AGCO Adds AgCam Video Camera System

Kurt Lawton

If your neck, shoulders and back ache from constantly turning around to view what you’re pulling through the field, check out this farmer-developed AgCam system.

Dakota Micro partnered together with AGCO to sell AgCam, the most comprehensive, user friendly and versatile rear view and monitoring system available. AgCam offers a complete camera system, which consists of a camera, monitor, remote, and cables. Each product may also be ordered separately.

AgCam is commonly used on larger machines such as combines, sprayers, and hay balers. The Massey Ferguson 9005 series, Gleaner A and R series, and Challenger 600B series now have the ability to plug the AgCam camera and cables directly into the factory installed monitor – now achieving a reliable monitoring system is that much easier, just plug and go.

Easy-to-install, built to withstand an ag environment, the ability to be easily moved from one application to another, and can be used day or night, AgCam’s possibilities are endless. AgCam products can be ordered through any AGCO Parts dealer. To locate a dealer nearest you, visit

And if you want to learn about other uses for this system, check out these grower and producer testimonials.

Company Announcement, Displays, Equipment, Precision Ag in the News

Marriage Proposal Thanks To Precision Ag Tools

Kurt Lawton

Give credit to farmers and their creativity. Not only are they saving time, input dollars and the environment thanks to the tools of precision agriculture, some growers find ways to use it to enhance their personal lives.

Vega, Texas grower Braden Gruhlkey used his John Deere GreenStar GPS-based guidance system to accurately plow the letters of his marriage proposal to his girlfriend Lauren.

“I just used an A+heading line for the top and bottom  of the letters. I used this as a guide to see how big to make my letters.  Then I just made ab and a+ heading lines to make the letters. And it worked nice because when I got one letter finished I could use the same lines and  just shift track them. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and I did it all in the field. I thought it turned out pretty neat.”

Then, on April 18th, Braden took girlfriend Lauren for an airplane ride and popped the question. 

With the help of GreenStar, Braden’s creativity was a huge hit…she became his fiance.

Farmers, GPS, Humor, Tillage

Precision Farming Australia Style

Kurt Lawton

Competing with neighboring farms and other US farmers has long been a stimulus to help farmers adopt tools of precision agriculture that improve efficiency.

But in our global economy, it’s always wise to track what other farmers around the globe are doing. To this end, check out how this 43-year-old Australian farmer is using precision farming tools for efficiency, as reported in a story by

The giant red tractor edges along steadily at 9.6 km/h — on auto steer — and the air seeder it tows behind drops seeds in freshly made furrows, a few millimetres above fertiliser that has just gone in.

The tractor drives in a straight line for the length of the paddock, 2.2 kilometres, before Mr Luehman touches a red stop sign on the screen, disengages the auto steer and negotiates a bumpy U-turn over dozens of furrows. Powerful headlights light up the long red bonnet and the flat Mallee paddock ahead. Similar headlights are doing the same turn in the paddock over the fence, while behind there is only soft moonlight. The scene is repeated in many Mallee paddocks in this district tonight, because it’s prime cropping time.

It is 7.30 on Thursday, 12½ hours after Mr Luehman arrived in “Harry’s Paddock” to start spraying weeds. He’s got another three hours of sowing before knocking off. It’s a long day but the time for sowing is ideal; the farm received up to 27 millimetres of rain in late April and he wants to capitalise on the conditions.

Five years ago he overhauled his approach to farming to become more efficient. He stopped ploughing his paddocks before sowing and moved to direct drill sowing, ripped out all the internal fences to enlarge his paddocks, sold all his livestock and changed his sowing timetable. The changes mean he has cut his tractor hours by 1200 per year, his fertiliser use by 60 tonnes and his diesel consumption.

Education, Farmers, International, wheat

Precision Ag Companies Use Social Media

Kurt Lawton

As traditional advertisers continue to move more media dollars to the web to improve customer targeting and ROI, they’re also using social media—such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter—to reach innovators and early technology adopters.

While social media is still in its infancy, more and more people and companies are experimenting with various tools to capture customer conversations and conversions to gain information, sales, interaction and more.

I did a quick search on Twitter to see if I could find some precision agriculture companies, and I found Raven Industries and Topcon (Please send me your link if you know of other companies on Twitter).

Raven is using Twitter to direct ‘followers’ to view videos on their website, to talk about product benefits, to listen to interviews from company personnel, and more. Topcon is doing similar product and company news and promos.

Who knew 140 character messages could help people educate, promote, interact among many groups of people from across the globe. And for the curious, stop by AgChat every Tuesday from 8-10pm EDT to read ‘tweets’ from a broad cross section of agriculture, and consumers, too, who wants to voice their opinions. It’s fascinating and fun.

Company Announcement, Education, Industry News, Precision Ag in the News

Farmers Continue Precision Agriculture Equipment Buying

Kurt Lawton

At this week’s 3i Farm Show in Garden City, Kansas, several farm retailers report continued confidence by farmers in the value of precision farming tools, according to a story in The Hutchinson News.

“Farmers are buying technology and new concepts of innovation,” says Greg Brenneman, marketing director with Salina-based Great Plains, noting that innovation “has always been a cornerstone at Great Plains.”

Mike Zimmerman, sales manager for Lang Diesel out of Hays, says that while the agriculture economy has slowed after an extraordinary year in 2008, he expects to see plenty of visitors interested in updating equipment or precision agriculture systems.

January and February were dry months for farmers and slow for his industry, he said. When rain started falling in April, the pace picked up.

“We’re selling quite a few tractors and combines,” he said. “It’s a lot better than we thought.”

Dealers, Equipment, Events

Precision Herbicide Application A Must

Kurt Lawton


Courtesy John Deere

Courtesy John Deere

In the midst of this busy application and planting season, make sure you don’t neglect exact herbicide application rules. Read the label.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture commissioner Gene Hugoson says to watch herbicide setback rules“Many products have setback requirements, so it is important to carefully read the pesticide product label before using a product.”

Atrazine, and pre-packaged or tank mixes containing atrazine, carry label-specific application setback requirements. These application setback requirements are measured as the distance between a sensitive area and the area of application. Legal requirements include a 66-foot application setback from the area where field runoff enters streams, rivers and certain types of tile inlets, a 200-foot setback from lakes and reservoirs, and a 50-foot setback from wells (including irrigation wells) or sinkholes.

Some insecticide products used to control soybean aphid require both a 10-foot vegetative filter strip, and an application setback of 25 feet for ground applications or 150 feet for aerial applications near surface waters.

Weed and pest control might be difficult in areas where effective products cannot be used. If corn or soybeans are planted near surface water, sinkholes or wells, use of certain pesticide products may be prohibited. Options in these areas include not applying products that carry such restrictions, not cropping these areas, or using alternative products that do not carry application setback or filter strip requirements.

Carefully reading labels and working with an ag professional or chemical dealer can resolve the selection of weed and pest control products. Commercial applicators responsible for pesticide applications must follow label requirements and cannot be expected to apply products in areas where such use is a violation of the label.

Education, Equipment, Spraying

Deere Dealers To Offer Raven Products

Kurt Lawton

Come August, John Deere Ag Management Solutions (AMS) and Raven plan to combine technologies and offer a broader suite of precision application control solutions to growers.

“We’re targeting this August to combine technologies from John Deere and Raven. We’ll be able to offer an expanded line of universal solutions to customers through our John Deere dealer network,” says Nick Block, business development manager for John Deere Ag Management Solutions.

Now customers in the U.S., Canada, and Australia will be able to purchase select Raven application control products at John Deere dealerships.

Matt Burkhart, general manager for Raven’s Applied Technology Division, says customers will ultimately be the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement.

“Both companies share a common focus to provide customers with market-leading, innovative products, plus offer exceptional support for those products,” Burkhart says. “By offering Raven products through John Deere dealerships, we can reach more customers with compatible solutions that help them improve their farming operations,” he adds.

“These complementary products will enhance both of our companies’ positions in providing precision ag solutions,” Deere’s Block explains.

Company Announcement, Dealers, Equipment, Precision Ag in the News

Precision Auto Steer Works Without Driver

Kurt Lawton

Now you knew someone would, sooner or later, put John Deere’s iTEC Pro technology to the test by leaving the cab, as witnessed by this crazy driverless tractor video.

Good thing the GPS signal did not drop. And please, don’t try this at home. I’d like to see the rest of the video where the farmer had to run and jump in the cab without getting run over–unless, of course, someone was hiding in the cab.

Not too smart, I must say. But it’s a great testament to the quality of the Deere precision agriculture technology.

Farmers, GPS, Humor, Satellite

International Ag Shows Announce Alliance

Cindy Zimmerman

Ag Connect ExpoThe organizers of two international agricultural shows have announced a formal alliance to coordinate show dates that will allow agriculture producers to attend a major international agriculture trade show each year.

AgritechnicaThe alliance is between DLG (German Agricultural Society), the organizer of the world’s largest agriculture machinery show Agritechnica, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), organizer of the new agricultural trade show AG CONNECT Expo, scheduled for January 13-15, 2010 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Agritechnica is held on odd numbered years with the next show scheduled for November 10-14, 2009 at the Fairgrounds in Hanover, Germany.

Both Agritechnica and AG CONNECT Expo 2010 are organized with a focus on providing a world-class event with top value and the highest quality experience for registrants. The philosophy shared by the shows is to provide customers with the full agriculture trade show experience. For 120 years the DLG exhibition has highlighted technological advances favored by agriculture producers. AG CONNECT Expo 2010 has a parallel concept that will provide a global gathering place in the United States for agriculture producers, manufacturers and agribusinesses.

Education, Equipment, Events

Precision Pasture Grazing With Sensors

Kurt Lawton

Taking 200 grass measurements per second, the Rapid Pasture Meter from C-Dax Systems in New Zealand helps dairy and intensive grazing operations ensure optimum grazing conditions.

The concept came from the New Zealand Center for Precision Agriculture at Massey University, which continues to provide input into the ongoing development of the technology. Farmworks develops the accompanying PDA and desktop software.

The Rapid Pasture Meter allows you to accurately measure grazing residuals (pre & post grazing) for easy identification of poor performing areas of pasture, or palatability issues.

The speed and ease of use of this pasture management tool means that it can even be used to determine the optimum position of electric fences when break feeding to provide optimum feed every time.

The Pasture Meter has been designed to encourage the measurement of pasture residuals which is seen as important to ensure maximum utilisation from your pasture. Much of the guarding around the unit is designed to keep the sensors clean while measuring heavily soiled paddocks.

Initially two versions are available;

Tier1 – is a read only system that produces pasture cover averages for you to record as you complete each paddock. The system is bundled with P-Plus PastureCover software.

Tier 2 – is enabled with Bluetooth™ wireless and allows you to collect data from multiple paddocks which can be downloaded to your computer, so there is no need to carry a pen and pad with you.

Check out C-Dax Pasturemeter brochure with testimonials from users.


Company Announcement, Dairy, Equipment