Controlling variable rates via iPad - Oliver Wood - Arable Farming

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Thanks to the launch of a new precision farming app, growers allows growers will now be able to vary crop inputs using only an iPad.

Hutchinsons' new precision farming tool, Connect, allows users to transfer variable rate field data from the farm office to the tractor cab with the need for a memory stick - a task which many farmers find off-putting, according to precision technology manager Oliver Wood.

He said: "Growers can access variable rate information based on crop performance and cost-of-production data, which is taken from the Omnia platform, without the need to physically transfer this data using a USB stick. Instead, all the information is sent directly to the tractor, making handling the data much more straightforward."

By connecting directly to the machine’s controller, the app allows growers to make use of the existing variable rate capabilities of their fertiliser spreaders, drills and sprayers without the need to unlock or update the controller, which can be expensive, he added.

The iPad app is targeted towards small to medium scale growers who have not yet invested in auto-steer technology, although Mr Wood believes the ease with which data can be transferred is likely to appeal to most growers. The tool will cost an additional £300 per year above the cost of Hutchinsons’ Omnia technology, which is charged for on a per hectare basis.