Tethr It Now is a fast and easy way to add outbound and inbound video calling as a part of your multi-channel support solution.
Ag Leader Responds to AgJunction Claim of Patent Infringement
AMES, IA, November 18, 2020 – Ag Leader, a long-time innovator in precision agriculture dedicated to making farmers’ lives better, recently terminated its supply agreement with AgJunction. On Monday, November 16, 2020, AgJunction responded by filing a patent infringement and breach of contract lawsuit in the District of Arizona. These allegations relate to Ag Leader’s development of its new SteerCommand Z2 and SteadySteer systems. Ag Leader is confident the facts will show Ag Leader’s SteerCommand Z2 and SteadySteer systems do not violate any valid or enforceable AgJunction patents and there was no contract violation. Ag Leader will vigorously defend the suit.
About Ag Leader
Ag Leader brings precision technology to the market to help farmers plan, plant, apply and harvest more efficiently and accurately. Ag Leader remains committed to serving our customers while providing quality product support for our partners. For media inquiries, please reach out to Ag Leader at (515) 735-7000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post Ag Leader Responds to AgJunction Claim of Patent Infringement first appeared on agleader.
SMS Users: Tools You Won’t Want to Miss
Make sure you are squeezing every last drop of utility out of your data management system! Here’s a guide for new, and experienced SMS users to maximize the way you access and use your data. There’s something for everyone to learn as this list covers some underutilized features. Read on to find out what you’ve been missing!
SMS Basic and SMS Advanced Software are easy-to-use decision-making tools to help you capture the most out of every acre. Helping you answer questions that can make your operation more profitable.
#1 Query Tool
Sometimes the ‘big picture’ view isn’t ideal when you need to find the ‘how’ or ‘why’ behind field performance. The Query and Tooltip functions allow users to lead targeted investigations within field maps. The Tooltip function is used to look at point by point logged data and see what happened in a specific area. Simply putting the cursor on the field map will show the statistics for that point. For larger areas, you can use the Query function and see averages for an area or a pass.
Both of these functions increase data value when you layer maps on top of each other. For example, putting a yield map over a planter map you can see if there are relationships involving high yield, planting rate, date planted, or variety. SMS takes query tool one step further by allowing user to view three queries at a time, whereas AgFiniti is limited to one. This capability allows users to see more results to make smart management decisions.
The key to using data well is understanding the meaning behind the numbers. Luckily, the SMS charts function can automatically organize your data for smooth comprehension. Charts make it much easier to visualize information and trends in your data.
Users can also create tabular reports to record field activity for landlords, document yields for insurance reporting, and compare field performance.
Compare yield data by field or operation over time with SMS Basic and SMS Advanced. Set customizable target lines and see how each value compares.
SMS Advanced takes reports to the next level. Get more insight into field performance with higher-level reports using yield to hybrid comparison data.
#3 Batch Command Tool
Simple data correction is possible with Batch Command tool. The Batch Command tool allows you to quickly and easily correct the yield values based on scale tickets. You can enter a total for the entire farming operation, or you can enter in weights for each field – you pick how detailed you want to be. SMS allows users to spend more time making management decisions that improve your operation rather than doing record keeping.
#4 Profit-Loss Map
Regardless of the economic fluctuations of a year, it’s important to pay attention to your ROI. In SMS you can enter income and expenses that can either be tied to logged data, a boundary, or other created data. SMS Basic allows you to see expense and income values for an operation – defining which fields are profitable or losing money. SMS Advanced allows you to take it a step further and see which areas of the field are profitable or losing money. A profit–loss map, allows you to make better decisions on how you might manage an area of the field. With just a glance you can see the problem areas and start investigating and plan your next steps. For example, maybe you decide an area should be converted to grass or pasture rather than trying to continue to grow a crop on it.
Another time saving function for record keeping is the Batch Print function. SMS Advanced users can take advantage of printing many fields at once without the need to make a map of each field first. These can be quickly saved as a PDF, or sent to traditional printer for paper copies.
With just a glance, a profit-loss map can reveal problem areas in your field, and help you plan your next steps.
#5 Free Mappable Acres in AgFiniti
SMS is compatible with AgFiniti! Take your data anywhere on any device. Don’t wait to be in the office to answer important questions like: how did that field yield, what hybrid was planted there, how long ago did I spray that field, where did I plant that trial? SMS users can access their data in AgFiniti by simply paying for SMS software maintenance. Want even more functionality? Consider adding an AgFiniti Essentials license.
SMS Software was developed so you can make well-informed decisions based on all your data. No matter the brand of display the data is from, SMS makes data management simple in every season. Check out the SMS product page for more!
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Ag Leader Builds Upon Full-Farm Integrated User Experience with InCommand Display Enhancements and All New SteerCommand Steering Line-up
AMES, Iowa, November 2, 2020 – Ag Leader announced today enhancements to InCommand displays and its launch of guidance and steering products designed and built in-house to its year-round precision farming line–up.
New to the SteerCommand family of guidance and steering products include SteerCommand Z2 automated steering and SteadySteer assisted steering designed to provide reliable pass-to-pass autosteer capability and integrate seamlessly with InCommand displays providing the user with a common experience across all operations.
“Through our year-round and connected InCommand display, our goal is to provide growers with one common user interface that does it all – steers the tractor and connects and controls the other machines across the farm such as the planter, combine, etc. – and regardless of the age or brand of the equipment,” stated Luke Call, Product Manager.
InCommand displays offer year-round functionality and connect every device and operation across the farm. Recent enhancements to the display user interface include automating manual tasks that eat up precious time: One-time vehicle profile setup shared across all connected displays, calibrate and autodetect orientation and fine-tune parameters from the run screen.
Additionally, the new steering hardware components were designed for easy transfer between machines including a detachable motor drive unit. The system is also upgradable to meet growers evolving needs across various equipment and accuracy levels making going from an entry level guidance system up to an advanced autosteer system economical when the time is right.
“Growers are bringing autosteer technology into every operation. It’s now a must-have versus a nice-to-have for many farms so the display and steering system need to work together seamlessly and be portable to easily plug-and-play between different machines across the farm,” he added.
Growers can configure a right-fit technology solution at agleader.com or talk to a local independent dealer.
About Ag Leader
Ag Leader Technology, Inc. is a recognized technology innovator of precision agriculture hardware and software. Located in Ames, Iowa, USA, the company manufactures and markets industry-leading precision farming technology designed 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.
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Take on Harvest Challenges with SteerCommand
Despite the crop damage from the August derecho winds across much of Iowa and Illinois, there is no question that one way or another the crops will move out of the field come harvest. This year harvest will bring added challenges to many farmers, which is driving many to look to technology to help shoulder the burden.
Automated steering with repeatable accuracy is a necessity now more than ever to manage in these difficult conditions.
Central Iowa farmer, Jim Seeman has been farming for 51 years. Like many farmers, the powerful straight-line winds left their mark on Seeman and his partners’ operation: damaging an auger, flipping over fuel tanks and a flattening a barn. Between their fields Seeman estimates around 725 acres of corn and 380 acres of beans were affected by the storm. “The fields vary by area, certain corn varieties in certain fields went down. Some varieties did better than others, some snapped off, but all of it is leaning for sure.” Seeman said. In past years, Seeman had harvested small portions of fields with down corn, simply by driving slower and adding a corn rail to the combine. But the challenges of 2020 call for a new harvest strategy.
SteerCommand to the Rescue
A field inspection after the storm alerted Seeman of new problems he would face come harvest. “I could see the corn was leaning and noticed you can’t see rows to drive straight. I knew SteerCommand would keep me on the row. I had thought about getting autosteer for my combine many times, but I didn’t really need it till now.”
Smoother Vehicle Operation and Better Driver Focus
As the sole vehicle operator for planting and harvesting of the operation, Seeman looks forward to the aid SteerCommand will provide this coming season and future ones.
“It’ll be nice to turn the autosteer on and it’ll drive to the end rows. Then I can keep watch on a lot of other things. Another reason I wanted SteerCommand was to help with the physical and mental fatigue spending hours in the cab.”
Automated steering technology keeps your vehicle on the guidance line and adjusts deliver repeatable pass-to-pass accuracy. For fields with tough terrain, SteerCommand maintains accuracy using nine-axis terrain compensation including rolling ground, waterways, ditches, and terraces.
The benefits of SteerCommand can ease tensions this harvest, and make other seasons more enjoyable as well. For year-round technology including steering, planting, application, harvest and more, talk to your local Ag Leader dealer.
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Tips for a Safe and Productive Harvest
As harvest begins all over the country, we, at Ag Leader, want to do our part to turn an often stressful season into a safe and successful one. Below are some tips to keep in mind as you’re working throughout the harvest season.
Visibility from the Field
A major reason harvest is a peak time for farm injuries is because farmers are putting in long hours. In order to help your entire team, operate safely and productively working dawn until dusk, InCommand and AgFiniti offer some helpful new features:
- Everyone is in the know – Sync all displays and devices across all members of the team and vehicles with live information of field progress, vehicle locations, and key statistics. Track the combine’s progress with a live map on what’s been harvested from anywhere, allowing you to know when and where to show up with the semi to get grain to the bins or elevator as quickly as possible.
- Know where to be – Avoid senseless trips to a field or showing up with the semi in the wrong location.
- Know when to be – Remove the guessing of when the combine needs unloaded with a live reading of the combine grain tank visible to the connected devices in the grain cart and other vehicles. You will know exactly when and where to meet the combine with the grain cart to unload.
CartACE was designed to take the stress out of the grain cart operators’ job of unloading on the go – now anyone can fill this critical role. Switching operators can make a world of difference, but if that isn’t possible at the very least jump out of the cab and get some cool, fresh air!
Visibility Traveling to the Field
Always be aware of your surroundings and who may be in your work area. This year as more children are participating in remote learning, it is critical to do an equipment walkaround before starting up any machinery. Even before you drive to the field, turn on InCommand’s camera view for extra visibility of blindspots while on the road with large machinery. We hope these tips help you have a safe and productive 2020 harvest season!
How to easily identify field variability and manage fall fertility on your own
Generating a simple variable rate prescription to address field variability and fall fertility needs can be done in minutes using AgFiniti! For a limited time this fall, try AgFiniti Prescriptions for just $0.35/acre!
Maybe you’re not quite ready to make Prescriptions on your own yet, but you want to better understand how your field performs year after year to make more informed decisions when talking with your trusted advisor. We’ve got you covered there too! AgFiniti automatically generates Multi-Year Analysis maps from your grain harvest data to help you understand the variability and consistency of your fields year after year.
It’s also a great compliment to our SMS Software
Want to write your own prescriptions or do more complex analysis? SMS Software is a great compliment to AgFiniti. Learn more here.
It’s so easy to try it out yourself!
1. Create an AgFiniti account.
a. New to AgFiniti? Enable a free 30-day trial on the License and Services page.
b. SMS users who are current on their maintenance simply need to use their SMS login when logging into AgFiniti.
2. Upload data from your display or from SMS
3. Try out our Prescriptions and Multi-Year Analysis tools for FREE on one field (up to 120 acres). Once you’re logged in, click the trial button to start your free trial.
4. Ready to try on more fields this fall? Generate Prescriptions and leverage Multi-Year Analysis tools for just $.35/ac. (limited time fall special pricing).
The post How to easily identify field variability and manage fall fertility on your own first appeared on agleader.
SureForce VS. Springs in No-Till and Conventional Till
SureForce is a hydraulic downforce and uplift system that automatically adjusts the right amount of force on each row to achieve optimum and uniform seed depth in the field. While the optimum depth for corn is generally universal no matter where you are located, your ground and farming practices can make a big difference in what you need to do to achieve that depth – especially tillage practices.
So we set out to answer – How does SureForce perform compared to springs in a no till environment and a conventional tillage environment. While there are many factors at play- we found some trends in a recent trial conducted in Ohio.
Tech Trial Highlights
Planter: 16- row Kinze 3600
Tech: Rows one through eight were equipped with the factory downforce springs. Rows nine through sixteen were equipped with SureForce.
Tillage: The grower performed trials in both no-till and conventional tilled fields.
Planting Date Range
Trial 1: No-till field
The soil conditions in this no-till field were hard and compact, requiring higher amounts of force to place seed at the proper depth. For this field the factory springs were set at their highest downforce setting, which provide about 300 lbs. of force to the row unit. In Figure 1, shown below, SureForce (blue) operated mostly around the 200-300 lb. range. This means that the white areas of the map that had conventional downforce springs set to their heaviest was right where they should be.
However, SureForce still operated a significant portion of the time in the 100-200 lb. range, and even dipped into the 300-400 lb. range. While SureForce is able to react to changing ground conditions throughout this 11–acre field, the factory springs are often applying too much downforce, causing compaction. At other times the factory springs are applying too little downforce, causing shallow planted seeds.
Preventing Uneven Emergence
Spring of 2020 provided exceptionally dry weather, which allowed planters to hit the fields in a timely fashion. While dry planting conditions are generally preferred over wet conditions, there are some pitfalls to be aware of. The most widespread issue this spring was planting too shallow.
Incorrectly planting seeds too close to the soil surface exposes them to varying moisture levels compared to seeds planted deeper in the soil. This creates more issues when some seeds access more or less moisture than the others, eventually leading to uneven emergence.
In Figure 2, the seeds were planted with the factory springs, applying about 300 lbs. of downforce, whereas the SureForce system was applying 350 lbs. on the adjacent rows. Uneven emergence was found on the half the planter equipped with springs.
Here, uneven emergence is caused by a difference in moisture levels indicated around the seed. With less than a ½” depth variation, this is a painful example of how just a slight difference in seed placement can reduce yields and profits.
Next, let’s take a look at other areas of the field that didn’t require as much force to achieve depth. In those areas, the factory spring system was still applying 300 lbs. downforce, while the SureForce system had automatically reduced the downforce to 100 lbs.
What happens in these areas where the springs are applying 200 lbs. too much of downforce? This next picture (Fig.3) illustrates what happens.
Roots that can’t penetrate the wall of a compacted seed trench are forced to grow along the trench, which is the path of least resistance. When roots can’t grow downward, they can’t access moisture and nutrients resulting in reduced yield and profit.
Trial 2: Conventionally Tilled Field
Next, this planter moves to a conventionally tilled field (Fig. 4) to continue planting. The factory springs are left at a heavy setting. Since the SureForce system automatically adjusts itself to current ground conditions, we see a stark difference in applied downforce. Within this field, SureForce values range from 200 lbs. of uplift on the row-unit to 400 lbs. of downforce. That is a 600 lb. range across this field.
We went to an area of the field where SureForce was providing uplift, thus reducing compaction. On the other hand, in the adjacent rows the factory spring settings are fixed and are not capable of adjusting automatically, which caused some compaction damage.
SureForce Proves Advantageous to Plant Development
Visual plant health differences were observed at V3-V4 growth stages on June 10, 2020. Below in Figure 5, the rows to the right were equipped with SureForce. The rows to the left were equipped with factory downforce springs.
To better understand the “root” cause of these health differences seen above ground, we took a look below ground.
In Figures 6 and 7 above, it is obvious the rows equipped with SureForce provided the best root development. In every case, SureForce provided:
- Deepest radical and seminal roots
- Widest branching of nodal roots
- Great root hair development
On June 10th, it was clear the rows planted with SureForce were off to a much better start. From seed to soil contact these rows were positioned to provide increased yield and profit.
A return trip on August 11th, 2020 continues to show not only greater root development as seen in Figure 8, but also larger ears are observed with less tip-back as seen in Figure 9.
Stay tuned for yield comparison coming this winter!
Give your local Ag Leader dealer a ring and find out about what’s working best in your area and what might be right for your farm. Ask about our limited-time summer promo on these planting products. Offers end on August 31, 2020.
Contact a Dealer to Learn More
The post SureForce™ VS. Springs in No-Till and Conventional Till first appeared on agleader.
Which Planter Technology Is Right for You? Clutches vs. Electric Drives vs. High Speed
Getting the seed in the ground perfectly is your best chance for having a bumper crop year, making planter technology one of the smartest investments you can make right now. But with several options, which one is right for you and your farm? Here’s a candid look at the pros and cons of each.
For each option, we’ll get into more detail on a few of the biggest advantages and disadvantages.
High Speed Meter and Delivery System
The obvious … if you want to plant faster … this is the option for you. SureSpeed is designed to precisely plant at any speed up to 12 mph, this option increases capacity of your operation over any other.
Increased speed usually equals errors but not with this option – SureSpeed is designed to plant fast AND accurately. That’s because the seed is delivered to the seedbed at the lowest point in the industry, eliminating the potential for it to move or bounce and giving it the best possible spacing quality.
Initial Investment Higher than Others
This is the highest-priced option of all three but it can pay off quickly if it means not having to buy a bigger planter to get as much done, or going from two planters to one.
A system like this requires more power to travel at higher speeds including a higher horsepower tractor and added generator.
Upgrade Your Planter, Your Meter
Upgrade your planter and meter you already know and love to maximize your planter’s spacing and singulation quality up to 7 mph. SureDrive shuts off your meter for point rows or already planted areas, saving you seed. It can bump up or down your population rate with the press of a button, or plant via prescription. Additionally, the turn compensation feature adjusts the proper seed rate across the planter in sweeping turns by speeding up outside rows and slowing down inside rows.
Low Maintenance AND Affordable
Forget the error that chains, bearings, and transmissions can introduce – and all the maintenance, too – with direct meter drives. Upgrade the planter and meter you already know and love! SureDrive is low to no maintenance – meaning you won’t have the annual maintenance requirements of clutches.
While an electric drive delivers precise control of the seed in the meter, the seed relies on gravity to fall from the meter to the trench compared to a delivery system that delivers the seed all the way to the ground. The level of accuracy and speed you need may largely depend on your crops, terrain, and farming practices.
Electrical vs. Mechanical Drive
Electrical systems can be more complex, making it potentially more difficult to troubleshoot on your own. Thankfully, Ag Leader has built-in intuitive troubleshooting and diagnostics into the InCommand display.
Clutch Control System
With today’s expensive seed corn, saving seed in point rows, overlap and headlands can amount to some serious savings – in a very short time!
The SureStop clutch control system is one of Ag Leader’s most affordable planting products and can yield years and years of returns and reliable service.
More Difficult to Upgrade
The flip side of the system simplicity is there are not many shared parts with the newer SeedCommand system, so upgrading to electric drives or high speed will be more involving parts-wise.
Some Maintenance Required
Since the SureStop clutch required input and output chains to the hex shaft and seed meter, there are still chains, bearings, shafts, etc. to maintain. The SureStop and SureVac clutches are maintenance-free sealed units but the associated parts will require annual and in-season attention – more so than their higher cost direct-drive alternatives.
So there you have it, a candid discussion of planter technology pros and cons to help you best decide what’s best for your farm and investment. Want to continue the conversation? Give your local Ag Leader dealer a ring and find out about what’s working best in your area and what might be right for your farm. Ask about our limited-time summer promo on these planting products. Offers end on August 31, 2020.
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The post Which Planter Technology Is Right for You? Clutches vs. Electric Drives vs. High Speed first appeared on agleader.
See What’s New In InCommand v5.5
We’re been busy here at Ag Leader bringing you updates and new features to our products for the season ahead. We have new InCommand display firmware to share.
InCommand Version 5.5
CartAce Simplifies Unloading On-the-go
Ag Leader is excited to offer the full production release of CartACE in the version 5.5 firmware update.
- CartACE automatically generates a guidance line between combines and grain carts so operators can focus on filling the grain cart with no sweat!
- An optional Grain Tank Reset Sensor counts up based on the flow sensor to give an indication of how much grain is in the grain tank.
- When used with DisplayCast, the counter is shared with the grain cart display(s) as well as AgFiniti Mobile devices.
Version 5.5 also brings new features to guidance operation and performance.
- Path smoothing options for SmartPath and FollowPath lines
- Added ability to cycle backwards through pattern groups
- Remark A function now in one button press
InCommand ISOBUS additional enhancements include improvements to product control mapping and operation.
- Task Controller mapping support for machines that apply multiple products across the same boom or sections.
- Task Controller support for ECUs that can be controlled with different unit types (e.g. seeds/ac or seeds lbs/ac).
- Load ‘N Go now populates connection type and offset info from the implement for easier setup and more accurate settings.
- ISOBUS mapping improvements for ECUs where the device work state is shut off before the section delays expire before sections.
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