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Managing Guidance Lines

by Apr 18, 2011SMS™ Software

It is planting season in the Midwest, and this means that farming activities are increasing. One item I have been trying to manage on my operation is guidance lines. In our operation, consistency of the planter following in the exact same path as our strip-tillage machine, as well as ensuring the sprayer is also moving accurately through the field is very important. This job can quickly get complicated when the fields’ terrain demands numerous lines per field and when multiple users enter guidance lines.

In addition to the many lines per field to manage, managing the lines from year to year is also important. We desire to plant a crop directly in between the previous year's rows; this requires shifting the previous year's line by 15 inches, or 7.5 inches for some crops. Choosing the correct guidance lines is essential. Here is an example of the lines for a field:


So how does a person manage potentially hundreds of guidance lines being used by multiple displays in the field? A simplistic answer is to organize and evaluate. What I mean by this is you need to use computer software to read and view all the lines from each field, and then evaluate which lines are important to reuse. It sounds simple, but getting all the lines on a map in front of you will help you sort out the lines that are beneficial.

After organizing the guidance lines for all your fields, you can then export the lines to your field displays. This will ensure that every display has the exact same guidance lines for accurate application.

Having a software tool that can help you organize and manage your guidance lines and then export them to your field displays is important for those seeking repeatability and accuracy.