Why is implement guidance a straight path to higher profits?

Look at any large farm tractor today and there’s a good chance it’s equipped with Auto-Steer. It’s practically a no-brainer. Why? Because growers know that the technology pays for itself. Implement guidance is becoming increasingly more popular, and for the same reason – it helps growers increase yield and reduce inputs, along with a host of other benefits.

Simply put, implement guidance ensures that the implement and tractor stay on the same guidance line. Row crop farmers love using it in first-pass operations like planting or strip-tilling, or to side-dress nutrients. It is even more common in vegetable operations where growers make more passes and where crop damage can be more costly. You can read more about the specific advantages that implement guidance offers to corn growers or vegetable growers.

This article will explain how DynaTrac implement guidance solves a problem that growers know they have but, might not know how much it costs: implement drift.

Why implements drift?

How do soil conditions and implement specifications impact its position?

As soon as you begin pulling an implement, that tool is going to start to shimmy back and forth. It’s because the only thing controlling it is the forward motion of the tractor.

The faster you drive, the longer your implement is, and the variability of your soils and fields will all cause the tool to sway back and forth as it moves across the field, even if your tractor is driving an arrow-straight line. This is called implement drift. DynaTrac is a great tool to master these challenges with implement guidance.

Why is tractor guidance not enough?

No. Because this drift really matters. University studies have shown that implements can drift on average up to 10 times more than the tractor. This means that a tractor on an RTK system might be traveling down the field with 1-inch accuracy. But, the planter or cultivator it’s pulling is swinging back and forth up to 10 inches.

With farmers pulling wider implements today at considerably higher speeds, this variability may be even greater. In vegetable operations this variability can wreak havoc on beds, plastic underlays, or expensive drip tape, as well as potentially damaging valuable crop.

How does DynaTrac implement guidance pay for itself?

What are practical benefits of implement guidance?

This is where implement guidance in general and a LAFORGE Group solution in particular can make a huge difference. Using tractor GPS in combination with implement guidance accurately guides the tractor and implement across the field as a single unit, with much higher pass-to-pass accuracy. It makes your implement perform as precisely as your tractor. It can eliminate guess rows, reducing the chance of crop damage in subsequent passes, like spraying or cultivating. This can make a big difference in yield.


What are cash benefits of implement guidance?

How much difference? Many of our customers have seen increases in yield as high as 10 percent in corn. In 180-bushel corn, that can put almost $100 per acre more into a grower’s pocket at today’s prices. In high-value vegetables, the savings can be even more compelling. Implement guidance also improves the placement of fertilizer. It allows to guarantee that it’s banded precisely where it can most benefit seeds and starts.

With the increasing cost of inputs and increased scrutiny of input placement, the accuracy of the implement is just as important as the line the tractor travels. Customers tells us that these increases in yield and productivity allowed them to cover the cost of an implement guidance system in a single season or two.

How can Laforge DynaTrac range of guided hitches get you there?

Laforge offers a suite of options that fit any tractor and any implement, including 2-point and 3-point hitches for PTO-driven or drawn implements up to 16,500 pounds.

Where some manufacturers require that you purchase implement guidance individually for each implement, you only need to buy a Laforge hitch for your tractor and it works with all your implements. It’s an elegant solution that’s both simple and cost-effective; simple because it’s a single system, and cost-effective because it works with all your tools.

If you have any questions on the many advantages of implement guidance, about how to choose front hitch / front PTO   – or if you’re ready to start putting some money back into your pocket – let’s have a conversation