If you want to know what’s happening in the world of autosteer, GPS and RTK, the Precision Farming Event is the place to be. We round up some of the new stuff from the Peterborough Arena.
TopCon entry-level screen
TopCon’s new X14 4.3in screen (pictured right) replaces the company’s GX45 unit. It’s an entry-level unit that uses the same software as the bigger X30, but has a smaller screen, says the company’s Nick Abbey. It can do all the standard stuff, plus job recording and section control. It costs £1,345 including Egnos + Omnistar VBS, and if you want to add assisted steering that costs £8,895.
Precision farming isn’t just for arable farmers – it’s working its way into the livestock sector, too. A lot of this is about being able to measure things that couldn’t be measured in the past. Agricultural Supply Services, for instance, was showing its latest AgHub platemeter, which measures how much grass dry matter you have. That allows you to know exactly how many animals can be run on each hectare and is said to give a 15% increase in grazing efficiency. The basic £450 F200 model has a single-field memory, whereas the £550 F300 has 100 field memories.
Farmex pig sensor
There may be plenty of high-tech equipment in the dairy sector, but beef animals and pigs haven’t enjoyed quite so many of the fruits of high technology. However, a joint venture involving Farmex, ARM Buildings and Dicom Technology was showing an interesting high-tech pig weigher.
Called the In-Pen Voluntary Access Growth Sensor, it looks like a weigh-scale and has four load cells to do the measuring. Pigs, being inquisitive animals, get on and off the weighing platform all day long. That allows the farmer to get a very accurate average measure of the weight of the animals.
Add an ear-tag and you get an even more precise idea of the weight of each pig and can start to get useful information on growth weights and feed conversion figures. The information is then sent automatically from the pig building to the farm office by wireless.
Cost of the unit is expected to be £1,750 and it will be on show at the Pig and Poultry Event.
Trimble high-def screen
Trimble’s high-definition TMX2050 screen is a bit different from the norm, largely because it is based on an Android operating system not unlike the sort that powers mobile phones and tablet computers. The flat-fronted 31cm touchscreen actually feels like a thicker tablet and is easy to grab and hold on to.
It has all the features of a regular in-cab screen, says Trimble, but also runs widgets that you can move around the screen as you would with a tablet. It will also pick up wifi and 3G/4G and you can use the familiar swipe and pinch gestures to alter things on the screen.
The all-new Field Manager view shows fields, AB lines and boundary information in one screen. The Connected Farm dashboard, meanwhile, provides a central location to view information such as weather forecasts and rainfall, commodity prices and machinery fleet management information.
At £9,500-10,000 it is more expensive than the company’s existing TMX model, but its versatility will no doubt appeal to many big farmers or contractors. It’ll be on sale later this year.