Dakota Farmer

Save money and time by eliminating manual flagging. Mobile app does it and tells the rest of the crew where they are at.

June 3, 2014

2 Min Read

Kraig Nelson doesn't have to stop the tractor or combine to get out and physically flag rocks that need picked in his fields anymore. Instead, the Lake Park, Minn., farmer taps a button on his smart phone or tablet and electronically flags the locations on a field map. He uses an app that he and his partners at Dirt Tech are marketing. Dirt Tech, Elbow Lake, Minn., creates Android and iOS (iPad & iPhone) apps for mobile devices.

Dirt Tech's Rock Picker app records and instantly transmits the location of rocks to other smart phones, tablets and/or other mobile devices.

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"It's a lot more efficient than having to stop the machine and flag a rock and we don't worry about running over flags anymore," Kraig says.

It also is handier than the first generation of electronic rock flagging technology. You don't have to manually move the data from one onboard computer to another. Rock Picker does it all instantly and wirelessly over the internet.

"We use it for marking rocks, or 'combine killers', while doing tillage, planting, rolling or even combining a field and have the rock picker or backhoe working behind us in the same field," Kraig says.

The app can group rocks together per field and has a navigation feature which guides the picker to the nearest rock when entering the field. It also allows the operator to mark a rock as picked.

"It saves a lot unnecessary driving around the field looking for flags," Kraig says.

The app has a couple features to ensure that the electronic flags end up as close to the actual rocks or obstructions as possible. You can change the trailing distance and implement width to compensate for ground speed and different sized equipment. The app divides the implement width into five sections so you can mark which section the rock is in rather than looking across the entire implement.

Rock Picker is available on Android and iOS platforms and is available for download on Google Play or Apple's App Store. A free version lets you mark and find a few rocks. The full version is available for $2.99 per month with a 14-day trial. Other apps by Dirt Tech include Field Tracer, Grade Master and Ag Tile Estimator.

For more information, see www.dirttech.com or contact Nelson at 218-234-5858 or [email protected], or Ben Brutlag at 218-731-2117 or [email protected].

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