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ISOBUS Shows Promise, But Still Far From Perfect


Manufacturers are working out the kinks for this technology, as dealers see growing customer demand to pair different brands of tractors & implements.


Manufacturers like Kinze are working to simplify ISOBUS capabilities for farmers by improving “plug-and-play” functionality. Ideally, farmers won’t have to change monitors, displays, wiring harnesses or electrical connectors to run one brand of tractor with another brand of implement.


Jack Zemlicka, Technology Editor


he likelihood that farmers have all the same color equipment plant- ing, fertilizing and harvesting their land is increasingly remote. Precision farming technology is giv- ing growers more freedom to select equipment that best suits them — re- gardless of brand — and upping the ante for precision farming dealers to find compatibility solutions for customers. At Western Sales Ltd., a John Deere dealership in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, precision farming specialist Greg Carl- son routinely works on a rainbow of col- ors on customers’ farms.


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“Only a small percentage of my customers have solid green equipment throughout their farm operations,” Carl- son says. “There’s always at least one piece that’s isn’t, and it’s up to me to find a way to make it work with whatever else they’ve got.” One emerging compatibility option is ISOBUS — a concept that allows farm- ers who are using precision technology to connect any brand of tractor with any implement without losing functionality and performance.


But the ability to seamlessly operate


different colors of farm equipment to- gether remains more of a promise than a solution for many precision ag dealers to


offer customers. “It’s been a stumbling block for years trying to get one color to elec- tronically talk with another,” Carl- son notes. “For dealers, it’s been like bringing someone to a party and they have nobody to talk to.” However, the ISOBUS conversation is evolving as manufacturers develop products that can reduce compatibility headaches for precision specialists and improve efficiency for customers.


Seeing is Believing Last fall, Western Sales tested an ISO system produced by Agtron Enterprises, based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to


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PHOTO COURTESY OF KINZE MANUFACTURING


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