Midwest Farm Service-Alliance and DataLink L.L.C.
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Welcome to the Media Gallery
We at Midwest and Datalink are not unfamiliar with the spotlight. Some of our stories and news of our awards have been published in various newspapers and magazines. We are very proud of these accomplishments and have compiled a list of some to share with you. Simply click on each title to read the corresponding article.
In the NewsLOCAL IRRIGATION COMPANY RECEIVES TOP NORTH AMERICA HONORS
ALLIANCE - Del and Lorna Penlerick, owner/operators of Midwest Farm Service-Alliance Inc., of Alliance, were recntly recognized as one of the top Zimmatic dealers in North Amerca at the company's annual Awards Banquet, January 13 in Cancun, Mexico. The local dealership was selected from more than 200 Zimmatic dealerships. "We're pleased to be recognized," Del said. "One important part of the scoring is information from customer surveys. Something like this makes you feel it is all worth it." Midwest Farm Service also was awarded No. 2 in the Greatest Growth Award category. The Penlericks were guests of Lindsay Mnufacturing, makers of the Zimmatic brand center pivots irrigation systems, the the trip to Cancun for the award presentation. The couple work together in the family business. Del stated they purchased Midwest from former partners in 1997 and Del has been connected with the company since 1993.
LINDSAY, Neb. - Lindsay Manufacturing Company recently honored Midwest Farm Service of Alliance with the company's Circle of Excellence and Distinguihed Performance awared at Lindsay's annual convention in Orlando, Florida. These awards recognize Midwest Farm Service-Alliance for exceeding dealership performance standards and taking extraordinary steps to ensure its continued success. "Circle of Excellence dealers made major financial and personal investments in their dealership to help guarantee that their customers continue receiving tip-quality service," said Bob Snoozy, Lindsay vice president of sales. "Our business is becoming more high tech and sophisticated through computer controls and monitoring systems," he said. "In order for growers to receive the full beneft of all these technical advances, dealerships really need to know about them inside and out. Circle of Excellence dealers demonstrated this type of dedication and commitment." One of these high-tech monitoring systems is Zimmatic's AIMS Telemetry Network, accoring to Snoozy. This system allows farmers to contrl, monitor, and program multiple AIMS-equpped pivots from their personal computers. The network's customized, color-coded screens provide instant operational status. It also automatically copiles and stores information about each pivot including: hours of operation, water and chemical use, pumping cost and environmental data.
by Jo Chytka Hemingford, Neb. 2006
"My interest is in the future because I'm going to spend the rest of my life there." - Inventor, Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958)
Del Penlerick of Alliance, Neb., has both feet firmly planted in the 21st Century and is looking off into the haze of the 22nd. Del owns and opertes DataLink, L.L.C. a crip insurance agency which utilizes GPS (Global Positioning System) and GIS (Geographical INformation System) to verify the number of acres they insure, for Federal Crop Insurance purposes. He said "In 1990 or 1991 I read an article on civilian GPS and became interested in and fascinated by the concept and possibilities of it." Del said, "GPS was firsed used as a defense system for the U.S. Department of Defense who still controls and maintains the GPS signal. It utilizes computers in conjuction with 24 satellites orbiting the earth to identify a geometric position anywhere on earth. Every point on the surface of the earth is capable of having its own specific address. "The first GPS civillian appicaiton was sold in 1984 by Trimble, this is very new technology; we are just getting our toes wet." Penlerick said, "DataLink, L.L.C. was organized specifically to address the evolution of GPS technology in agriculture. In December of 1997 we formed the company and in January of '98 we were up and running. "When we map and area we use and ATV equipped with GPS that creates the field boundary and calculates the acres down to the .0001 acres. A 'clam shell' is used which is a small Compaq computer that works like an Etch a Sketch that draws a line as you drive. This information is converted into picture format that is geographicaly aligned using GPS coordinates. We are aboe to enhance the maps with satellite imagery proving a photo of the fam with fields defined. We have mapped roughly 60,000 acres. WAAS (Wide Area Augmentaion Sstem) is a factor in the accuracy mix. If WASS is incorporated and enabled in teh receiver being used the resulting DGPS accuaacy becomes up to five times better. WAAS corrects for GPS signal errors caused by ionosheric disturbances, timing and satellite orbit errors and it provides vital integrity information regarding the health of each GPS satellite. WASS is a free signal available in North America.
Having prefaced with the about background Del describes some of the new technology available at DataLink that fuels his passion for all things GPS. "The natural evolution of the business took us to the cutting edge of precision agricultural technology. We can provice our customers with GPS machine guidance systems like lightbars, auto steering and sub-inch, RTK repeatable Autopilot systems for farming. The educaional curve for the public is high due to unfamiliarity with the concept. We are gaining more acceptance s the degree of accuracy attained is realized." With a simle lightbar system on your tractor you can follow a signal that translates to a light on the bar; with green indiction you are following the signal correctly while red means a correction is needed. The lightbar has a GPS receiver incorporated and an antenna on the roof receives the GPS signals. It operates on the WAAS signal with the integrated GPS. Newer versions of teh lightar have added n LCD screen tha thelps with visual vehicle orientaion and guidance diring curves and turns. Tactors are not the only application for a lightbar; trucks, swathers, floaters, high clearance sprayers and combines benefit as well. You can upgrade the lightbar system by adding EZ-Steer assisted steering that allows you to sit back, relax and let GPS steer your tractor, except when you need to turn around. The system has a manual override for that and for any situation warranting it. Del said, "The level of accuracy depends on the receiver being used. For example, with integrated GPS operating on WAAS, once coudl expect 6-8 inch pass-to-pass opertion accuracy. The EZ-Steer was born on a napkin at a restaurant in Westminster, Colo. A handful of Trimble dealers for our Prairie Region and Art Lange, an engineer and one of the original Trimble people came up with the idea. We thought if we can light up a light to guide, why can't we steer a tractor. It went to the engineers and in 2005 it won the Agri-marketing product of the year. The main idea behind the EZ-Steer was to offer machine control that was easily moved from vehicle to vehicle without the need for hydraulic connections."
The next logical step is a sub-inch, RTK (Real-time Kinematic) repeatble Autopilot system. This allows a farmer to plant, fertilize and harvest any row crop with precision. Autopilot is a Trimble trade name for their hydraulically integrated GPS machine control systems. Del said, "Once again depending on the receiver being used, Autopilot performs like the EZ-Steer except it uses hydraulics rather than an EZ-Steer motor." RTK is a technology using a network of GPS units, mobile units, radio frequency and base station that computes instantly to a vehicle by means of gyroscopes and accelerometers inside the navigational controller. Del said, "The advantage of the Autopilot with a dual frequency receiver and hight update rates, connected to the vehicle hydraulics is that it can repeat an accuracy of plus or minus one inch on a row, in any field pattern 95 per cent of the time, day after day and year after year. A critical part of the equation for precision faming is that the implement being pulled is calibrated too, so it pulls exacly behind the tractor. The exact width of the implement also needs to be known." Del said, "There are degrees of accuracy using GPS and that depends on the type of receiver used. The level of accuracy desired with depend on a producer's personal needs. We hear a lot of people talking about low cost and high accuracy; including sales people. The two do not go hand in hand and the limited knowledge of the product by consumers and sellers with continue to define the success of the systems being sold."
Types and accuracy are: Autonomous: within 5-15 meters DGPS: .2-1 meter XP: 20 centimeters HP: 10 centimeters RTK: 1 centimeter (the ultimate in accuracy)
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