Trimble announced it is adding a Variable Rate Application (VRA) option for its AgGPS EZ-Guide 500 lightbar guidance system. The VRA capability provides site-specific application control allowing farmers to apply inputs such as fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia (NH3), and seed only where it is needed and at the rate needed to reduce costs and improve agriculture operations.



The VRA option allows the user to input a field prescription map into the EZ-Guide 500 system. The system reads the data, sends the appropriate rate information to the application controller and applies the appropriate amount of inputs to the field. The EZ-Guide 500 VRA option is compatible with the Trimble EZ-Boom as well as a variety of popular rate controllers, such as the Raven 400 and 600 SCS series, Hardi HC5500, Rawson ACCURATE as well as other rate controllers.



Trimble's easy-to-use and affordable VRA option means variable rate application is not just for agronomists and custom applicators. Once a user has a prescription map in an industry-standard SHP file format, loading it into the EZ-Guide 500 is simple via a USB flash drive. EZ-Guide 500's VRA easy-to-use features and price is designed specifically for farmers and custom applicators alike. Adding VRA to a farmer's existing EZ-Guide 500 is a US$750 option. The payback on the investment can be rapid, considering that some fields can yield up to an US$88/acre benefit in saved input costs.



"In today's agricultural economy, with falling commodity prices and rising input prices, farmers need a variety of cost-efficient technological alternatives at their disposal," said Erik Arvesen, Trimble's general manager of Agriculture. "Single-product variable rate is a rapidly growing and accepted practice that is helping farmers reduce costs to maximize profits. The variable rate option allows the user to place the optimum amount of product in the specified location to help farmers find the perfect balance between productivity and input costs."



An excellent tool for individual farmers and custom applicators, the VRA option is available for the EZ-Guide 500 lightbar system only. Entry cost for the optional VRA capability is MSRP: US$2,995 for the EZ-Guide 500 plus US$750 for VRA option totaling US$3,745. The VRA option for the EZ-Guide 500 lightbar system is expected to be available in March 2009. For more information visit: www.trimble.com/agriculture