From Down Under to the U.S., TracMap Delivers Precision Spray Application

By Stephanie Metzinger W hen Colin Brown stepped off the plane into the soothing overcast haze that blanketed Monterey County’s farm fields, he knew this is where his agtech company, TracMap, had to be. TracMap originally launched in New Zealand in 2005, and after 10 years of success in offering growers a system that ensured the right fields, blocks and rows were being harvested, cultivated, irrigated, fertilized and sprayed, the company expanded to Australia and now to the Western United States. “For a medium-sized company coming out of New Zealand, the U.S. provided a huge market and opportunity for us,” said Brown, who is the founding director of TracMap. “The TracMap system was originally designed to meet the needs of pastoral farming in New Zealand, but over the last decade our technology has evolved. We’ve added cutting-edge functionality that better helps tractor drivers navigate in orchards, grape vines and berry fields.” TracMap is an in-cab GPS guidance and

job management system that allows drivers to spray needed crop protection products up and down rows with no mistakes. It prevents incidences such as unknowingly running out of pesticides and missing a block or missing a row completely when spraying at night. “We are all human and humans make mistakes, including tractor drivers,” said Brown. “But the consequence with accidentally missing a row or area that needed to be sprayed is that you don’t get 100 percent disease control on your crop.” Additionally, the system eliminates the clutter of paperwork, as all data and information is accessible online and stored in the cloud—software/services

that run on the Internet instead of on your computer. Having a cloud-based system also allows owners to have better visibility and more control of their operation. The TracMap system allows farmers to: • Create and Send Job Maps: With TracMap Online, farm managers can draw maps of the areas in need of maintenance, mark out hazards and assign job details (chemical, rate etc.). They can then wirelessly send all the information to their drivers from a desktop or mobile device to ensure that the drivers are in the right place, doing the right job. • Guide Drivers Using GPS: TracMap’s in-cab GPS display units accurately

Colin Brown (left) collaborating with agtech startups andWG's Dennis Donohue at the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology

A simple display makes it easy for drivers to know what rows they have sprayed

22   Western Grower & Shipper | www.wga.com   SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019

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