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ISOBUS Could Trim Costs, Boost Farming Efficiency

Manufacturers and early adopters are working out the kinks for this technology, which would let farmers pair different brands of tractors and implements and reduce confusion and clutter in the cab.

The rising cost of fertilizer, seed and equipment is a reality that many farmers face in today’s ag market.

One solution farmers are beginning to examine is ISOBUS technology that lets them pair different brands of tractors and farm equipment together that weren’t previously compatible.

Some farmers are already using this technology to offset input costs, as well as increase productivity and improve purchasing flexibility.

“As input costs have exploded, the cost of putting an acre of corn in the ground has also exploded,” says Ryan Christopherson, who reduce-tills continuous corn and soybeans in Clarkfield, Minn. “Through precision farming and ISO technology, I’ve been able to regulate my costs and pick and choose components.”

Finding The Benefits

The concept of ISO — which stands for International Standards Organization — is very much a work in progress. BUS is a generic term to describe the connection between electronic components. But in it’s simplest form, the concept allows farmers who are using precision technology to connect any brand of tractor with any implement without losing functionality and performance.

Farmers wouldn’t have to switch monitors, displays, wiring harnesses or electrical connectors when they move from one implement to another, regardless of brand.

One of the primary benefits for Christopherson — who adopted precision-farming practices in 2004 — is the freedom of running his Challenger 800 series tractors with his John Deere planter using an ISO connection.

He uses his Deere ISOBUS display in his tractor with the Deere planter and also runs an…

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Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka is the Technology Editor for No-Till Farmer. He covers precision farming practices, products and trends, which can improve efficiency and productivity for no-till farmers.

He joined Lessiter Publications Ag Division in 2012 and also serves as managing editor of Strip-Till Farmer.

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