In Integrated Solutions

Drummond & Etheridge hosted a successful Precision Viticulture event in Blenheim during September, with many local growers and contractors turning out to view the technology on display.

“The technology related to precision viticulture is evolving rapidly, so it’s pleasing to see so many customers embrace this and look to incorporate it into their operation,” says Alan Cottington, Blenheim Branch Manager.

The event featured John Deere vineyard tractors, a Gator, harvester and sprayer, all equipped with various GPS technology.

“The tractors, Gator and harvester were set up with AutoTrac to demonstrate their auto steer capability. The sprayer was set up with a John Deere rate controller, allowing us to demonstrate section control and variable rate application based on GPS positioning,” says Cottington.

In addition to the tractors and machinery on display, the Blenheim team also demonstrated the benefits John Deere fleet management tools could add to any operation.

“Increasing yields, reducing input costs and improving the performance and productivity of daily operation is key for growers and contractors,” says Cottington. “With John Deere management tools like Operation Centre and JD Connected mobile apps, operators have real-time remote access to application maps, machine health reports and other important task related information required to make informed decisions about their business.”

Drummond & Etheridge operate an RTK (real-time-kinematic) network throughout the South Island, and by the end of the year will have 12 towers in key productivity areas, including one in Tasman and three in Marlborough.

“Our RTK network offers users repeatable 25mm accuracy, day after day, year after year,” says Cottington. “This is especially valuable for vineyards and other permanently set producers, and means they can follow set paths and application maps for each unique row, job after job.”

For more information about John Deere Precision Viticulture technology, contact your local Drummond & Etheridge branch or phone 0800 432 633.

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