Farm tech helps with planting success
Planting is a critical time in the spring as it sets the stage for the entire crop year. It is so important to get it right! We have three displays in our tractor cabs: an iPad, a planter monitor and an auto-steer monitor.
The iPad communicates with the planter through a WiFi signal and displays the functions of the planter in a high-def color coded map to give us a real time view of our planting progress. We also use it for many of the same things you do. From keeping an eye on the weather to checking emails, multitasking is a must when you spend 14-16 hours a day in the tractor!
The planter monitor and auto-steer monitors are sort of like having dual monitors at your computer workstation. These monitors allow us to look at more information at once.
The monitors collect information and control:
- Distance between seeds
- Inefficiencies such as skipping a seed or dropping multiple seeds in one location
- Auto-steer tracking and adjustment
When using auto-steer, it isn’t quite as simple as “set it and forget it.” The monitors show us what portion of the field has already been planted, field boundaries, and how we’re doing based on what the plants and soil need in that particular field. Additionally, we use the monitors to adjust speed, seeding rate or anything else that will help the crop grow more successfully.
We apply liquid fertilizer to give seeds the best start they can to life. The monitors help us make sure we’re applying the right amount of fertilizer in the right spots.
All of the data documented through these devices can be downloaded at home to analyze and reference later. The data collected helps us make decisions throughout the growing year and learn what we could do better next year. These are just a few ways we utilize technology to ensure we have a successful growing season.