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Corn+Soybean Digest

Hands-Free Application

A new precise and hands-free way to apply materials using a sprayer or spreader has been introduced by Spraying Systems. The high-performance automated system is called the Mid-Tech FieldPilot and can be used when applying liquid, granular or anhydrous products — or even when planting seed.

The FieldPilot system enhances efficiency and precision because machine guidance and product control are automatically managed simultaneously. It uses a compact and fully integrated hardware/software package that combines the Legacy 6000, a high-resolution, color-display control console by Midwest Technologies, with the high-performance automated steering and global positioning system developed by Trimble Navigation Ltd.

The system is capable of sub-meter accuracy using the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), beacon or satellite differential corrections or centimeter-level accuracy from RTK (Real Time Kinematic) receivers. The FieldPilot system, according to Midwest Technologies, will retrofit on most common sprayer and spreader chassis — a task that can normally be completed in one day.

With the ability to control functions through one console, about the only steering required is at ends of rows when a touch of the steering wheel disengages the auto-steering system, and the simple push of a button allows the operator to re-engage the auto-steering system.

The system provides ample cab visibility, higher application ground speeds, accurate rate control and the ability to reduce or eliminate overlaps and skips. It also allows the operator to quickly monitor spray boom height, tank or hopper levels and to check for plugged nozzles.

In addition, field and variable-rate maps are managed in the FieldPilot system, using Midwest Technologies' Fieldware software.

For more information about the FieldPilot system, contact Richard Gould, Midwest Technologies, P. O. Box 7900, Wheaton, IL 60189-7900; phone 630-665-5201.

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