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Revolutionizing Ag Industry with Raven's VSN Visual Guidance System

By Enterprise Technology Review | Monday, September 09, 2019

New VSN visual guidance system navigates rows while monitoring spraying operations across a range of crop stages.

FREMONT, CA: Raven Industries, a precision agriculture company, is dedicated to providing innovative, high-value products and solutions to reduce operating costs and improve yields. The company is expanding its class-leading product line lending hands to the ag retailers and growers to boost their efficiency and profits. The new VSN visual guidance system monitors the spraying operations to deliver higher profits through superior application efficiency and improved yield. It uses the state-of-the-art image sensor and processing technologies that focus on the essential aspects of spraying operation.

“We’re excited to announce the new VSN visual guidance system," said Brian Meyer, Vice President and General Manager of Raven Applied Technology. “It seamlessly integrates into our complete system solution and makes application on a variety of crops easier than it has ever been before. In these challenging times, ag retailers need to look for innovative ways to enhance efficiency and profitability, as they are consistently being asked to cover more ground in less time without sacrificing application quality. VSN is helping retailers maintain a high level of application accuracy and efficacy across all of their acres.”

VSN utilizes a non-contact stereo vision camera to navigate rows while preventing more crop damage and covering more acres each day. It maintains row guidance at industry required spraying speeds exceeding 20 mph. The operation is simple and replaces mechanical feelers while providing best-in-class guidance portfolio from the time when crops are just a few inches post-emerge up to a nearly full canopy. The versatile system has been tested for use in corn, cotton, sorghum and soya beans followed by other applications.

“I was surprised it was so simple,” says Jason Bolsen, operator/applicator for Nutrien Ag Solutions in Cerra Gordo, IL, when asked about his experience with using the VSN Visual Guidance System. “It was effortless. You pulled into a row and went five feet, hit the button and pretty much didn’t worry about it until you got to the other end.”

Bolsen, a 24-year veteran of row cropping, says the VSN system is a major improvement. “This is huge for row cropping; it’s just as big of a jump as was the plain [GPS-guided] system was when it came out,” he continues. “It’s so much easier on the operator. At the end of the day, you’re not as fatigued, and you can pay more attention to your tips and obstacles in the field. It helps you keep your boom out of the dirt and your equipment off the crop.”

Reducing the possibility of crop damage takes away a huge amount of stress for the operator, and it will please farmers, as well. Bolsen says his manager got a call from a grower who didn’t think Bolsen had sprayed his field that day because nothing was damaged. Bolson has already recommended that his manager purchase the system for all the operators. “To have a system work and drive down the row for you this nice is just great,” he concluded. “It made my life this summer so much easier.”

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