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Custom Application

I spent a half a day last week tagging along with two of MaxYield’s custom applicators as they sprayed soybeans. The first tractor I rode along in was AgChem’s RoGator. The picture below isn’t the actual tractor, but it is very similar. This particular RoGator was not the newest machine by any stretch of the imagination. Although it did have the comforts of an air conditioned cab, radio, and straight line gps guidance. The guidance works by using a light bar which is mounted on the top of the hood, out in front of the tractor. This light bar simply lets you set a point A and point B so you can drive in a straight line relative to that first pass. It tells you how many feet left or right you need to go to stay in the middle of where you are spraying. This  enables the applicator to keep straights lines across the field; improving efficiency and reducing overlap spraying.rogator2

These applicators, depending on weather of course, can put in 17 hour days spraying fields during different times of the year. After riding in the RoGator I moved to the John Deere you see below. This machine was a dramatic improvement from the first. It was much smother across the field, and best of all — it had auto-steering. After just a few trips through the field and across the headlands the tractor would automatically steer as you drove across the field. The applicator simply has to turn the tractor back around when he gets to the end of the rows and get in within somewhere around 20 feet heading back down field. Then the tractor guidance systems automatically kicks in and steers it right back where it needs to be and then keeps this path across the field. Although this can make it very difficult to stay awake in the bright sun, after a full stomach from dinner, most applicators agree that at the end of the day they are dramatically less stressed and worn out; allowing them to be safer and more alert on the job.

JD sprayer

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