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Making precision ag portable

Jeff Caldwell 02/14/2012 @ 11:22am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

A new tech tool lets you glean more data from your fields when planting your crop, but more importantly, puts it in a format in which you can take it with you wherever you go regardless of whether you've got your monitor with you.

Precision Planting has released a new program for 2012 entitled FieldView. Coupled with the company's existing 20/20 SeedSense program and monitor, FieldView lets you keep track of variables like singulation, down force, spacing and seed populations and records it in a map format. Then, you have the option to load the data onto a Precision Planting application on an Apple iPad tablet, on which you can track the data throughout the crop year.

"You can see trends and patterns that even the information-dense 20/20 screen can’t uncover. You see each skip and double, pass by pass and row by row," according to a report from Precision Planting. "You see high-resolution coverage maps. Plus, the screen displays a summary of the key SeedSense data including average population, singulation, spacing, down force margin and ground contact."

Doug Martin's already got previous Precision Planting technology in his machinery, and this year, he's looking forward to trying out the iPad software, both for the new layers of information he'll get from his precision toolbox and the portability the iPad addition will provide.

"Along with a monitor that shows spacing, down pressure, and a variety of other items we will be plugging in the IPAD to the monitor so we will have a live map of how each seed is being spaced in the entire field. This is an exciting technology and we are looking forward to using with more applications as they become available," he says.

The new tools will be part of Martin's effort to refine his seed placement and prescription soil mapping, the Mount Pulaski, Illinois, farmer says. Though the ability to layer the data in a map format is attractive in itself, Martin says this type of integration with a tablet computer is an early step in what he sees as a transition to more portability in precision ag tools.

"I am always leery of brand new technology, but this looked interesting and I think it is kind of the foundation for some other things like this in the future," Martin says. "Now, you can always have it with you."

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