Seed monitor goes wireless

HANOVER, Germany — A Saskatoon company has tapped the Google/Android smartphone platform to build a monitor for its popular seed and dry material tube blockage and seeding-rate sensors and controllers.

Agtron Enterprises’ devices are found on Raven, Seed Hawk, Amity and a dozen other seeding systems and as aftermarket additions to air seeders around the world.

Producers will be able to download the application for the phone from the company’s website and then rely on their Google/Android device to alert them that their seeder runs are obstructed once a sending unit is added to the blockage module.

The connection from the seeding unit to the phone is wireless, which keeps the installation confined to the implement and avoids the cabling and hydraulic snake that reaches forward across the hitch to most tractors.

Agtron’s Wireless ART system works in a single loop arrangement. It can monitor 140 sensors, while a dual loop can nearly double that.

“We’ve a lot of success with the sensors. They are durable and reliable. Getting away from wiring is just good design,” said Bill Baker of Agtron.

He launched the product at Germany’s Agritechnica farm show and hopes to have it reaching out to smartphones in prairie tractor cabs once the company has completed testing during the 2012 seeding season.

Baker said the Android platform will be the first version, with an Apple iPhone and iPad application to follow.

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