Each year, more than 100,000 visitors come to Husker Harvest Days to see the latest in cutting-edge agricultural technology.
During HHD’s 42nd year in Grand Island, many companies, such as Case IH, are introducing the newest generation of technology designed to make farming operations even more technologically sophisticated and economically efficient.
Two years ago, Case IH, which is one of Grand Island’s largest employers with its manufacturing plant, expanded its presence at HHD. This year, that presence continued to grow with the introduction of a new model of its popular Magnum tractor series.
Also new this year at the Case IH exhibit is the Advance Farming Systems Vision Pro Operating System, which is designed to give HHD attendees the feel of driving its newest Magnum tractor.
Jay Barth, marketing manager for the Magnum tractor, said the company brought to HHD this year in a trailer that has 10 of the AFS Farming Systems Vision Pro Operating System.
“What we are allowing here is anyone who wants to experience what it would be like to operate one of our AFS-connected Magnum tractors,” Barth said.
The AFS Connect portal is a gateway to the AFS Connect Magnum series tractor. It allows producers to precisely manage their farm, fleet and data from a desktop or mobile device anywhere while securely transferring data to and from the cloud.
According to the company, users can log in to AFS Connect to view current field operations, fleet information, agronomic data and more, remotely keeping an eye on their operation, whether they are in or outside the cab. Farm owners and managers then have the freedom to share selected agronomic data — down to the field level — with third-party partners of their choosing.
Earlier this year, Case IH unveiled its new AFS Connect Magnum series tractors that are powered by Case IH Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) precision technology. The tractor is outfitted with a new display, operating system, receiver and completely redesigned hardware environment that allows for remote display viewing, remote support capabilities and more.
Barth said the software in the simulators is the same software that is in the new AFS-connected Magnum tractors.
“It is just one step short of actually turning the key and starting it,” he said.
Barth said the reason they developed the trailer was to allow them to train larger groups of people.
“We can put 10 people in seats, versus having 10 individual tractors,” he said.
With the training system, Barth said, they can simulate situations that farmers would have in the fields.
“Then if the question comes up specific to that particular operation, we can explain it one on one,” he said. “We can work directly with the person. It is a lot easier working directly with the person in a controlled environment than trying to sit into a cab and explaining it.”
Barth said the simulator helps the customer make decisions about investing in a new tractor.
“It is great for the public because it gives them a better understanding of the technology that goes into the tractors,” he said.
Barth said it is nice to allow people to see the new technology up close.
“You hear talk in the media about autonomous vehicles and advanced GPS guidance system,” he said. “But allowing them to sit down and actually see how that plays out when you are operating a machine is a great thing.”
The exhibit has been popular with the HHD crowd.
“It has been hugely educational,” Barth said. “We have had some great conversations and there has been a lot of questions. We can explain the answers to those questions, one-on-one, and really delve into their individual concerns.”
With the show celebrating its 42nd year, what is on display this year would have been science fiction to attendees at the show started in the late 1970s.
“There has been a lot of changes,” Barth said. “It is good to inform farmers what is available today and what will be here in a few years.”