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HomeBeefHow precision technology is making a difference to Wexford farm and family 
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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How precision technology is making a difference to Wexford farm and family 

For farmers, time is a scarce commodity, but it can be key to a successful harvest.

To meet growing demands for farming produce, farmers are facing a further strain on their time, spending longer in the fields and away from home life. But the question is: how can farmers save time and make processes more efficient, without losing out on end yields?

In the village of Glenbrien, Co Wexford, Don Somers, has been farming for many years, gaining the knowledge and experience needed to run a successful and efficient tillage farm.

Specialising in the production of winter and spring cereals, Don farms a range of heavy clay and sandy soils, which each require a specialised approach for optimizing soil health.

When faced with a staffing issue that threatened yield results, Don looked for alternative ways to increase the efficiency of his farming processes and made the switch to precision technology in 2018 and has been working with Topcon Agriculture solutions since.

Investing in a partnership

Over the past four years, Don and Topcon product specialist Craig England have worked together to improve the quality and quantity of the yield and soil in an unprecedented way, saving over 5% on labour costs and reducing input costs by 10%.

Reflecting on the partnership, Don Somers said: “Topcon did not just sell me a product; they wanted to know how I would use it now, and in the future. Their advice helped me save thousands of euros on equipment alone.”

Topcon’s autosteer solution with an X35 console provides Don with accurate positioning data, letting Don position his tractor exactly as needed, following an x-y positioned path. This reduces fuel usage by cutting down on excess passes, saving money and time.

YieldTrakk yield monitoring lets Don improve soil health in a cost-effective way.

Providing clear data on where his fields are over and underperforming, the precision agriculture solution allows him to make informed decisions based on moisture, cut rate, and weight, letting him focus his time on the areas that need it the most.

Additionally, Don utilizes CropSpec, Topcon’s crop health monitoring solution, to assess the quality of his crops and control his spreading.

By scanning the crops with a laser, CropSpec can create accurate maps for true variable-rate prescription application. This means Don can make sure each area of the field gets exactly the right amount of fertiliser, cutting down on the cost of inputs.

Connecting all solutions is the Topcon Agriculture Platform (TAP), which lets Don combine all the data he needs to make truly informed decisions.

As Craig England explains: “Don is also up and running with TAP, in which he can bring together all his data from the fields such as that produced by YieldTrakk, as-applied maps and CropSpec data.”

“Based on the insights collected from the cloud-based solution, he can then make the right decisions and VRC-maps for the coming tasks in the field.”

Thanks to the data-driven approach, Don has flexibility with how he works, benefiting from the ability to access the data from his fields, right from the comfort of his home.

Benefits beyond the field

Through this integrated, easy-to-access workflow, Don can increase his yields, but also save vital time. With more efficient, streamlined processes Don now spends his valuable time how he wants – with family.

Don said: “The technology meant being able to get home and see my kids before they go to bed or being able to take a weekend off because I could work more efficiently.”

“It really made a difference to my day-to-day life and helped make my operations more efficient.”

Topcon agricultural solutions are improving more than just end yield, making work easier and more efficient for Don, so he can be at home for the moments that matter.

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