Adding to its suite of guidance products, John Deere has just introduced two new features, AutoTrac Vision and AutoTrac RowSense, which it says will help sprayer operators minimize damage in row crops like corn and soybeans.
AutoTrac Vision is a single-lens camera that mounts on the front of a sprayer. It can detect the location of crop rows and help guide the sprayer wheels down the centre of them. It’s designed to be used when spraying a field soon after crop emergence in 30-inch rows, starting when the crop is at least six inches tall. It can be used until there is at least three inches of soil showing between rows or up to 90 percent canopy closure.
“Because of field terrain, planter drift, or irregular planting without guidance, spraying in row crops can present challenges for sprayer operators making post-emerge applications,” explains Doug Felter, product marketing manager for John Deere. “These two new guidance applications help sprayers track more accurately between the rows, resulting in reduced crop damage, less operator fatigue and more effective field applications.”
The second system, AutoTrac RowSense, is meant for use in more mature crops, with stands at least four feet tall and also in 30-inch rows. It relies on a paddle sensor mounted at a sprayer wheel.
“While these two sprayer guidance systems are completely separate and are to be used one at a time, both have performed well in a variety of field conditions and crops,” Felter adds. “Both automated vehicle steering systems allow the operator to spray at faster speeds with little manual steering and cover more acres per day with less damage to crops.”
Both systems are available as field-installed kits for existing machines or as factory options on new John Deere R Series sprayers. A GS3 AutoTrac RowSense activation is required.