Starting at 5pm on Tuesday Sept 9th, we will have our annual customer appreciation and plot tour. Please come help us celibrate our 10 year anniversary of serving our customers with top Pioneer Hybrids and cutting edge Precision Ag Equipment and Services
Ag Leader® released version 5.5 firmware for the Ag Leader Integra and the Versa™ at the beginning of August 2014. This firmware has enhancements to improve your efficiency.
This version highlights OnTrac3, Ag Leader’s newest steering platform. OnTrac3 is an assisted steering system that is compatible with any 5Hz capable GPS receiver and correction source.
-The Virtual Terminal screen no longer locks when multiple ISOBUS alarms occur.
-Target rate shows “Off” when operator is using manual valve control (DirectCommand and SeedCommand) (Figure 1)
-NORAC UC5 boom height message override for high clearance front mount sprayers (requires upgrade to NORAC E2UC5 – UP1156.fw2). This allows high clearance sprayers with NORAC to operate with less system constraints.
– Figure 2 shows .agsetup prescription selection by layer name and product. This allows users to find a prescription easier by expanding the file by layer name and product which ensures the right file is selected the first time.
Figure 1: Target rate showing “Off” during manual valve control
Figure 2: Prescription selection by layer name and product
t wasn’t long ago the focus was on getting the crops planted, fertilized, and sprayed. Hopefully the hard work is paying off and yields are looking good for the fall. With cost of inputs remaining high and a dip in most crop prices, it is very crucial to know what practices were successful and which did not have a good return on investment. Most growers that have diverse operations are curious on where the best yields are so they can know which seed, chemicals, and fertilizers worked best for their operation. By having the Ag Leader yield monitoring systems calibrated and ready for fall, growers will be able to know which practices made the most money.
For some, fall might seem too far away to think about but it will be here sooner than you know it. We all know how busy fall can be while trying to get into the fields, so we recommend taking a few simple steps before the busy season arrives to prepare for harvest. I will briefly explain how to proceed with taking care of the steps on the check list to the left.
The first 6 steps are getting the display ready and the last 4 steps are pre-season calibrations that we should perform. The first step is to export any existing data to the card, USB, or AgFiniti if there is still data from previous operations. Once that is done, it is very important to make a backup of the display. If the display were to have problems middle of the season, you could get a temporary display with all of your information on it. This process only takes a minute to do. Hopefully there will be no problems, but this minute long process can save a lot of time potentially. If your monitor is not up to date on firmware, we strongly recommend upgrading. For those of you with an Ag Leader Integra or Versa display, our newest firmware is 5.5.
Before starting to log data, it will be helpful to bring any existing data from the USB to the computer and clear the storage device once loaded into SMS. The reason it is important to have a clean storage device is because your data files will accumulate over the harvest season. If multiple operations or even seasons are on the storage device, it could be difficult to keep track of them.
Depending on what you use your Ag Leader display for, a new season may need to be created. If harvest is the only function you use your display for, it is likely a new season is needed. If you also plant or any other operation, there is likely a season created. If the Ag Leader Integra or Insight was used for planting, make sure to use the same season because then you can do variety tracking using your planting maps. The list of fields in your operation may also need updated. This may have been done earlier in the year but if not, we recommend updating them before the season starts. Add fields not farmed last year, or clearing out a farm that will not be used this year can also be done at this time. Also, if a combine is being changed from last year, a new configuration needs to be built. When building a configuration, it is important to measure all of the offsets and enter the information accurately. This will guarantee the most accurate mapping.
The last 4 steps are all about are calibration. These calibrations will affect your yield and moisture maps, so they must be done accurately. The first calibration is the Header Calibration. The header calibration determines the logging area is stopped. When the head reaches its set point, the area count will stop. The set point for the head is crop type specific because different crops are harvested with different heads and at different heights, so calibrate for each crop type.
The next calibration is the Vibration Calibration. When doing the vibration calibration the head needs to be attached to the combine and the separator needs to be on and RPM’s at full throttle. Since different crops use different heads, the vibration calibration is crop specific as well, so multiple calibrations are required for multiple crops. The vibration calibration takes exactly one minute. During that minute the system is recognizing any natural vibrations that is seen by the flow sensor that could be mistaken as grain flow. The vibration calibration is very simple and only takes a minute.
The Temperature Calibration is a one-time calibration that needs to be done before harvest begins. If temperature is calibrated later in the season, it will affect moisture calibration and will skew the data collected, so it is important to do it right away. The temperature reading that the sensor is giving should be close to the actual temperature outside, but may not be exact. All that is needed to do is enter an offset to make the temperature on the display correct. A temperature calibration should be done while temperatures are stable. If the combine has been sitting in the hot sun or operating for a while, it may have a higher temperature that is not ideal for calibration.
The Distance Calibration is the last calibration and step before completing the preseason checklist. The distance calibration is for calculating area accurately. Generally, a GPS receiver displays speed and position, but if GPS is lost, there can still be an accurate count area by knowing distance traveled and swath width. For the distance calibration, flagging 200 feet and driving the distance is recommended. While driving the distance, the system counts pulses and converts them to feet. If the system says it drove 206 feet and it actually drove 200, enter that information. Repeat the process until it is accurate within a couple feet.
Once completed, your combine should be prepared for harvest. Remember, after beginning harvest, weight and moisture calibration still needs to be done. These are two very important calibrations. Once all the calibrations are complete, the system will be very accurate.
We hope that your hard work and time will be rewarding this harvest season! Remember, if you have any questions you can contact Ag Leader Technical Support at 515-232-5363.
Ag Leader is proud to announce the release of SMS Basic/Advanced v14.5 and SMS Mobile v8.5. Here are a few items that are included in this update:
- Enhanced support for Ag Leader displays and AgFiniti®; as well as ISO 11783 displays and displays from AGCO™, CNH®, John Deere™, Hemisphere™/Ag Junction® and Precision Planting®
- Added new crop productivity index attributes (NCCPI) to soil survey download (US only)
- Enhanced Trace Boundary for better accuracy
- Enhanced Water Management tools
- Added batch import of LIDAR data (Advanced only)
- Added Landscape Position and Drainage Intensity attributes to Terrain Analysis (Advanced only)
- ….and many more. To learn more about this update, you can find the release notes by clicking here.
See below for examples of some of the new features!
Figure 1: Example of new Landscape Position Attribute in Terrain Analysis. This tool can help to indicate different terrain types present in your field, all based off of the field’s 3D grid.
Figure 2: Example of new Soil Survey attribute NCCPI – corn and soybean now available. Also included are NCCPI values for cotton and small Ggains. If you have already downloaded Soil Survey maps previously, you will want to re-import them in order to have access to these new attributes.
Figure 3: Example of enhancements to the Water Management Tools. This tool will check velocity of your run in order to ensure too little, silting, or too much velocity, soil bed erosion, do not occur. The tool utilizes the Automated USDA Soil Survey data you have downloaded and stored for your fields. The target depth, grade, tile size and tile type in your tile plan are compared to the soil texture at the horizon it is installed in. For those outside the US, there are also manual settings for the check.
Customers that are current in our yearly maintenance program with SMS Basic, SMS Advanced, and SMS Mobile PC and have unlocked their computer online with their username and password in the past, will be able to update online. To learn more about updating your SMS software using our automated updated tool, please watch the video below.
Before updating to the latest version of the SMS Software, here are a few things you should do first:
- Restart the device – Before updating to a new version of software, we recommend that you restart your computer, tablet or PDA device.
- Plug devices into the wall – If you’re using a laptop, Ag Leader MESA, Ag Leader Field PC, or other pda device, make sure that you have it plugged into the wall. This will ensure that your device does not lose power while installing the update or migrating data.
- Check In Projects – If you are an SMS Advanced user, all projects that have been “Checked Out” need to be checked back in. This can be done by going to the File menu and clicking Projects.
- Create a backup of your data – Creating backups ensures that you have a good starting point in the event in that you have issues during migration or if you have other computer issues, such as a bad hard drive, down the road. Backups can be created by going to the Services menu and clicking Backup/Restore Project(s)
More Reporting Features Added For Ag Leader’s DirectCommand™Application Management
AMES, IOWA, July 23, 2014 – Ag Leader Technology has announced additional features to its DirectCommand™ application management system. This update is part of a recent firmware upgrade – version 5.4 – to the Ag Leader® Integra and Versa™ displays.
5.4 firmware includes enhanced Smart Report™ exporting and auto-generation of reports, a feature specific to the Ag Leader Integra display. With the new functionality, a user can define conditions controlling report generation. Smart Reports can be exported to AgFiniti®, Ag Leader’s cloud-based platform. This aids in streamlining the process of delivering a Smart Report to a customer.
“As soon as the operator ends the event, a report is generated and stored internally,” says Rick DeVore, DirectCommand Product Specialist. “At the end of the day, the operator can export all reports to AgFiniti. Now those reports can be accessed anywhere through AgFiniti and emailed to their customers.”
Smart Report generation has also been customized for the operator. Smart Reports can now be generated upon suspending or permanently closing an event. An operator can also specify to which media device Smart Reports are exported; a USB drive or AgFiniti. “This will eliminate accidental sending of Smart Reports to the wrong media device,” says DeVore.
New to the 5.4 firmware is an enhanced summary screen. Operators can choose one of four viewing modes – Agronomic, Event, Operator and Configuration. Agronomic and Event view modes have been present in previous firmware versions, filtering summary information by Season, Operation, Grower, Farm Field, Product or Event.
“Operator and Configuration view modes are additions,” explains DeVore. “These modes will display summary information that is filtered either by season, operator and operation, or by season, operation and configuration. Each mode breaks down the total acres/hectares that each operator and configuration have logged. This allows a business or operation to quickly see the total acres/hectares an operator or machine has logged.”
A date range filter has also been added to the Operator and Configuration view modes, allowing the user to view summary information within a certain date range. The user can also create any Smart Report that is present within that date and batch create Smart Reports for the day, week, month or an entire season.
About Ag Leader
Ag Leader Technology, Inc., is the recognized technology innovator of precision agriculture hardware and software. Located in Ames, Iowa, USA, the company designs, manufactures and markets industry leading precision farming technology to help growers make smart, profitable business decisions. Founded in 1992, the company has achieved consistent growth and expansion by providing value-based products that help growers and agricultural professionals achieve and maintain a successful, profitable operation. For more information, visit http://www.agleader.com