Ontario Agriculture

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GPS Corrections and Their General Uses

After many years of precision agricultural use, many questions still exist of what is the correct correction for each operation.  I have listed the corrections available and a brief description of their uses.

Wide Area Augmentation Signal (WAAS) –

Accuracy: < 6-8”

Initialization/Convergence: Standard*

This free service provides performance suitable for agriculture applications in which accuracy and repeatability are not of the highest concern. It's most popular for broadacre crop spraying and tillage applications.

Omnistar XP-

Accuracy: 3-5" (8-12 cm)

Initialization/Convergence: Standard*

An OmniSTAR® service for high-performance broadacre spraying and land-tillage applications in which the vehicle will be operating in areas with open views of the sky at all times. OmniSTAR XP requires a convergence period at startup.  Omnistar XP is most popular for boom shutoff systems on sprayers and tillage applications.

Omnistar HP-

Accuracy: 2-4" (5-10 cm)

Initialization/Convergence: Standard*

An OmniSTAR® service suitable for high-performance broadacre seeding, spraying, and harvesting applications in which the vehicle will be operating in areas with open views of the sky at all times. OmniSTAR HP requires a convergence period at startup.  Omnistar HP is popular for broadacre planting, spraying and harvest solutions.

Trimble’s RTX-

Accuracy: 1.5" (3.8 cm)

Initialization/Convergence: Standard*

The new Trimble® CenterPoint™ RTX™ Correction Service delivers GNSS enabled, repeatable 1.5" (3.8 cm) corrections via satellite or cellular network directly to your receiver anywhere in the world. CenterPoint RTX works with the built-in GNSS receiver in your existing Trimble FmX® integrated display, CFX-750™ display, or AG-372 GNSS receiver.  Trimble’s RTX is becoming increasingly popular with cash crop planting using row controls, side dressing, no-till operations, small veggie crops where size does not dictate RTK investments.

RTK Base or Cellular-

Accuracy: < 1" (2.5 cm)

Initialization/Convergence: < 1 minute

CenterPoint RTK is well suited for row-crop planting, strip tilling, land leveling and other water management applications in which the best horizontal and vertical accuracy is required.  Repeatable accuracy is available anywhere, with cellular/base station systems.  Advancements in base station technologies now allow for no line of sight restrictions, and distances up to 20 Miles.

Agricultural GPS systems are no longer about straight lines, it is about intregration into your operation, your future plans and increasing profitability.  Data acquisition, yield mapping and variable rate application are all becoming main stream to today’s farmers.  Without properly installation, calibrated and training you will not be able to maximize your investment.  Ensure you make the right choices, your yields will thank you.

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Paul Smith is the owner of Northern Equipment Solutions and based in Central Ontario, Canada. Providing Quality Potato Equipment, Precision Agriculture and Other Advanced Equipment, Northern Equipment Solutions ensures that your profits and yields are maximized. www.northernequipment.ca or sales@northernequipment.ca

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Comment by Iain Robson on January 3, 2013 at 5:55am

Awesome, thanks very much Paul.

I will look into it. For a small initial investment, it could improve yields, which would be huge.

Also, the new website looks great.

Comment by Paul Smith on January 2, 2013 at 11:52pm

Generally WAAS is a good starting point for any precision purchase, it can cover some of your less accurate requirements on the farm including some planting, sprayering, manure application and fertilizer spreading all areas where accuracy will have very positive returns in quality and reduced costs of inputs

Comment by Iain Robson on January 2, 2013 at 8:40am

Great post Paul. 

Which one would you suggest for a starter gps?

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