Ray Norris manages the family owned and run macadamia orchard, Alloway Macadamia in Bundaberg, Queensland. Wanting to increase yield, he installed the TracMap system because it allows him to collect yield data from the orchard, and wirelessly send it to the office.
“I am looking forward to being able to identify the areas that we will get more ‘bang for our buck’ in yield improvement.“
– Ray Norris, Farm Manager, Alloway Macadamia
Before TracMap, Ray had used manual data collection techniques, “We have been collecting a lot of yield data in an attempt to optimise our management of the farms. This has been very time-consuming and cumbersome.” Ray has more confidence now he has decided to transfer to a more reliable, automated system, “We believe TracMap will greatly reduce the time we spend on our yield records and enable us to produce more meaningful information.”
Before Ray chose to work with TracMap he had his doubts, “I was unsure if the technology would work in the tractor with operators that are more used to sledge hammers than computer screens. I also had doubts about whether the GPS would work in an overgrown orchard.”
After assessing the different systems available on the market, Ray explains, “We looked at a couple of different options, all of which were very good. TracMap being a more ‘off the shelf’ product gave us the sense of security around backup and troubleshooting. And to date, this has proven to be true with very good service being offered. “TracMap is also very cost effective. The fact that it can be used for a lot more than just yield monitoring makes it even more affordable.”
The type of receiver used in the TracMap TMR300 GPS unit means the system works under most canopies of dense trees and can reliably send all the yield data Ray needs back to his computer or mobile device for analysing.
So what drove the decision to use the system? “The need to get our data into a more visual and usable form. Spreadsheets are fine, but a heat map with different shades is much easier for fertiliser spreader operators to understand.”
To ensure Ray could easily collect yield data, load cells were needed, “One of the issues we had was setting up our machines with load cells. This is not part of TracMap, but obviously, it is required to collect the data but we had great support from KerFab in the design and installation advice for our load cells.”
Ray can see the growth potential working with TracMap, “I am looking forward to being able to identify the areas that we will get more ‘bang for our buck’ in yield improvement.” Looking to the future, Alloway Macadamia is planning to expand their application of precision farming using TracMap, “Although it is not setup yet, I am hopeful that we will be able to use it for our pesticide application records as well.”