A Farm Progress report shows that farmers need to keep an eye on their precision ag equipment, such as auto-guidance monitors and antennas.
An ag store in central Illinois was set to send some equipment for field demonstrations at the 2021 Farm Progress show when a representative showed up to take the tractor there and couldn’t find the auto guidance monitor and antenna. Staff had calibrated the tractor the day before and left the equipment in the tractor. What they found in the tractor were cut wires and no auto-guidance parts. Across the entire lot, eight pieces of machinery had stolen antennas and monitors.
Near Atlanta, four tractors and five combines had their monitors and antennas stolen.
While no one is 100 percent sure, but the Farm Progress report says it’s either a quick way to make some money, or the computer chip shortage may be another reason behind the thefts. While the chips can’t be tracked, the stolen monitors and antennas can be disabled to stop anyone from using them with systems such as AFS Connect from Case IH.
The best prevention is locking up everything at night. Some farmers unplug their precision equipment at night, store it in a safe place and bring it back to plug in the next day to prevent theft.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)