After harvest and late-fall fieldwork, farmers may be tempted to park their equipment in the shed and take a much-needed winter break. farmers probably remembered to winterize their machinery, but they may have overlooked the need to winterize their precision ag technology. Here are some tips to ensure farmer monitors and sensors continue to function next season.
1. Bring technology indoors.
Although precision ag technology is ruggedized to protect against harsh field conditions, the temperatures that we often experience during a Midwest winter are low enough to potentially damage the electronic components of in-cab displays and sensors such as the GPS receiver. Remove them and store indoors to protect them from the winter weather. Even if your equipment is parked in a protected area, it may be wise to remove sensors and store them to protect against rodent damage.
2. Export and backup data from cards
Winter is a great time to pull this season’s data off data cards and/or in-cab displays. It’s a good practice to create a backup of the raw data before beginning to clean and process it. Come up with a good method of organizing your data and stay consistent from year to year. This will make analyzing, sharing, and storing it easier.
3. Make repairs
Inspect your equipment especially wiring harnesses for damage. Weakened cables and damaged components can be ordered and replaced now to help avoid the frustrating slowdowns that occur when they fail in-season.
4. Contact dealer about firmware upgrades for technology
Making needed updates now can simplify your list of things to do before field work starts next spring.