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Forget The Tractor — Steer Your No-Till Planter

Moving to auto-steering with your planter, drill, sprayer or other no-till tools can lead to more accurate cropping.

For more accurate seeding and spraying, a few no-tillers are already starting to believe that global positioning satellite systems should be placed in the ground — where it may count the most.

While no one’s indicating that you need to bury these systems in the soil, the feeling is that GPS accuracy and repeatability will improve with systems mounted on towed or hitched implements rather than just the tractor.

By moving to GPS implement control, yield losses due to drifting implements, uneven soil conditions, steep slope concerns and seeding on the contour could be further reduced. Implement-based GPS would definitely favor more accurate strip-tilling, planting, drilling, fertilizer sidedressing and spraying. No-tillers would also gain the confidence to invest in wider implements to save time, fuel, equipment depreciation and input costs while reducing crop damage and compaction.

Implement Steering Is Here

AutoFarm announced its entrance into the implement steering arena at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., in mid February. The company’s GPS system is based around the Orthman Tracker steerable coulter system. The system will be distributed and marketed through the AutoFarm dealer network.

The AFTracker system actively steers towed and hitched implements such as no-till planters, drills, strip-till units, sprayers, rotary harrows and other tools to provide more precise implement placement, even with variable soil conditions and steep hills. It’s an add-on upgrade to the existing AutoFarm RTK auto-steer system.

While automatic tractor steering systems offer precise tractor control, growers still find no-till planters, no-till drills and sprayers…

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