February 12, 2014 Ag leader released their latest firmware of 5.2. There are a lot of updates and improvements in the latest firmware and no matter your operation, there will be a feature you will enjoy! The first thing that you will notice about 5.2 is the home screen has changed. It has a green backdrop, but that is just the beginning! We have added tabs that make adjusting the operation more convenient. We can now change operators, configurations, fields, products, and rates, straight from the home screen. Also, we can access our grower/farm/field and configuration settings by selecting the wrench next to the tabs. As you can see in the picture, Ag Leader has made the Ag Leader® Integra and Versa home screens to be a quick access screen.
In the new 5.2 firmware Ag Leader has added “Events”. So when loading the run screen we have two options. There is the traditional method, which allows the user to select a grower, farm, and field. This is similar to previous firmwares. With 5.2 we can de-select “Enable Management” on the grower, farm, and field selection page. This will take us to event mode. This mode is going to be most convenient for custom applicators that do not want to log data to a specific field. Event mode allows data logging without being tied to a specific grower, farm, or field. This mode will allow operators to load the run screen with fewer button presses, and may be a nice feature for some operators.
Another new optional feature that was added is headlands. Headlands is not completely new, we saw this feature in 4.5, but 5.2 added to what we can do with it. In 4.5, we had the feature of a countdown alarm that told us when we are going to enter our headlands. We can also make AutoSwath work in different portions of the field. In order for section control in these designated areas, we need to have an active area. We can set this to All, Work Area, or Headlands. For an example, if we have the active area set to “Headlands” then the planter will plant only in the area within the headlands. The area defined as a headland is adjustable, and can be created by the display, or an operator can drive the boundary he wants to define as the headland. When making the headlands in the display, the operator will tell the display if the headlands run all around the field or just at top and bottom of the field. Once choosen, we can adjust the size of the headlands by entering the number of implement widths or enter an exact distance from the outer boundary to the headland boundary. This optiont can help operators keep their field mapped more accurately and cut back on overlap.
Another new feature is managing guidance patterns. In the new 5.2 firmware we have the ability to group guidance patterns together. We can group these patterns by field, and maneuver between different patterns that are created. In the photo, the guidance line has a time and date stamp to it. If these are hard to keep track of, the operator can rename these lines to whatever they would like. This feature allows you to move from adaptive curve, identical curve, straight path, or pivot guidance lines without having to load the new guidance line into the display. This function will be most convenient for growers that use multiple lines in one field.
For a lot of people, myself included, it may feel like winter is never going to end. But the calendar says March, so hopefully that means warmer weather is fast approaching. If you find a warm day, hopefully you can get your implements, and precision ag equipment ready for spring. I would recommend upgrading to 5.2 before spring, as well as making a backup of the display before the season starts. I hope everyone has a safe and successful planting season and enjoy 5.2 firmware!