Several St. Louis National No-Tillage Conference attendees who use GPS auto-steer systems raised the question of adding more GPS wizardry directly to drills, planters and sprayers for reducing costly side draft on steep slopes.
Such technology is headed your way, indicate Trimble marketing and sales executives. The trick is to make sure that any improved field performance in your operation outweighs the price.
“Trimble’s business is built on providing farmers with solutions that improve the efficiency of their operations, so we’ve been guiding tractors with GPS for years to control implements,” says Levi Kettle, autopilot sales channel manager at Trimble.
But as Kettle points out, today’s bigger farm implements are being put to more uses that require precise, repeatable accuracy on every acre to achieve higher yields with lower inputs. “As a result, these applications demand more precise implement control than ever in some regions — especially on sloping ground,” he adds.
Even so, many farmers who once wanted steerable implements no longer do, says Roz Buick, director of marketing for the Trimble Agriculture Division. “They tell us that once they start using a Trimble Autopilot RTK system delivering repeatable 1-inch accuracy, they don’t need tighter implement control in their operation.”
That hasn’t stopped Trimble from investing “significant time and money” to develop and test GPS implement steering systems for steep slopes such as those in the Palouse region, says Buick. No-tillers there are interested in mounting a second auto-steer unit on a no-till drill — in synch…