Preparing for Harvest with John Deere Devices and Gatekeeper

Pre-Harvest Gatekeeper Check-list

For those customers using Gatekeeper alongside John Deere Devices, our Gatekeeper Support Manager, Andy Wolff has put together some notes to help users make the most of the software at harvest time.

If you have any queries about using Gatekeeper software or preparing for harvest please call Software Support on 01594 545040 or email gatekeeper@farmplan.co.uk

Gatekeeper provides the ability to import, manage and view yield data maps and recordings from a range of compatible in-cab display terminals. As well as Gatekeeper, a user will require the additional functionality:

  • Farm Mapping module
  • Precision Farming Actual

Setup in Gatekeeper
There are a number of key areas that need to be set up on Gatekeeper before exporting setup data and importing yield data into Gatekeeper:

  • Setup Primary Output products – these will be the products that are harvested and traded.
  • Setup Implements – in order for a record to be generated for the combine harvester working as well as the crop that is being harvested an Implement (header) must be setup. In addition, you can setup a Tractor Unit (Combine) to be recorded in the harvest record.
  • Link John Deere Crops – this is a MUST and is done in the Setup Crops and Varieties window and allows the export of fields to the cab display. Failure to do this will result in no fields being exported to the cab display.
  • Create a Harvest Work Plan – this allows imported yield data to be organised and imported into Gatekeeper in the most efficient manner. Ensure the Harvest Work Plan has been issued with 1 harvest product to be traded per job.
  • Setup the Device – this is the in-cab display terminal that data will be imported from. This is setup from the device module. If you have more than one Combine or intend to use multiple USB sticks/data cards you should add a uniquely named Device for each one. This allows each USB stick/data card to be identified by Gatekeeper and prevents import problems that may otherwise occur.

In addition, there are also areas in Gatekeeper that can be set up in Gatekeeper prior to harvesting in order to assist with managing data. Alternatively, this data may be available from the yield data.

  • Field Boundaries – to be linked to a cropping record in Gatekeeper.
  • Guidance lines – to be linked to a cropping record in Gatekeeper.

Please also remember that when importing yield data, there are a variety of options that can assist with managing the data such as

  • Preview imported data by the job
  • Clip job plots to field boundary
  • Auto find job field by GK Boundary

Be aware that using Auto find job field by GK Boundary can slow down the loading of the data but can highlight potential issues with operators not selecting to start a new field when recording the next fields combining by duplicating the file line in blue text.

Please refer to the John Deere Devices Quick Start Guide for detailed information on the Setup, Import and Export of data between Gatekeeper and your John Deere Greenstar device. Some of the tips below refer to specific pages in the Quick Start Guide (QSG). The John Deere Devices Quick Start Guide (and others) can be downloaded from Gatekeeper Help and are found within Available Downloads>Quick Start Guides.

Setup on Combine and In-cab display

  • Clean down USB and carry a spare encase of loss of damage.
  • Clean down the internal memory of the Cab display so only the current years cropping is loaded and you are storing yields from the current year only. Importing data from USB sticks containing multiple year’s data is very confusing.
  • Ensure that the Moisture Meter and Mass flow sensor are clear of debris. Material can get caught behind the Mass flow Sensor which will affect yield calibrations.

Tips in the Field

  • Ensure that you have selected the correct field name within the Harvest Plan. If you have not created a Harvest Plan, select the correct field name before entering the field. As soon as recording is switched on, data positions are stored. Recording can be turned on by your header resume switch, so even when you are putting the header onto the combine, points could be logged under the wrong field name thus affecting field boundaries.
  • Calibrate each machine separately as they will not necessarily all use the same cal factor.
  • If possible calibrate the machine for each crop and even each variety.

And Finally…

  • Always import the first yield map file for each crop to make sure that your Combine is recording correctly – do not go through your entire Harvest only to find you have not recorded any yield data!