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Agriculture and Forestry GPS and Guidance Equipment

Tilling and harvesting can be difficult, grueling work with many repeated rows and runs. GPS and guidance equipment make work easier and enhance accuracy. With guidance systems, you can track work you've done, highlight problem areas, and automate farm machinery.

What does GPS do for agriculture?

Precision agriculture refers to farming methods that use guidance equipment. The term acknowledges the use of GPS to make agriculture more precise and, therefore, more efficient.

There are many possible uses for GPS guidance systems, depending on individual needs. In general, these uses tend to be divided up into three basic categories.

  • Guidance: The first option uses GPS-based applications to create a map of your field. These detailed maps add more information and accuracy than you will find on a standard GPS map. Depending on farming needs, basic guidance includes rows to be done, rows completed, and problem areas. Forestry professionals can use mapping to track trees to be cut or left alone. You can map details like weed or pest control as well as dry and wet patches.
  • Semi-Automated: The second option includes everything in option one and still requires a human being to operate machinery at all times. In this case, however, GPS-based applications automate some of the process. For example, you can use GPS together with automated steering to keep tractors driving straight until the end of a row. You can also use GPS systems to increase or reduce fertilizer distribution in key areas.
  • Fully Automated: The third option means using GPS guidance systems to operate machinery such as automated tractors with no human intervention. In this case, all you do is set up the machinery and the system, and it does the rest.
What kind of information can applications map?

Most farming guidance systems will know a surprising amount of information about your field right away. As a general rule, your GPS system will let you know about any changes in elevation, including minor dips in the field. These systems also give valuable information about field dimensions, optimal row-sizes, and soil quality. With a little effort, you can add crop placement, weed control measures, and other measurements to the map.

What parts are there for guidance systems?

Depending on your guidance system and how it interfaces with machinery, you can find accessories that will fit most devices. If you're looking for new power cords, cables, or harnesses, always verify first that your system uses standard-sized parts.

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