If you’re new to Launch Pad or looking for simple answers to simple solutions, this guide will help you learn more about our software and its features.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
First, we create a very accurate field boundary for each of your fields. We prefer to do this using historical coverage data collected by your machines as that tends to be the most accurate picture. We can also work with you to create field boundaries as you’d like. The important thing to remember is that the more accurate the boundaries, the more accurate we can get your optimized guidance package resulting in greater savings.
Using the most accurate boundaries possible, we will work with you for any conditions around how you would like to operating within the selected field. We can optimize for such things as shortest North-South, shortest East-West, least number of turns, etc. Once we know how you want to farm your fields, using our proprietary algorithms, we generate the optimized guidance package and send them to you. We leave it to you to load them directly into your machines so you can ensure the right packages are in the right machines. Afterall, it isn’t very optimal to have a sprayer running the guidance package meant for a combine.
Can you just use my boundaries I’ve already created?
The accuracy and precision of the boundaries is very important in ensuring a grower gets the full benefit of optimized guidance lines. Many growers have boundaries created for many purposes in the management of their operation but those boundaries are not always accurate enough. As a result, we prefer to create our own boundaries utilizing your historical operating data to ensure you receive the maximum benefit.
You talk about improving sustainability of farming, how does First Pass do this?
The promotion of sustainable farming is core to who we are at First Pass. Our product helps this by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fuel consumption, fertilizer application and soil disturbance, simply by driving less. In addition, fewer passes means less soil compaction which in turn means better crops.
What are the benefits of running First Pass?
First Pass helps growers more use their equipment more efficiently. We help save the grower real money by reducing fuel, inputs (such as seed and fertilizer), wear and tear on the machines and labour costs.
The most important thing we save you is time – the one thing you can’t buy. By reducing the number of passes in each field and streamlining much of the organization around running multiple machines in the same field together, you’re able to get more done in the same amount of time. After operating across almost 3 million acres with a variety of operators and field types, we found that EACH machine adds and average of 2 passes in EACH field. We have received feedback from some of our growers using First Pass that their machine production has increased 10%-15% compared to the same machines without First Pass. This all adds up to getting more done in tight timing windows or having capacity to expand your operation without additional equipment.
My GPS already does this so will there be any savings to me?
Many GPS systems contain a guidance line feature. However, they do not provide OPTIMIZED guidance lines and many do not sync across all of your machines in the field at the same time. Our proprietary process and algorithms provide a better set of guidance lines that you can then input into your GPS to get the best of your equipment’s features and the best of First Pass. We don’t replace your GPS, we make your GPS better.
What other information do you need?
In order to run our algorithm we need to know your equipment type, dimensions of the equipment you will run as well as the field boundaries described above. We also want to know if there are any specific ways you wish to farm a particular field, such as north-south; east-west or If there is a particular angle you would like to farm the crop. For instance, if your crop has become lodged, you may wish to approach it from a specific angle.
Does First Pass work with all types of equipment?
First Pass can work with a wide variety of equipment brands and GPS systems. Today, First Pass is well integrated into the John Deere operating system and many operators of John Deere equipment speak to how easy First Pass is to use on their JD equipment. We are working hard to integrate First Pass across all equipment brands with the same ease of use as enjoyed by John Deere operators. In the meantime, First Pass can be used with your equipment using manual input of very precise GPS coordinates or loading files with USB drives.
How do you measure the savings?
We look at specific historical data from your farm and evaluate the difference in machinery movements prior to using First Pass and then with First Pass, which allows us to calculate the real savings for your farm. No guessing, real measurements that show you real savings.
Do you work with any manufacturers GPS Systems?
Yes. Our guidance packages can be used with any newer GPS system that lets you input starting coordinates or download pre-planned guidance maps. Some systems are more streamlined in this process, such as RTK or SF3, and we continue to add additional integration functionality each month to ensure as seamless an experience as possible.
How easy is this to integrate on my farm?
Integrating First Pass into your operation is seamless. From an operator’s perspective, you will see virtually no difference in how you utilize your GPS assisted steering systems that prior to First Pass. Because our optimized guidance packages are inputted into your existing GPS system, your ease of use should be the same as using randomly selected AB lines.