The latest introductions to the CLAAS EASY range of precision farming solutions mean that it is even quicker and easier for farmers to gather machine and crop data, and then interpret and utilise that data, for instance by being able to vary input application rates or to update farm management costings.
2017 S10 terminal
At the heart of all this is the latest version of the CLAAS S10 terminal. Unlike the smaller S7 terminal that is primarily for GPS steering applications, the S10 offers the combination of being both a GPS steering, camera and an ISOBUS control terminal.
Using the AEF standard labelling that makes it easy to match ISOBUS implement to terminal, until now the S10 terminal has been ISO UT (Universal Terminal) and ISO AUX (ability to allocate actions to F keys in the tractor) compatible.
For any other ISO functions, such as section boom control on a sprayer, this has required a separate screen in the tractor.
For 2017, the new S10 incorporates all the latest ISO functions, so doing away with the need for additional terminals. Particularly useful will be the integration of task management using TC Basic, which will be standard on all S10 terminals, with TC Geo and TC SC functions being optional additions.
The screen layout has been redesigned so that multiple windows can be displayed simultaneously. Implements are identified automatically and field lists are sorted automatically (requires TC GEO) so that the current field is at the top with the next five closest fields listed after that.
TC Basic allows task data from ISOBUS machines to be stored on the S10 and then transferred to farm management software in the office (e.g. Gatekeeper) via a USB stick. The TC Geo option allows the S10 to be used for Precision Farming applications and implements, such as CROP SENSOR. This enables variable rate applications to be carried out and allows a number of mapping options to be used. The TC SC (section control) option allows the S10 to be used for section control with compatible ISOBUS devices. It can control multiple booms (up to 5 different booms / 50 sections on implements with multiple booms / up to 32 sections on a single boom eg sprayer)
New RTK FIELD BASE
For users looking to use RTK to achieve high levels of steering accuracy, until now this has meant having to either install their own static mast or source a signal from a 3rd party.
However, the new tripod mounted CLAAS RTK FIELD BASE now means that farmers and contractors no longer have to rely on picking up a consistent RTK signal from a static mast, but can take their own mast with them from field to field. But for complete flexibility, if required the transmitter can be detached and used as a static mast.
New RTK network for Ireland
From the middle of 2017, farmers and contractors will be able to access a new RTK network established by CLAAS.
This new network uses a dual SIM card mobile modem to receive a correction signal which has the benefit that the unit will always look for the strongest signal available in areas of poor network coverage. This means that the user will always have access to a consistent, strong signal so that steering accuracy is maintained.
Unlike some other providers, the CLAAS RTK network uses an open signal, so can be used with any RTK steering system, regardless of manufacturer, making it extremely flexible.
Implement output data recording using iBeacons
CLAAS has led the way in the use of TELEMATICS for machinery monitoring and data gathering. Originally introduced on the LEXION combine range, TELEMATICS is now available on all CLAAS combines, JAGUAR foragers and CLAAS tractors from the XERION down to the ARION 400 and the data accessed via computer or on a tablet or smart phone via the app.
While TELEMATICS provides a wealth of data on the power unit, the only implement data available has been from machines fitted with TONI (TELEMATICS on Implement), such as the QUADRANT baler.
Now, however, using the TELEMATICS App it’s possible to quickly and easily obtain information data from a whole range of non-ISOBUS implements and attachments using an iBeacon.
Typically costing only £15-20, iBeacons are small Bluetooth boxes that can be detected using a smartphone. Having attached the iBeacon to an implement, such as a plough or cultivator, once it has been recognised and linked using the TELEMATICS App, information on that implement can be saved and output data, etc gained and automatically uploaded via the App to the TELEMATICS field record. Using this output data, information such as running costs or data for maintenance schedules, can then be accurately recorded.
New CLAAS specific Gatekeeper
Gathering all this output data using TELEMATICS, ISOBUS and iBeacons is only half the story, it’s what you then do with it and how you record, store and analyse that information.
This is fine where the farmer carries out all field operations, but information can be missing from where a contractor is used for operations such as spraying or combining.
To get around this, FarmPlan has introduced a new CLAAS specific version of its popular Gatekeeper management software. Called Gatekeeper CLAAS Essentials, this is basically a cut-down version of Gatekeeper that, for instance a contractor can use in order to save field data, such as yield maps, etc from their CLAAS machines and then enable full transfer between them and the farmer.