Contour Farming

Hello everyone,
I’ve been reading on the forum and following the telegram group for a while, and am trying to decide if I am ready to get a system set up on my dads New Holland TG285. One of the big questions I have is how well the contour mode works. I havent been able to find much info from people that use the contour mode, but that is the almost the only thing we can use around here in southwest iowa where everything is terraced. Will I be able to get acceptable accuracy on a contour. Just looking for some real world experience. Thanks! Screenshot_20210115-083006

this looks crazy enough! I guess that if you drive it that way with the experience you have means there is no really other viable way to do it with a maximum of straight lines (easier for auto steer and less shears and tears on mechanical parts…)!

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A lot of our terraces are so big that we can’t drive over them, so we just grow grass on them. So yes we run as many straight lines as we can, but mostly we have to contour everything. We have a john deere system in our planter tractor that we are using now, but I’d like to try AOG in our second tractor…

Your field is a real challenge. Looking at google earth, seems typical for that area as you say.

I wonder how the curved waylines would look like in your example. Cannot see many waylines that would have another one next to it. Perhaps you would need to have one wayline that covers the whole field except headlands (need to interrupt auto-steer at corners). Wonder if AOG can (almost?) do it with the recorded path (how was it called)?

Well I need to play around with simulator some more, to get a better concept of how the contour waylines work exactly. Maybe there is a video somewhere that I missed that explains it? With our john deere system we usually plant a pass along a terrace and then another pass along the the next terrace down the hill. This creates two different waylines and we have the ability to make more passes beside either one, but we generally pick whichever one has the least amount of sharp curves and continue to make passes until we have planted everything between those to terraces. At this point we would only be using AOG for spreading manure, but if the accuracy could be made acceptable I would be very interested in using it for more than that in the future.


I had difficulties finding manuals for JD screens, one quite old website
explains JD screens supporting “adaptive curve track” and “A/B curve track” modes. I guess does not make a big difference on your example above.

AOG does handle contour waylines but you may have seen some discussions about the way the adjacent path is created. It is not exactly ideal in tight turns but for manure spreading it should be fine. Also I’m not sure if the on-going work for wayline tracking improvements would help with contour lines. Perhaps experts will comment this or you can try to find previous discussions on the topic to understand the challenge better.

I understand you are changing from one curve track to another where JD claims they make the change easy for the driver. I did not figure out how it exactly works but with AOG you would need to change from one curved line to another one using the screen menus and I feel it could be tricky to pick up the correct one from all the curved waylines for one of your fields. Perhaps if the waylines are named cleverly, you could mostly change between two adjacent entries on the list.

Looks like you even have some straight A/B lines for some parts of the example field. The current AOG version (I hope I remember this right, I hardly ever use curved lines) you select curved or straight lines and then select a line within the group. But I understood this is changing and all waylines would appear in one group. Better to check this and try to figure out if it helps wayline selection.


For this kind of field you can try the “contour mode” (in the red box), then select witch side AOG should search for a reference line (in the blue box)
aog contour

In this mode AOG will create a new reference line with the actual closest pass on the selected side.

You don’t have to create multiple AB curve lines and select them each time, just select the side to search for the line.
It follow the curves really well.
If you have your field and terrace saved in the boundary I think there is a way to drive the first pass in autosteer too(see “Make boundary contour” below).

Cons: Since it use the last actual pass, In my case if I was driving the lines in autosteer all the driving error seam to be amplified to the next line. I mostly drive one or two in autosteer then one in manual to straiten it up.
You cannot use the contour mode to drive a line next to an AB line or curve, there will be no reference line in this case.(if I remember correctly)

Also: there is the “Make boundary Contour” menu when you click on the boundary icon at the bottom.
If in remember correctly this will create some predefined pads next to the boundaries (very cool feature!) so you can even drive other the other paths than the next one.

The best way is to play with it in the simulator.
I think you can have very good results whit AOG, surely good enough for manure.

In v4.3.10 the AB curve lines are just parallel to the next one, not compensated for the curves.This is fixed in the Daniel’s version v4.4.10 see AB curve overlap

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With our john deere system we use adaptive curve which creates a path based on the last pass just like AOG contour mode, and john deere has some of the same issue that it amplifies the errors. One question I was trying to figure out is does AOG automatically search for a reference line on the selected side, or do I have to push button each time?

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Thanks Pat, I did not remember AOG had that mode, is it called contour mode. Every brand seems to call this mode differently, confusing.

Thanks also for the clarification on the curve line issues and the fix.

Pat did a good description of the contour mode. I also recognized that AOG amplifies the errors of the pathes driven before. Once, on rough terrain I had to stop contour mode on the third pass. You can’t simulate this on the desk. Also it is a little tricky at the sharp corners of the field, this you can test in sim mode. But over all my experiences with contour mode are pretty small. AOG automatically search for a reference line if contour mode is on, usually this is the last driven path (even when you drove it without autosteer on). If you want to start from boundary, you have to “make a boundary contour” first.

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After playing with the simulator some more, I think contour mode will work good for us. The video I attached below is an something that we deal with a lot, and John Deere has no way to select which line to follow (very frustrating), so AOG ability to choose which side to search for reference line is even better than JD! One more question that i havent been able to figure out yet. Is there any way to use a work switch to turn wayline recording off/on?

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This can be achieved with the IMP switch on the PCB, pin D7 on the Arduino. And off course on the screen!

Thanks for the info guys!