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CONNECTED FARMING: Raven’s new tools that use Slingshot to move data at lightning speed help coordinate several machines working at the same time or even different times.

New precision tech links multiple implements

Hi-Tech Farming: Information transfer picks up speed with new capabilities for moving data among machines.

Suppose two trucks are spreading fertilizer in a large field at the same time. Or maybe two planters are running in the same field. Raven is making it easier for both custom applicators or both planter operators to see the same information at the same time on their computer screens.

The new tool is called Job Generator, and it uses Raven’s Slingshot to deliver information about a field or job to multiple computers at the same time.

A second new tool, Job Sync, takes things one step further, Raven spokespeople say. This cloud-based tool allows two or more operators to share the same information from machine to machine. Maybe they’re in the field together, or maybe one is in the field one day and the other returns the next day to finish. The information will be there for either operator whenever it’s needed.

Raven spokespeople say the technology is now available for Raven Viper 4 and Viper 4+ computer systems. Two new computer platforms from Raven are also expected yet this year. The company intends to introduce the CR 7 and CR 12 field computers at trade shows this summer, with these new technologies available for farmers and ag dealers later this year.

Wireless soil probe
What would it be worth if you could place probes in the ground and get information on soil characteristics popping up on your computer? Sound too good to be true? Teralytic is an analytics company that recently announced it will release a probe that can sense numerous soil properties at three different depths. What’s more, it can send the information to your computer without antennas or wires.

The probe measures soil moisture, salinity, humidity and more. Most striking, however, is that it also displays nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium readings. The sample display, which you can find on the company’s website, also shows soil pH. Learn more at

Innovative forklift safety
Arrow introduces forks for forklifts that come with their own wear indicator stamped into the fork. If you use a forklift to move pallets of seed on a regular basis, this innovation may be worth a closer look. Spokespeople say it’s all about safety. Federal standards call for replacing forks after they reach 10% wear. That’s because forks with 10% wear have 20% less lift capacity, according to the company. Learn more at

Silver lining
The initial results of a University of Illinois study seem discouraging. Carrie Butts-Wilmsmeyer and Martin Bohn discovered that even though whole grains contain vitamins and phenolic acids believed to fight cancer, most of these compounds are lost when grains go through dry milling. So you’re not getting as much benefit as you might think from processed cereals, especially if you’re hoping to load up on cancer-preventing compounds.

The good news, the researchers say, is that they discovered how to prepare much smaller batches of these products in their tests. In fact, they worked with batches that were 1/450 the size of conventional test batches. The researchers note that since they can do so many more micro-batches than before, they can evaluate how to recover phenolic acids in waste materials more easily. The goal is to return them to processed food such as cornflakes and raisin bran. 


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