It has been more than twenty years when GPS based manual guidance was first made available. Back then the idea of a tractor or a combine driving itself through the field was hard to believe. Reducing overlap, crop inputs, more acres per hour, less operator error, and reduced fatigue and stress are some of the benefits identified for guidance and auto steer.
And as winter progresses, I have spent time processing and printing yield maps to help customers analyze their data. Something I couldn’t help but notice were the many different guidance lines. Sometimes, there’s a long list with a letter or a number as the name. Other times guidance lines are named to reflect different parts of the field. I would like to take this opportunity to talk about guidance line management.
Guidance lines and the management can become complicated when it comes to the variety of field shape, topography, and when multiple users create guidance lines.
So how does someone manage guidance lines? First, most displays offer a basic option to manage lines within the system. This includes naming, renaming, or deleting lines. Second, you can view lines from a monitor on a map when you use a mapping program on a computer.
This makes it easier to see which lines to keep and which lines can be discarded. Then you can export the lines back to your display for future use. With today’s technology and by making sure your guidance lines are correct, I would go so far to say that it could be possible not to have to manually drive anymore.
HERE TO HELP
If you have questions on line guidance or needing some extra help Farmers Coop Society is here for you. We can offer suggestions on creating lines for difficult fields, removing bad lines, naming good lines, and using the system from season to season. If you are interested in learning more, please give us call. We look forward to helping you this season and for many seasons to come. Farmers Coop Society is a dealer for both Ag Leader® and Trimble®. If you are looking for a steering system for your operation, please contact Kevin or Scott in the Precision Ag Department.
Article by: Scott De Jong
Site Specific Ag Specialist