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Contributor

Auto steer for smaller operations

What's everybody's opinion about the value of auto steer technology on farms of less than 1,000 acres?  I found a guy selling a barely used EZ steer system for $4,500...new price is $5,500.  I think his price needs to come down a little bit.  For the right price is this a wise thing to think about buying?   I'd use it for tillage and harvesting soybeans.  I hire help in the spring and fall that would benefit from me having it.  I know it would improve the efficiency of the operations that it is being used for.  The only thing is....I'm having trouble seeing this as anything more than a luxury.  A neighbor always says "buy what ya need, not what you want".  What do ya think?

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Auto steer for smaller operations

I consider pre-plant spraying, tillage, and broadcasting fertilizer as the main beneficial uses.   Might take a few years but certainly anticipate you could get back the investment and then some return.   Likely this "older" technology will not be worth much in the not so distant future; most will have RTK intergrated on newer machines, so figure it isn't going to have a lot of residual value.   I suggest four thousand or perhaps thirty five hundred is a more attractive price, and would readily buy it.

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Re: Auto steer for smaller operations

Buy it!  I farm 200 acres andd bouight a new EZ guide  500   last year and its my  best investment since the sprayer.  I'm looking for a used auto steer for this season.

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Contributor

Re: Auto steer for smaller operations

I figured if I could increase accuracy by 3% for all tillage operations and soybean harvest, it would take me 7 or 8 years to pay for the investment.  I'm guessing the hardware wouldnt last much past year 10 so in my case, according to todays calculations, itd only be about a breakeven investment.   I'm still hashing it over. 

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Contributor

Re: Auto steer for smaller operations

I farm 550 acres and have a JD Greenstar system. It started out as yield mapping on my combine. When Deere came out with the "steering wheel" system for older equipment, I bought it. I use it to plant, spray, spread fertilizer and harvest. It may have taken a couple of years to pay for itself, but I wouldn't want to be without. When I can look back at the planter for extended periods of time and see problems while planting straight, stop and fix it, its almost priceless. I don't have to wait for the corn to come up to see the problem.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Auto steer for smaller operations

I have looked at also and kinda have the same view as you, it would be a luxury, i think that until times like last spring where it got so wet that i spread dry fertilizer with a spreader and it was pretty evident where i missed spots, and overlapped in others. We dont have our own sprayer, but if we ever get a sprayer im going with one, im not sure you can afford not to. I would go with automatic shutoffs also. 

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