Mobile Field Management
Farm Credit Canada has introduced a new mobile application that enables growers to use their smartphones or tablets to record field data, which can be shared and downloaded onto a home computer.
The Field Manager PRO Mobile application has geographic information systems capability and gives producers the ability to mark out target areas, track soil testing and geo-referenced photos as well as enter field and crop data, while at the same time archiving the information for later reference.
“The FM PRO Mobile application will allow producers across Canada to monitor their fields and record the information from the palm of their hands,” says Glen Kroeker, director of FCC’s management software. “Information can be easily uploaded and shared with partners and staff, and entered conveniently. There’s no need to wait until the end of the day to do so.”
The FM PRO Mobile application is used in conjunction with the most recent versions of other FCC field management software, Field Manager PRO and Field Manager PRO 360. The application is compatible with iPhones and iPads and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. Android device capability will be available shortly from Google’s Play Store.
“Smartphones are a growing necessity for farmers’ day-to-day work,” says Kroeker. “This is FCC’s very first application for smartphones and tablets, so we are really excited about this enhanced tool. Farming is an intensive and complex business, and this app has many time-saving features that allow producers to work more efficiently and maintain excellent records for their business.”
Soil and Weather Monitoring
Lindsay Corporation, makers of Zimmatic irrigation systems, is introducing the addition of soil moisture monitoring and a weather station to its Growsmart product line.
Lindsay’s plug-and-play add-ons use a wireless connection to report relevant weather and soil water data from the field to a secure customer account. FieldNET software and supporting mobile apps provide a graphical user interface as well as the convenience and reporting producers need to make more informed irrigation decisions, according to Reece Andrews, new technology product manager at Lindsay.
“Growsmart sensors are designed to provide producers information that enhances irrigation management using FieldNET’s management tools, which allow growers to remotely monitor and control their entire irrigation system,” explains Andrews. “They are designed for quick access to field feedback that can result in better overall irrigation management and improved crop yield and quality.”
Soil moisture monitoring can help grower’s decide when to apply irrigation and with Lindsay’s new soil moisture probes, water trends are illustrated in easy-to-read charts and can provide season-over-season history. The weather station feature includes sensors for wind speed and direction, solar radiation, air temperature, humidity, precipitation and calculated evapotranspiration. Archived records are maintained for quick access with trending charts together on one page.
“Integrating soil moisture and weather stations with FieldNET allows producers an easy-to-use platform that controls pumps and pivots, recording water and energy usage, soil moisture levels and trends, as well as local weather station information,” says Andrews. “Growers are automatically notified about conditions that require action.”
For more information, visit growsmart.com or talk to your local Zimmatic dealer.
Weather and Climate Monitor
As extreme weather events continue to have a significant effect on agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has introduced a new application that allows Canadian producers to better understand the impact of weather and climate conditions on their operations.
The Agroclimate Impact Reporter is a spatial online tool that enables the collection, integration and display of weather or agroclimate impact information across Canada. Managed by the AAFC’s National Agroclimate Information Service, AIR permits growers and the AAFC to monitor weather impacts on water supply, soil degradation and agricultural production more effectively, enabling regions to be better equipped to withstand extreme weather events in the future.
“We are always looking for information on how the weather is impacting producers — determining the extent of a hail event, determining the impact of a drought on forage production, determining the severity of a storm event — these are all pieces of information we need to know to respond appropriately,” says Trevor Hadwen, agroclimate specialist at NAIS. “This tool will help us be more informed and be better able to serve the sector.”
Data for the tool is obtained from a network of volunteers who submit monthly reports about weather events and agroclimate impacts within their regions.
“The tool is in its infancy [so] the more people who use it, the more useful it will become,” says Hadwen. “We have had some great interest in application and the potential to provide information to all areas of the sector.·Knowing where and what level of impacts are being experienced will be beneficial to the industry as a whole.”
For more information or to join the volunteer network, visit agr.gc.ca/air.
Cleaning and Separation
A new air-controlled separator for removing debris during handling, the ACS-8 is the latest addition to the Lockwood Manufacturing line of potato production equipment.
According to Tim Martin, Lockwood marketing manager, the ACS-8 is a complete handling system with the ability to effectively clean and separate crop loads while minimizing damage.
“We believe the features of the ACS-8 will make the process of potato cleaning and separating much easier for the industry, says Martin, adding that Lockwood has a range of options for custom-fitting the separator to growers’ specific operational needs.
The ACS-8 initially cleans the potato load by running it through a 96-inch wide stone table to remove preliminary dirt and plant debris into a containment unit. The remaining contents move into a high-flow air chamber that effectively lifts the potatoes onto a 48-inch wide discharge conveyor and allows stones to be passed through and discharged underneath.
Features of the ACS-8 include:
- 5,000 hundredweight per hour capacity
- 170-horsepower Cummins engine power plant
- Hydraulic activated clutch for remote start up
- 60-volt variable frequency drive controlled motors on all tables and conveyors for maximum efficiency
- Central control panel with remote access to air supply unit
For more information, contact a potato specialist at Lockwood at 800-247-7335 or visit lockwoodmfg.com.
For more information on the products listed or to submit new E&T product offerings, email Mark Halsall at [email protected]