I’m looking for advice on the direction I should go with precision tech on my farm.
I work a full time job and have about 800 acres of land that I farm on my own with limited help. At this point, I only use technology for planting operations. I have a Challenger tractor with Trimble CFX 750, and auto steer using a nav 3 controller. I pull a White 8824-30” planter with a 20/20 gen 2 monitor, Tru Count clutches, AirForce, RowFlow. I utilize the Rangepoint subscription through Trimble.
- Use RTK guidance instead of Rangepoint. I have okay luck with Rangepoint, but it doesn’t have great repeatability. I also do not like the user interface on the 750 display. If I make the jump to RTK, I want a more user friendly interface that’s also bigger/easier to navigate.
- Use a different drive setup for my planter. I don’t love my current clutch set up, but it hasn’t caused me major issues yet. I would love to get rid of hex shafts, chains, and clutches to simplify maintenance since I tear apart my clutches every year. Ideally, I would get into a system similar to Sure Drive from Ag Leader.
- I am content with pneumatic down force on my planter at this time. The expense of hydraulic down force and simplicity of air down force keeps me content with where I’m at. However, if I made the jump to hydraulic down force, I would consider Precision Planting or Ag Leader (if I already had Sure Drive installed)
- I would like to start yield monitoring in my combine. I need to start making better agronomic decision based on yield data.
-I currently hire my spraying/fertilizer application done, but have a goal of doing that myself within the next 5 years, so I would need appropriate monitoring for those operations eventually. I can’t make this jump right now with my current job/family situation. But I foresee more flexibility down the road.
I really like the look of Ag Leader’s products, from auto steer to planter control. However, I would like a dealer nearby. Closest dealer is an hour away and is only a retailer. I have Trimble support through local Case IH dealer, but I wonder how long Trimble will be supported by Case IH dealers before Raven takes over? I have good support for Precision Planting nearby and have had great experience with their products.
Should I stick with Trimble products and have knowledgeable support nearby? Based on what I’ve seen and heard, Ag Leader seems to be ahead of the game, but dealer support is very important to me with my tight schedule. I’ve also heard phone support is very good with Ag Leader products. My ultimate goal is to scale the precision tech on my farm piece by piece and not waste money by making short term decisions.
Based on my information and the experience you have with these products, do you have a recommendation on how I should proceed? I appreciate any beneficial feedback you may have! Sorry for my long winded post.