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Tough and go

New electronic system lets you record and store field data quickly on the go.

Farm and field data collection just became easier with the new PostMark CT (CropTouch) system.

Developed by AIT, the system allows you to simply and accurately keep track of all field information - including inputs, specific equipment used, and who performed duties on a particular field - with the touch of a button.

CropTouch includes a data reader "pipe," programmable microchip buttons, downloader and software.

The 7-in. pipe "reads" the buttons, which are small, stainless steel canisters that can be programmed and reprogrammed to represent any implement, input, task or person on the farm. The pipe stores all the data electronically while keeping track of date and time. At the end of the day, the information collected on the pipe is downloaded into a computer. The data then can be viewed, managed or merged into other farm software.

Each field worker carries a wallet button to indicate that he or she is doing the work. The worker uses the pipe to touch the wallet button and all other buttons that are attached on implements and field signpost markers. There also are special boards with several buttons to indicate inputs such as field chemicals, seed bags, etc.

When a worker goes out to disk a field, for example, he first touches his wallet button with the pipe to personalize the job. When he enters the field, he stops and touches the button on the signpost to show what field is being disked. Then he touches the tractor and disk buttons to indicate which machines are being used.

When he is finished, he again touches the field signpost and heads home. That evening when the pipe is inserted into the downloader, the computer will record all the activities.

According to the manufacturer, the buttons are durable and will withstand dirt and moisture. Growers lease the system for $50/field/yr. For more information, contact AIT, Dept. FIN, 21024 421st Ave., Iroquois, SD 57353, 800/661-4117.

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