Topcon’s On-The-Go Sensor Now Available

Topcon Precision Agriculture (TPA) has developed CropSpec™, a real-time integrated plant nutrient monitoring and application system for agricultural equipment. CropSpec is currently available for delivery to the global agriculture market in limited numbers with mass market introduction in early 2010. TPA is a business unit of Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS).

Working with Topcon’s core competency in optics and in cooperation with Yara International, Topcon engineers designed CropSpec as a powerful crop canopy sensor. The Topcon system utilizes a two-sensor system (left and right side of the cabin) that allows a farm operator to monitor plant conditions and apply fertilizer and other inputs only as needed.

Simplifies Variable Rate Application

“This system will help revolutionize and simplify variable rate applications,” says Michael Gomes, director of agriculture business development. CropSpec sensors measure spectral reflectance using light from pulsing laser diodes focused on the plants. The reading can be correlated to measure chlorophyll content, which is closely linked to nitrogen in the plants. Scanning the crop creates a map to indicate relative canopy vigour.

The information can then be analyzed to determine crop areas that need treatment, construct prescription maps for later application, or immediately provide variable rate application enabling variable rate application in real time.

CropSpec, Gomes says, “allows farmers to perform real-time analysis of crop needs and meet those deficiencies immediately as they are traveling through the field. In other words, variable rate fertilizer applications are performed at the same time actual nitrogen readings are taken, based upon crop need.”

Used with Topcon’s X20 console (System 200), CropSpec links to Topcon’s Maplink program, the industry’s leading variable rate control (VRC) program for liquid sprayers or granular spreaders. The sensors measure nitrogen levels and Topcon’s X20 controller executes that prescription immediately, controlling the output of fertilizer in one pass.

“This provides the benefits of variable rate application,” Gomes says, “in a simple one-step process, reducing the complications typically associated with VR and can reduce both cost and waste associated with blanket fertilizer application.

“The return on investment of CropSpec is extraordinary,” Gomes says. “It is possible to pay for the technology in a single growing season from the savings in fertilizer costs, coupled with the benefits of providing the correct amounts of fertilizer where it is needed most.

“The sensing method is non-contacting, non-destructive, and provides consistent and repeatable readings, enabling the comparison of data from week to week or year to year,” he says.

CropSpec enables farm operators to work day or night with an “ease and versatility unmatched by any other technology,” Gomes says. The compact system mounts on the tractor roof out of harm’s way, eliminating the need for a boom-mounted sensor, reducing the potential for sensor damage as the machine is operating within the field.

CropSpec features two basic operation modes: a read/record mode and a fully automatic mode giving the operator a number of choices about how the variable rate application is determined from the sensor readings. Other features of the CropSpec system include a greater sensor to crop distance (2-4 meters) and a larger sensing footprint that covers more crop area per pass. Rather than viewing the crop from directly overhead, CropSpec’s oblique sensor view, in combination with the large footprint enables more stable measurements in row crops at earlier growth stages.

CropSpec is coming to market after an extensive 18-month product qualification and competitor comparison testing. This global testing program consisted of systems being tested in the world markets by recognized industry leaders and scientists and at the Topcon agricultural test sites in Livermore, CA; Concordia, Italy; and Adelaide, Australia.

For more information on CropSpec, click here.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Data Management Stories
Texas-and-Oklahoma-Panhandles-Google-Earth
Data ManagementAgriculture Impacts Weather: The Case for Connected Ecosystems
February 15, 2018
It’s fascinating to see how modern technology has helped us increase our agricultural productivity in areas not otherwise suited for Read More
Norris planter
Data ManagementBig Data is a Chicken-or-Egg Scenario on the Farm
February 1, 2018
According to McKinsey, the agricultural sector is the least digitized industry in the U.S., writes Tony Baer on ZDNet.com. Yet, Read More
Business Management2018 Retail Precision Ag Programs: At-A-Glance
February 1, 2018
Deep in the midst off December downtime, we reached out to three retailers well-versed in running a grower-facing precision ag Read More
Data ManagementClimate Corp. Announces CNH Data Sharing Partnership
February 1, 2018
CNH Industrial and The Climate Corporation announced today a new partnership that will extend and develop a portfolio of data Read More
Trending Articles
Industry NewsNFMS 2018: Case IH Talks Autonomous Agriculture, Announces Pilot Program
February 20, 2018
Since the reveal of the autonomous concept vehicle, Case IH has been evolving the technology and further defining automation and Read More
India-Farm-Irrigation
AsiaCloud-based Irrigation Could Double India’s Crop Yield and Halve Water Use
February 12, 2018
A cloud-based, micro-irrigation system tested on a farm in India has cut water use by up to 80%  and doubled Read More
Tools & Smart EquipmentAutonomous Tractors Could Work in Wetter Conditions than Traditional Tractors
February 8, 2018
March 20th is the first day of spring, making spring much closer than even I expected. On the farm I Read More
AmericasPrecision Farming Companies to Watch in 2018 (OPINION)
January 17, 2018
My friends, as many of you told me repeatedly throughout the last 12 months, 2017 was an interesting year in Read More
John-Deere-Cab-GPS
Data ManagementPrecision Ag Hardware and Software: A Little Off-Season Maintenance Goes A Long Way
January 11, 2018
All service technicians have heard this line. Most often when spring makes its anticipated return to our lives. It is Read More
Anez-Consulting-Paul-Anez-and-Michael-Dunn
Service ProvidersAnez Consulting: Focus On Fertility
January 9, 2018
Central Minnesota features variability aplenty when it comes to soil characteristics and topography, from flat, black expanses rich in organic Read More
Latest News
Skycision
Events12 Groundbreaking AgTech Startups Selected to Pitch at …
February 22, 2018
AgLaunch is bringing its Startup Station pitch event back to the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show for a second time Read More
Industry NewsDeere Garners Ag Data Transparency Certification
February 22, 2018
John Deere announces it has received the American Farm Bureau Ag Data Transparent (ADT) certification, which verifies to producers that Read More
Sentera drone
DronesSentera Launches Micro Gimbal Upgrade for DJI Phantom 4…
February 22, 2018
Sentera today announced the availability of a Micro Gimbal upgrade for Sentera Single sensors mounted on the popular DJI Phantom Read More
AmericasNFMS 2018: Precision Farming, Ag Tech Developments from…
February 21, 2018
Last week’s annual National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS) in Louisville, KY, was this author’s first experience attending the mid-winter Midwest Read More
Vineyard
Specialty CropsMaximize the Benefit of New Farm Technology
February 21, 2018
We have access to technology and information as never before. Working with vineyards in Virginia, I see examples of growers Read More
Industry NewsCropMetrics Names New CEO
February 20, 2018
CropMetrics, a leader in smart irrigation services in the U.S., and developer of the Virtual Optimizer software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, has Read More
Joel-Greiner-Fybr
Specialty CropsHow Wireless Technology Found its Way to a Central Cali…
February 20, 2018
At first glance, the story of Fybr isn’t an unusual one: a technology company looks toward U.S. agriculture as a Read More
Farmers-on-tablet
AmericasAg Tech News: Mavrx Opens Satellite Platform to Entire …
February 20, 2018
The team at San Francisco, CA-based Mavrx has announced an initiative to increase access to advanced decision support tools in Read More
Industry NewsNFMS 2018: Case IH Talks Autonomous Agriculture, Announ…
February 20, 2018
Since the reveal of the autonomous concept vehicle, Case IH has been evolving the technology and further defining automation and Read More
Real-time-VRA-cotton
Sensors/IoTWhy Are Service Providers Slow to Adopt Crop Sensors fo…
February 20, 2018
Recently, we have seen important discussions about key aspects of precision agriculture. One of these articles, about the value in Read More
Harvested-Corn-Field-Clouds
Industry NewsUnderstory Patents Solid State Weather Sensor
February 16, 2018
Understory today announced that it received a patent for its mechanical strain-based weather sensor, a key component in its weather Read More
Retailer Grower
Business ManagementAgriculture and Technology: Industry Progress Lies in C…
February 16, 2018
Water is essential for agriculture. While this may seem obvious, nowhere is it more apparent than the Sonoran Desert of Read More
Agtegra_SDSU
Industry NewsAgtegra Cooperative Pledges $500,000 to SDSU Precision …
February 15, 2018
Agtegra Cooperative, Aberdeen, SD, today in Pierre announced a $500,000 donation to South Dakota State University for the Precision Agriculture Read More
Ag Retailer and Grower WinField United
Business ManagementThe Importance of Teamwork for Successful Precision Ag …
February 15, 2018
Interdependency is defined as the quality or condition of being mutually reliant on each other. I’m not a huge sports Read More
Texas-and-Oklahoma-Panhandles-Google-Earth
Data ManagementAgriculture Impacts Weather: The Case for Connected Eco…
February 15, 2018
It’s fascinating to see how modern technology has helped us increase our agricultural productivity in areas not otherwise suited for Read More
Adapt-N VRT
Decision Support SoftwareDTN Partners with Adapt-N to Provide Weather and Nitrog…
February 14, 2018
DTN has announced a partnership today at the National Farm Machinery Show with Agronomic Technology Corp (ATC), a Yara International Read More
Corn close up
Imagery/SensingSyngenta Acquires Satellite Imagery Provider FarmShots
February 14, 2018
Syngenta has acquired FarmShots, Inc., a North Carolina-based innovator of high-resolution satellite imagery that detects plant health by analyzing absorbed Read More
Pexels-Agriculture_Fields_Tractor_Precision_AG
Tools & Smart EquipmentMachine Learning: The Secret Sauce of Precision Agricul…
February 13, 2018
With the development of agricultural technologies, crop and plant diseases have been advancing as well, causing degradation of both quality Read More