Case IH, which is at the forefront of developments in Advanced Farming Systems (AFS®), has appointed Ross Macdonald as AFS Specialist/Training Coordinator. Based at Case IH UK’s offices in Essex, he will work closely with the company’s network of dealers throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland to keep them informed of the latest developments in this exciting technology, as well as providing training for specialist engineers.
Having achieved a Higher National Diploma from the Scottish Agricultural College, Ross gained extensive experience on a wide range of farms all over the world, including vegetable, arable and livestock operations as far afield as Australia and Canada. Returning to the UK in 2007, he initially worked for a 5000-acre farming and contracting business in East Anglia before joining a company which provides precision farming solutions to the UK agricultural industry. Managing a team of engineers installing GPS guidance systems, steering and product control solutions, Ross was also responsible for the day-to-day running of the RTK Farming Network.
“Advanced Farming Systems are the most significant development in agriculture since the advent of mechanisation. The influence of this technology is increasing at a very fast pace, with AFS now being standard-equipment on farms which are looking for the highest levels of control, precision and productivity,” Ross states.
He adds: “Just five years ago the market for AFS was limited to a relatively small number of larger vegetable producers and arable farmers who could justify the cost. Today, up to 95% of large arable farms now choose RTK-based AFS systems, not only to achieve pinpoint-accurate guidance but increasingly as the basis for complete Controlled Traffic Farming systems as well as variable-rate seeding, fertiliser application and spraying.
The wider choice of AFS systems and competitive pricing allows a much wider range of customers to benefit from this type of technology. Increasingly, smaller mixed and grass-based farms are seeing real benefits from AFS, choosing cost-effective entry-level systems to enhance the productivity of operations such as mowing and fertiliser spreading.
The key to any GPS system is not just the initial quality of the product but also the back-up service available from the supplier, as this is critical to its ongoing reliability, availability, performance and accuracy.”
All new Case IH 230 series combines, Quadtrac and Magnum tractors are supplied guidance–ready, together with some Puma models. All Quadtrac models feature a display screen as standard. A key benefit of using Case IH products is that AFS solutions can be retro-fitted to all models, so the advantages of this technology are not limited to those who purchase new equipment.”
The comprehensive range of Case IH portable AFS solutions can be tailored to individual farm requirements. In addition to its Auto Guidance systems, which include AFS AccuGuide, Cruise Cut laser guidance, Autopilot and EZ-Pilot/EZ-Steer, the company also offers variable rate/section control through the AFS Pro 300/700 and FM 1000 displays, together with Field IQ™ Implement Control. Case IH also offers harvest control solutions through the AFS Pro 700 display, which provides universal yield mapping/moisture monitoring and data management via AFS software and AFS Connect Telematics technology.
Outside of work, Ross enjoys a range of sports, including rugby, football and golf, and is currently studying German and Portuguese.