If the information was allowed to build up on the display it could actually decrease performance.
The new generation of Ag Leader displays are built to share data between all connected displays as well as transferring data to a cloud-based storage platform so that operational data can be accessed from anywhere you have a connection to the internet. Even if you have multiple displays in your operation, you can access data that was collected from any of your displays. If you have multiple machines operating in the same field, they can even share guidance lines and automatically shut off product where the other unit has already applied. In the span of 10 years, we’ve evolved from simple data collection to data that’s available anywhere.
Another leap in the precision space is advancement of the components that work along with the system display. First generation systems often relied on only one piece of data to do the work. As an example, the first steering systems often didn’t have the capability to tell if the system was on a side hill or not. Ag Leader’s steer command has a 9 axis terrain compensation with 3 sensors on each axis for a total of 27 sensors steering the system through the field.
Product control has also been improved with the new Ag Leader systems being able to use both flow and pressure to get the right amount of product on the acre. Using a dual input system, the system can monitor droplet size, drift risk and warn the operator when there is a plugged nozzle or spray tip.
So, the next time you get your hands on your current display, think about how long it’s been in your cab...then compare it to how long you’ve had your current cell phone. Would you think about using a cell phone from the same era of your display? If not, give us a call and we can talk about the advantages of upgrading your current system.
Director of Precision Services