Set your phasers to stun!
Producers, crop consultants and fertilizer dealers get ready — Trimble’s Ag division just launched a new product that would make Captain Kirk proud. If nothing else it opens a whole new precision ag technology for mainstream agriculture.
What is it?
It’s a new handheld “GreenSeeker” crop sensor – it quickly and easily measures the health of your crop and provides instant feedback with a click of a button. GreenSeeker technology is nothing new in the industry but its benefits were not widely known outside the “academic” and “agronomy” circles. Part of the reason for this was cost – it was expensive – costing nearly $5,000 just for a portable unit and nearly $25,000 for an “on-the-go” sprayer unit.
At its $495 price tag it is sure to change the marketplace and the minds of producers when it comes to this technology. Quite simply, this now should be a throw in the pickup seat agronomic tool that every farmer and every crop scout should have. If you have a moisture tester to test grain samples at harvest then why shouldn’t you have a crop sensor to determine the nutrient needs of your crops when they are still growing?
Think of it sort of like an oversized glucose meter for your nitrogen dependent crops like wheat and corn. Trying to determine the “N” needs of a crop is a fast-moving target. The success rate of nailing the N rate ahead of time is somewhere between the odds of winning the PowerBall lottery and pinning the tail on the donkey blindfolded. Not good.
With thousands and thousands more acres of wheat to be planted this fall following another short corn crop the need for N management will be critical. We already saw what excess N left over from a poor corn crop did to wheat last year. Farmers following their gut with normal top dress practices found come harvest they were picking up downed wheat with their combines at a breakneck speed of 1 to 2 mph. Bottom line – lost bushels and thousands of dollars of wasted fertilizer. Makes a $495 handheld look pretty cheap!
For more information about the new GreenSeeker handheld from Trimble contact Steve Cubbage or Justin Ogle at Prime Meridian to learn more or order yours today.
Every fall as soon as the combines are put away in the shed it is a race to soil sample acres before Mother Nature closes the door on the season. Choosing the right soil sampling computer can simply mean the difference between your equipment working when you get to the field or not. Lost acres due to old, inadequate or cheap equipment can mean the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue and fewer variable rate acres to spread.
Of all the advancements through the years of the precision ag era, soil sampling computers probably progressed the least in terms of technology and user friendliness – until now. That trend is changing and the newer field computers are built for the specific task at hand.
New field computer models offered by Trimble, Ag Leader and SST all feature ruggedized designs with long battery life and multiple weather-proof connections for tethering external GPS units or barcode scanners. These designs are acres ahead of the small, fragile off-the-shelf consumer handhelds that were pressed into service in the early days of precision ag.
Ag Leader’s new Mesa and Trimble’s Yuma are two new field computers that truly exemplify how far the technology has come. At first glance the most obvious difference is screen size – it’s big and bright in comparison to their previous counterparts. The Ag Leader Mesa sports a sunlight readable 5.7-inch screen and the Trimble Yuma has a full 7-inch screen. The list of options and capabilities is staggering – built-in WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, cameras and cellular modems.
Even though the new tech options like Bluetooth and built-in cameras are cool stuff – it is battery life and durability that simply win over the harshest critics and keep racking up the acres. Both the Mesa and Yuma sport military-grade ruggedness and literally all day battery-life. In fact, the Yuma allows for hot-swappable batteries in the field.
If you’re looking for ruggedness on a budget, you then consider the SST Field Computer with their built-in Stratus soil sampling and crop scouting software. The 20 hours of battery run time is impressive and the available options make it a very versatile and economical choice.
For more information on these field computer options and available soil sampling and field scouting software contact a Prime Meridian sales representative at 417-667-4471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and pricing options.