My head is spinning and so many ah-ha’s flying I’m heading back to watch it again
Hi. Thanks for the feedback. Yes it is pretty amazing to me still after 17 years working with GPS and GPS landforming. Thanks to USA and (Russia) for making this great technology available to help use feed the world in a more efficient and sustainable way.
I’m very interested in this concept.
Our farm has been leveling ground for pivot irrigation for the past 15 years and we have done without laser or gps
But i have seen come to realize how ineffiecent that is the past couple of years so am looking for software like opti surface am also looking at Farm works surface program.
We have trimble FMx Moniters in all our tractors we use them for rtk guidence and product controll those moniters can be unlocked to do Trimbles Water management or Field level II , does your software support export to the trimble FMX Moniters.
Hi. Thanks for the comment and questions.
Yes doing land grading by eye (no laser or GPS) can be done but it need a very skilled operator and they still can be guessing most of the time. I have read that the human eye can not distinguish grades below 1 to 2% so if you operating in this range you are probably guessing. However it was the only option for many undulating fields before GPS landforming came along because lasers were just too rigid or required too many setups to work.
You mention you are looking at Farm works surface program. Last time I looked it was only useful for tiling and ditching. If you want a 3D surface design then I am confident OptiSurface is the world leader currently.
It is good you have Trimble FMX’s. We have been working with Field Level 1 and Field Level 2 for over 5 years now with good success.
Great video Graeme! Looking forward to the next one.
Im working hard on the next one. Email you soon with it.
hm, the video isn’t playing for me, what’s up?
Try now. The video host site (Wistia) was down but up now.
The video does not play for me
It is working fine here. It may take a a few minutes to get started especially on a slow internet connection. What is you internet connection like?
Incredible! how can i get to use on my planned 300ha rice farm in Nigeria?
Nnanna – Thanks for your comments. Do you plan to grow rice on flooded rectangular bays?
Optisurface sounds like what we need to fix our drainage problems on 1300ha of dryland farming country in cental Qld. Can john deere gps systems be used to collect elevation data for use with opti surface?
Thanks for your comments.
Im glad the video made sense and you can see the power this technology has for solving drainage problems that we didnt have 10 years ago.
Yes – You can export data out of APEX and we can import it into our software. It is best if you have the later JD GNSS RTK receivers as the older ones can give some suspect readings. If you want to send me some data and can show you what we can do.
I will contact you via email to discuss further.
We are using GPS 3D already how will optisurface help us
Optisurface will allow you to take full advantage of your 3D GPS machine control equipment. Most of the design software available was written back in the laser days and hence assumes we still only want the planar designs that lasers need. However as the video above discusses, we are no longer restricted to these planer designs when we have 3D GPS machine control. The big advantage this offers is our designs can be curved on shape and follow the natural topography more closely which means shift a lot less earth and topsoil BUT still getting our fields to drain and irrigate uniformly. OptiSurface is very flexible in that you can ‘tighten’ the design parameters up and shift more soil and approach a planar laser type design if you want (maybe for furrow irrigation) or you can ‘loosen’ the parameters off and shift less and less soil but still ensure you will remove all depressions in the field (eg for dryland drainage). The choice is yours as the designer and you let the computer do the hard work. I hope this helps and contact me to find out more.
I am using hemisphere gear is yours compatable?
Thanks for the question.
At Optisurface our focus on being the best landform design software available in the world. We dont do machine control. We leave that to our partners and vendors and give them the opportunity to import our designs into their systems.
Hemisphere doesnt have a landform machine control product at present as far as Im aware. However there are products available that can work with Hemisphere GPS and OptiSurface designs.
If you want to know more, let me know.
I don’t sell it but I’m pretty sure AGPS systems work with any GPS.
The Trimble FMX will also allow for 3rd party NMEA import to perform the controls
Like the video. Sounds like what I have been looking for. I farm in Tennessee and I do not have flat fields but do have surface drainage problems. Have used a laser but as you know will work you to death. Now have a Trimble FMX1000 and ok but design work for multi slopes in single field is very difficult. I want to be able to survey and design then download to scraper tractor and operators not having to always be reworking ad tweaking. How much is the cost of software?
Thanks for the info and question.
Your situation sounds perfect.
>>’laser but as you know will work you to death.’
Yes lasers are very difficult to make work in anything other than VERY flat or very small fields.
>> ‘multi slopes in single field is very difficult.’
Yes Multiplane is very difficult to use with multiple grades unless you are very experienced with it and even then OptiSurface software will still typically reduce earthworks by 50%.
>>’survey and design then download to scraper tractor and operators not having to always be reworking ad tweaking.’
Yes thats how OptiSurface software works.
I will email you a link on costs.
George, I’m a Trimble dealer in Illinois and I have several years in Drainage experience with the FMX. most with sub surface drainage but I have 3 different customers on tandem scraper set ups for leveling which is what also brought me to Optisurface. If you need any help or service feel free to call or email. I travel to metropolis, IL area and union city, tn several times a year to customers.
Great video Graeme. looking forward to the next one.
do you have a french version
Or a OptiSueface Designer user geide french version. tank
Thanks for your comments. Sorry we dont have a french version of the video or the manual. However the OptiSurface Designer manual is also on our support site at support.optisurface.com and you could use Google Translate to translate it to French as shown here:
I hope that helps.
Very good basic information. This didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know, but to the average farmer or excavator, it is very good. real pictures instead of the white board would have been a little more clear I believe for some. There wasn’t any mention of how the land is graded. control system, manually controlled. gps alone won’t do the end user/operator any good if there isn’t a method of displaying it or controlling it.
Thanks for the comments. This was an introduction to the concept and the next video will cover more details on the process of survey-design and earthmoving/machine control. I better get this done.
This looks interesting. How much does it cost?
Hi. Thanks for your comment. You can visit our buy page which explains the pricing here:
love the Consept. Have used your program but I have some fields prepaired to level but in older version. Now wanted to reopen them in latest version to export again to use with A GPS Dirt pro. Disappointed to not be able to do that.
Jurg. Thanks for comment. Your best bet is to export them for the old version and get them into Dirt that way. Send us an email if your still stuck.
I see the likely application for earthmoving in higher rainfall areas, and for areas under sprinkler irrigation. Not sure about flood irrigation, would have to see what the software can do.
GPS guided earthmoving certainly has benefits. I do not accept though, your claim that GPS has a vertical accuracy of less than half an inch. That is simply not true. You can expect accuracy of up to 15mm-20mm in the vertical with survey grade GPS equipment.
We have many users in furrow irrigation. Not much in bay irrigation which you are talking about Im guessing. Drainage of unirrigated areas is a big market for us for sure but doesnt have to be high rainfall areas.
Regarding the GPS Accuracy: I know what your saying and it depends what reliability your talking ie 95% of the time (2 sigma) or 66% of the time (1 sigma). 1 Sigma or 66% of the time is generally half the error band for 95% of the time (2 sigma). So if your getting +-20mm with 95% of the time then you are probably getting +-10mm 66% of the time. So thats what I mean. Let me know any other thoughts.
seeing forward to the rest of the videos I’m laser level operator in florida
Jan. Thanks for the feedback. I better get those other videos finished.
Great beginning video hope to see more.
Thanks for watching Neil. I better get onto the next videos. Feel free to ask any questions in the meantime.
Very good idea
Yongyudth. Glad you think so. Let me know if you have any questions.
dear Graeme cox
again my lerning more about concept how i can visit this farm and
see it very used full for our region thailand and neibouring country
This is very good concept but last time i used laser grader (18 year ago) but only single slope. i dont like to move my soil. Not only big job but it moves my good soil.
OptiSurface is what I want. Tell me how.
Thanks for the comment. Yes laser grading can move a lot of soil unnecessarily. To take advantage of OptiSurface you need GPS scraper control system. I email you to discuss more.
It looks interesting. Are there any of your products running in South Africa?
Willie Hi. We have a number of users in Africa.
I can put you in touch with a user to get their thoughts.
What crops are you growing and where in South Africa?
Very interesting concept. I can see how this could help in many situations. We are mostly pivot irrigated and normal laser leveling is overkill. We have been running mostly land planes or floats to fill in small holes or gullies. I think this could take us to the next level of precision without moving a lot of topsoil.
Todd. Im glad you see the benefits of this concept too. We have quite a few clients using this concept in pivots. It dramatically reduces the earthworks required to remove depressions and smooths out short steeper slopes. Land planes and floats are a good start as you say but to remove larger depressions and smooth longer slopes you need to go to GPS landforming.
Very interested in the next training aid. I began leveling land in 1984 with lasers. I used to set up 6-8 times in the same field to grade land on the contour. This program sounds like it will save me a lot of time, diesel, and earthwork!
Hi David. Thanks for the feedback. Lasers were a great leap in agricultural earthworks and I feel GPS will cover even more acres over the next few dacades. I will get my sales manager in Arkansas to contact you to see how he can assist. Regards Graeme Cox
Hi Graeme, as a previos ricegrower I found the the video very informative. We started levelling paddocks by eye with small drag scrapers, then land planing and then laser levelling and got to setting out and designing our paddocks and bays to the size and slope we wanted. We have used an outside contractor with fiedlevel 2 and can see that it is a great improvement on laser systems. I can see many advantages as a contractor with optisurface design software and look to the next video.
Jeff. Thanks for the comments and good to chat on the phone today. I better get that next video done.
This looks like what I have been looking for. I have been working for 20 years now trying to improve drainage but just the last few have we been putting in irrigation. We have about put in all the pivots we can and now are looking at some of our smaller creek bottoms to furrow irrigate. I would like some more information on OpitSurface. I have a Fmx 1000 setup on a pan.
Thanks Bill. Glad you found us. I will get our Agricultural Earthmoving Expert, Preston Marthey, to contact you.
This is a low level approach to describing what is to happen and why. There are producers that would like to hear much more detail, and producers that would want less detail and more assurance that the system will work. Your sales presentation and personnel are in place to do that. What will it do, what are the costs, how much material does it take to do the job, how long does it take to set up, and what storage of information do I need to get back to the job? Answer these questions easily, and demonstrate the speed and ease of operation, and the system will sell itself. Hope to set up the software and work the system soon. Sid Hobbs
Thanks for the feedback Sid. I have planneed to have 2 more videos with extra details but have had problems finding the time to put them together. You feedback here will help define what we need to cover. Thanks again.
Grame, We have used laser leveling for years in central floridia. Trying to get the “old timers” to except a better way. Got a GPS setup for our Case 550 quad track and works well but no software to design in the office, (doing so on the monitor is relitivly tough) besides when the tractor is running fuel is burning! Want to be able to design and download into the tractor to maximize time. Hopefully your software is the answer, I’ve heard that Multiplane is like a 27 piece screwdriver!!! not for me computer skills are not my calling, hence the reason im a farmer not an exec!! Hope to see more soon. Please send me pricing information and local support is avaliable i hope.
Ken, Sounds like your looking for single plane designs. While OptiSurface can do these, our real unique strength is our 3D variable grade design capability that generally saves a lot of earthworks comapared to single plane designs. Anyway Preston, my sales manager will be in touch. Thanks.
This sounds exactly like what I need right now. I really am trainable.
Please send me some information.
Thanks William. I have asked the OptSurface Sales Manager firstname.lastname@example.org to contact you.
We have been running Trimble WM (pretty amazing what it can do in the field), but from the beginning I have been asking Trimble/Farm Works and AgLeader/SMS to come out with a program that works with the lay of the land for good drainage instead of moving so much good topsoil. This program appears to be exactly what we have been looking for. Hope it can do what we want.
Thanks Tony. Glad you have seen the need too and have found us. Look forward to helping you get the full benefits of this technology.
Great concept David and Graham. Recent flood years means I need a complete regrade across previously developed paddocks. Maybe I can smooth out some of those grade changes within paddocks (some have up to three grades)! Other areas where the cut and fill are 2000M apart we have put off finishing because of the cost inefficiency with such a long haul, let alone the compaction. Maybe we can have a crack at it now!
Glad you agree. We have many fields laser graded with 3 or more grades per field too. We are gradually re trimming them with OptiSurface and the results are good. And yes the transition get smoothed out.
PS We have revamped our website and shifted the training over to here http://www.optisurface.com. You may want to resubscribe or feel free to contact us so we can help you get cracking!.
Looking to learn more on your software and be able to apply it in the Mississippi Delta region for soybean operations. I currently use commercial land development software but I need to get up to speed on OptiSurface as quickly as possible for my ag clients. Look forward to more videos. Thanks again.
Thanks for the comment Cameron. We’ve asked the OptSurface Sales Manager email@example.com to contact you.
Farming in ND and using Trimble WM system with FarmWorks software for surface drainage. It is a great program for getting drains in with least amount of dirt moved when following the natural lay of the land. But we are looking for something to level/smooth between the surface drains without moving a lot of topsoil. Can be done manually but would like to have some help with the design so the operator is not making the decisions as it would already be done by the computer and the model will be loaded into the FmX. Using a 30 foot leveler with independent side to side height control, (requires tandem scraper control system running simultaneously). Will you system work for this application?
Thanks for the comments.
OptiSurface Designer is compatible with Trimble FmX, generating the machine control file (.gps file) so operators won’t have to make decisions manually. Send the field survey (multiplane.txt) you wish to be designed to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to do a demo design for you and if you like it you can pay for it then.
Great video, Hopping to learn more.
Sounds good want to learn more
Thanks for the comments. There are two more videos coming your way continuing the discussion in this video. We’ve also sent your contact details to our Global Salaes Manager, Preston and you can also call our Managing Director, Graeme at +61 0405 686 425 to discuss.
Sounds good, want to learn more.
Concept makes a lot of sense. A no-brainer really, I look forward to finding out more.
the concept is interesting presently laser levelling is more popular in India. Want to promote GPS levelling would like to know more about Optisurface .
hi , I love the concept of what your saying , to follow the natural downhill flow of the land but just fill the minimum amout to keep the flow ( drainage )
Awsum video very helpful currently my operation has JD surface water pro works great but is very time consuming I want a program that can simplify my data and spend less trips across the fields currently to build a levee in a field it takes 4 trips across field to do each levee then 3 more trips on same level to build it to our dementions. So what can this program do for me?
Sorry and we are working off RTK also.
Comment form Richard Saunders:
Very interesting video. Would like to learn more. I currently use laser equipment. I not only do land forming on farmland but also site work for multiple chicken houses. I can see how OptiSurface would greatly speed up both operations.
Thanks for the comment Richard. Glad you like it. The next videos should explain even more.
can optisurface be used with Topcon equipment and agform 3d
We can do something with TopCon, we’ve sent you an email for details.
Fantastic concept very applicable to broad acre farming with poor surface drainage.
I would like to know more
Hi Scot. Thanks for the comments. More videos will be coming your way soon, watch out for our emails.
hello will have the video in spanish ?
Hi Ramiro. Unfortunately, these training videos are in English only. But our Online Courses have Spanish captions and will soon have other translations as well.
which is the value of optisurface ? I drive automatic guided John Deere and I would like to use component optisurface with John Deere to level my fields . sorry my English is bad use google Traslate
Are there any growers in Victoria that i could visit to see results? Preferably dry land.
Hi Will. Thanks for the comments. We’ve sent an email with our answer.
Have you applied OptiSurface to any nonirrigated lands in Alberta, Cananda??
We got one job on the go there now. Do you have any data we can take a look at or latitude/longitude so we can view it in Google Earth and give you our thoughts?
Have you applied this technology in pakistan?
Hi Noman. Thanks for your comment. I believe this technology has not yet been used in Pakistan. You can be the first!
Graeme, A couple of basic questions. 1. 600mm rainfall farm. Pasture, occasional crops. Will probably add pivots. Would your design use similar slopes for both non irrigated and irrigated land? 2. Would enjoy doing the landforming myself, but costs could be too great. Only small farms here, 300-400ha, What size equipment needed & set up costs. Possible off farm income also I suppose. Thanks, Mal
Thanks for the message. Graeme has read it and asked me to reply.
>> Would your design use similar slopes for both non irrigated and irrigated land?
Ideally you should have more uniform slopes for furrow irrigation versus Pivot irrigation and Pivot irrigation versus dryland. For OptiSurface this uniformity of slopes is determined by the minimum and maximum slope settings and smoothing setting to some extent.
This reason for this is driven by earthworks cost & top soil movement versus desire for better drainage and infiltration uniformity. Higher value crops can afford to move more soil (and even strip/replace topsoil).
>> What size equipment needed & set up costs?
For a smaller drag or ejector scraper (to suit a 230HP tractor) and GPS control system with Base station your are probably looking at AU$100k+ new.
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