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GPS and Agriculture. FRS 142 Casey McComsey. Traditional Thought. FARMER + TECHNOLOGY = …. Traditional Thought (cont’d). Utter Confusion. Yesterday’s Farmers Plow Fields With Mules Rely on Posts and Outdated Maps Work Sun-up to Sun-down. Today’s Farmers

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GPS and Agriculture

FRS 142

Casey McComsey


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Traditional Thought

FARMER + TECHNOLOGY = …



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Yesterday’s Farmers

Plow Fields With Mules

Rely on Posts and Outdated Maps

Work Sun-up to Sun-down

Today’s Farmers

Flip on Autopilot and Take in the Scenery

Have Real-time Maps on an LCD Screen

Work 24 Hours a Day if need be

A Brave New World


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GPS Applications

  • Field preparation, Planting and Cultivation

  • Fertilizing and Crop Protection

  • Mapping, Scouting, and Sampling

  • Harvesting

  • Planning and Analysis



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The 3 P’s—Prep, Plan, Cultivate

  • Increase productivity driving straight, centimeter-accurate swaths

  • Save Time driving faster and more accurately, even in reduced light

  • Precision Planting of Seeds


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The 3 P’s (cont’d)

  • Multi-tasking laying drip tape as you create a crop bed

  • Create and Maintain Detailed Records

  • Overall Best Utilization


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Fertilization & Crop Protection

  • Optimization

  • Less fertilizer or protectant material and apply it only where it's needed.

  • More Efficient than the Old Method 


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Mapping, Scouting, and Sampling

  • All About Data and Details

  • Optimize Water Management

  • Scout Crops and Collect Map Data


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Mapping, Scouting, and Sampling (cont’d)

  • Map and navigate around field boundaries, point, line, or area features

  • Map hard-to-reach features from a vehicle or airplane

  • Accurately scout crops and navigate to weeds, pests and diseased areas


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Harvesting

  • Monitor the quality of harvesting operations

  • Minimize fuel and other costs with more accurate driving

  • Maintain detailed records of harvest operations

  • Create yield maps


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Planning and Analysis

  • Easy to use software packages

  • Eliminate a lot of guess-work

  • Accessible when it’s needed—on location


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RTK Technology

  • Real-Time Kinematic

  • Pioneered by Trimble in 1992

  • Sub-meter DGPS Accuracy Not Enough

  • RTK offers centimeter level accuracy

  • Currently also used for mining, survey, and construction applications.


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RTK II—What is Needed?

  • Base Station on Known Surveyed Point

  • 1 or More Mobile Receivers w/in 10 km Range

  • UHF, VHF, or Spread Spectrum Radio Link

  • Radios Work Best w/Line of Sight Visibility



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RTK III—How does it work?

  • Base station transmits corrections via radio to the mobile receivers in the field

  • RTK base stations transmit data once per second

  • Data in format called CMR (Compact Measurement Record)

  • Dual frequency data format transmits data in a more compact and robust way than other formats


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RTK IV

  • Track the Second Carrier Phase Signal

  • This Signal Allows for Trimble RTK to lock into Higher Accuracy

  • Also Initializes More Quickly


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RTK vs. DGPS

  • RTK Requires 5 Satellites to Initialize, Can Work w/4 – DGPS 3, works well w/4

  • RTK Requires a Dual Frequency Receiver

  • RTK needs one minute to initialize/DGPS immediately

  • Accuracy of cm’s in 3 dimensions—RTK

  • Sub-meter accuracy in horizontal position only—DGPS

  • RTK must have own base station in 10 km range

  • DGPS can use base station, correction service provider, or free radio beacons


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Trimble GPS Products

  • AgGPS 252 Receiver

  • AgGPS EZ-Guide Plus Lightbar Guidance System

  • ApGPS EZ-Map Software

  • AgGPS Autopilot


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AgGPS 252 Receiver

  • 12 Channel GPS Engine

  • RTK

  • Highly Portable

  • 5 lb Design


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AgGPS EZ-Guide Plus

  • Lightbar Guiding System

  • LCD Screen

  • Eliminates Weather Concerns/Low-Light Worries


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ApGPS EZ-Map Software

  • Runs on Handheld PCs and PDAs

  • Mapping Software Helps at All Stages of Production

  • Great Way to Show Proof of Work to Customers/Investors


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AgGPS Autopilot

  • Steering Assistant

  • Must Have Driver Present However

  • Connects to Tractor’s Hyrdaulic Power Steering System


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“We use the AgGPS PSO for straight guidance, headlands, and A/B lines. Our efficiency before and after getting our PSO is night and day, literally. Optimally, with the PSO we can do 1200 acres a day.”

Darryl and Kyle Cochrane

Cochrane Spraying, Canada

Testimonials

“With GPS, we are quicker and have increased our work-load within an 8-hour workday. The GPS swathing system lets me do more work per day than I was doing before.”

Tommy Barham

JT Barham Farming


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That’s all folks. and A/B lines. Our efficiency before and after getting our PSO is night and day, literally. Optimally, with the PSO we can do 1200 acres a day.”


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