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nent of maximizing yields in their continuous no-till system, Christopher says.

“When I got it last year, I really just thought it would be a cool toy to have, but it’s been a big help when I’m planting, and I think the applications for it on the farm are very exten- sive,” Christopher says. “The iPad gives you a real-time vi- sual representation of what’s going on with each row instead of just displaying numbers on a screen. The rows appear in a different color, and that enables you to quickly identify and address problems. If there’s an issue with singulation or any- thing else, you can immediately do something about it. “We haven’t fully analyzed the num- bers yet, but I think it’s pretty clear that enhanced planter performance alone will make this a good investment.” The FieldView app itself is free. A base kit with FieldView module, harness and bracket from Precision Planting connects the iPad to the 20/20 system. There’s a lot going on behind the John Deere 8345 crawler tractor the Hudsons use for planting. It pulls an 80-foot John Deere DB80 48-row planter set for 20- inch rows, replacing the twin-row planter they had been using. “We really like the planter because it maximizes our planting-time labor effi- ciency. But that’s a lot of rows to moni- tor,” Christopher says. “The iPad and FieldView makes the information more meaningful and accessible.” Curt adds that quicker and more convenient access to

Precision ag management, in itself, doesn’t improve

planter-performance information also helps reduce the stress of keeping track of what’s going on in 48 rows.

Better Data Management Enhanced planter performance is just the beginning of the

iPad’s utility at Hudson Family Farms. All of the planting data resides on the tablet, so no downloading is required and the information becomes portable. Christopher and Curt can disconnect the tablet from the 20/20 and take the data to the office or the field. “You can mark a rock or a tile problem,” Christopher says.

“Then you can take the iPad with you to the field later, and go right to the spot.”

As a scouting tool, the app and the iPad give the Hudsons

the ability to incorporate field notes and photos related to the planter-performance information. Fertilizer, herbicide, insecticide and fungicide data is mapped using Farm Works computer software to help as- sess efficiency.

The Hudsons also use Precision Planting’s YieldCheck app for the iPad that takes scouting information, such as ear and kernel counts, and calculates yield predictions. While YieldCheck doesn’t correlate survey locations, Christopher and Curt can use “drop pins” to make note of yield esti- mations by using the GPS functionality of the iPad. A DTN app provides access to the

productivity — but it enables us to manage our crops in ways that can…

The iPad is also an easy way to communicate with retail partners, agronomists and other support resources. Social media is another important function of the electronic

tablet. The Hudsons are currently rebuilding their farm’s web- site, but they utilize their Facebook page to post photographs, crop information and to engage with other farmers who may be facing similar production or technology challenges.

Implement Guidance While the Hudsons were able to incorporate mobile apps

into their operation on their own, Christopher acknowledges that their precision farming dealer has been invaluable in getting them where they are with farm equipment efficiency. When the Hudsons switched to 20-inch rows for corn two

latest commodity cash and futures mar- ket information to support the Hudsons’ marketing decisions, as well as timely weather information. The tablet plays an important com- munication role and also streamlines planter-data functionality, Christopher says. The Hudsons can download any web-based information relevant to their farming operation and have it right there in the tractor cab.


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