Use of GPS Tracker in Farming

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The Global Positioning System (GPS) provides modern-day farmers immense opportunities to more precisely manage their land and crop yields. The common names for general GPS applications or GPS tracker in agriculture and ranching include precision agriculture and prescription farming.

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The GPS applications in farming include guidance of fertilizer applicators, sprayers, and tillage implements to reduce excess overlap and skips. The farmers can also use them to locate soil-sampling sites precisely, map weed, disease, and insect infestations in fields, apply variable-rate crop inputs, and record crop yields in areas in conjunction with yield monitors.

GPS Tracker in Agriculture

GPS tracking technology that use GPS tracker has been helpful in many fleet management applications. But now it is becoming famous for agriculture asset management. Whether you are looking at farm income data, involved with pest management, spending time producing agricultural goods, or simply one of the billion individuals who purchase farm goods from a store.

There will always be a vested interest in the farming industry. All of us have some form of vested interest in the efficiency of the global farming industry. More efficient farmers will lead to more crops that they will be able to produce. If crop yields are maximum, the result will be a reduction in the cost of food. 

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People will spend less money at the grocery store, and then they will have the disposable income to spend and stimulate the economy. It is difficult to find someone who could find a real reason why it would be wrong to increase crop yields. However, it is challenging for farmers who already utilize almost all the available tools. This is where GPS vehicle tracking systems can assist when it comes to agriculture asset management.

Individuals working in the farming industry are some of the more hard-working people in the nation. They wake up at dawn and toil hard until the sun goes down. Farming means more to these people than simply the production of goods. It is a centuries-old way of life that is vital to the successful function of our society.

The farmers tend and utilize the land to produce the maximum amount of crops to feed the people in their communities and the nation. However, there are always alternative ways to increase the efficiency of farmers while protecting farming equipment, and GPS tracking equipment provides that solution.

GPS in Agriculture -Equipment Guidance Systems

Lightbar-guided and automated steering maintains precise swath-to-swath widths. Using GPS positions and a control module, guidance systems identify an imaginary starting line, circle, or curve for parallel swathing. The guidance system includes a display module that uses audible tones or lights as indicators for direction for the operator.

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The guidance system allows the operator to monitor the lightbar to maintain the desired distance from the previous swath. It requires two principal components:

  • A lightbar or screen
  • An electronic display for showing a machine’s deviation from the intended position
  • A GPS receiver for locating the position 

The farmers can use GPS receivers for guidance with a yield monitor or other positioning equipment. Automated steering systems can integrate GPS guidance capabilities into the vehicle steering system. Automatic steering frees the operator from steering the equipment except at corners and the ends of the field. The guidance systems base prices are about 3000 USD, including the GPS receiver and the readout unit. Systems which steer the vehicle will be more expensive.

Rugged GPS Tracker For Anti Theft

GPS tracking system is one of the great tools for farmers. The units could provide a way to quickly recover expensive farming equipment if it is stolen, thereby enhancing the efficiency of farmers working in the fields. The farmers who equip live GPS trackers to their farming equipment can have constant remote access to their expensive machinery.

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The best part about using sophisticated agriculture asset trackers is that these tracking devices can alert the farmers if their equipment is moved by sending an email alert or simply a text message. Farmers can be at peace knowing that their farming equipment is safe using agriculture asset management technology. Moreover, the rugged GPS trackers are waterproof and engineered with magnetic surface mounts to be placed on any piece of farm equipment, thereby boosting anti-theft security.

Although agriculture asset tracking systems are more associated with fleet management applications, the technology moves fast into the agriculture industry. This could be something we all benefit from, especially when the agriculture asset tracking technology can be a critical factor in increased crop yield.

GPS in Agriculture – Yield Monitoring Systems

Yield monitoring systems usually utilize a mass flow sensor for continuous measuring of the harvested weight of the crop. The sensor is generally located at the top of the clean grain elevator. As the grain is sent into the grain tank via a conveyor belt, it strikes the sensor. The amount of force applied to the sensor is called the recorded yield. While all this is happening, the grain is being tested for moisture to adjust the yield value accordingly. 

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At the same time, a sensor detects the header position to determine whether one should record yield data. The width of the Header gets entered manually into the monitor, and a GPS, radar, or wheel rotation sensor determines travel speed. The data is then displayed on a monitor. The monitor is located in the combined cab and stored on a computer card for further analysis. The yield monitors require regular calibration to account for varying crops, conditions and test weights. The Yield monitoring systems cost about USD 3,000 to USD 4,000, which does not include the cost of the GPS unit.

Agriculture Mapping with GIS and GPS

Smart farmers can use GPS technology locating and mapping regions of fields. These regions include high weed, disease, and pest infestations. You can also record rocks, potholes, power lines, tree rows, broken drain tiles, poorly drained regions, and other landmarks for future reference. Extensive usage of GPS happens for locating and mapping soil-sampling locations, thereby, allowing growers to develop contour maps showing fertility variations throughout fields. The different datasets are added as map geographic information systems (GIS in agriculture). GIS programs are used to correlate and analyse information between GIS layers.

GPS Tracker in Precision Crop Input Applications

GPS technology varies crop inputs throughout a field based on GIS maps or real-time sensing of crop conditions. Variable-rate technology requires a computer controller, a GPS receiver, and a regulated drive mechanism mounted on the applicator. 

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Variable-rate technology varies fertilizer, seed, herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide rates and adjusts irrigation applications. Thus, the cost of all of the necessary components for variable rate application of several products is approximately $15,000, which does not include the cost of the GPS receiver. It costs about USD 4000 for the technology capable of varying just one product.

The GPS System

Locating positions precisely on Earth is not a new phenomenon. From times immemorial, sailors, navigators, sailors, explorers, and surveyors have done this for centuries as they explored around the world. All the maps display longitude and latitude or coordinate projection. Consequently, the coordinates give unique addresses on maps using specific coordinate systems.

Agriculture scientists use a geographic system of longitude and latitude measured in degrees or a Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system that locates positions in meters measured from a specific point. Additionally, the sensor uses measured distances to the precisely located GPS satellites to find places on Earth. Hence, the radio receivers in GPS units monitor radio signals broadcast from the GPS satellites. 

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Farmers can use GPS position to determine – simultaneously measuring the distance to at least three satellites.  Computers in GPS units use data from the radio signals, including broadcast time and unique satellite information, to calculate positions. Moreover, the data from at least four satellites are used to compute the elevation. Signal reception from more satellites increases the accuracy of the position.

The global positioning system comprises a constellation of 24 systematically arranged satellites orbiting Earth in six orbital planes with four satellites in each plane. Additionally, the satellite orbits are approximately 12,500 miles above Earth. GPS receivers usually receive signals from eight to nine satellites without obstructions such as buildings or trees.

Farmers And Agribusinesses Utilize GPS Guidance Systems

Farming businesses can benefit from using vehicle tracking devices. These devices protect expensive farming equipment from theft or unnecessary wear and tear by the employees’ unauthorized use of farming equipment. These are all positives, but GPS-based applications are doing even more to assist farming businesses.

Tractor GPS navigation systems can auto steer heavy equipment. Even the guidance systems can act as field navigators, making it easy for farmers to conduct the most efficient field operation. GPS tracker systems are also extensively used in smart agriculture and livestock monitoring.

Many times high yields are the results of optimum conditions provided by mother nature. But at times,  there are conditions when where a dry summer and delayed wet harvest occur. But under these adverse conditions, the farmers were still able to produce corn crop with an average high yield. 

Given below are some of the following key areas where the GPS system are efficient:-

  • Soil sampling
  • Weed location
  • Accurate planting
  • Determination of planting ratios
  • Creation of yield maps
  • Harvesting: Determination of areas that are ready for harvest.
  • Locating a yield map
  • Environmental control
  • Farm planning
  • Field mapping
  • Crop scouting
  • Machinery location
  • Machinery direction

Conclusion

Intelligent and modern farmers are now using GPS tacker systems to micromanage their fields. They can sample soil, identify pests, and diseases. Therefore , the farmers could quickly identify the level of nutrients and moisture on the soil with the help of GPS.

Smart precision based agriculture using sensors focuses on developing devices and tools to manage, display and alert the users using the advantages of a wireless sensor network system. Smart farming refers to managing farms using modern information and communication technologies to increase the quantity and quality of products. While optimizing the human labor required smart farming has a real potential to deliver a more productive and sustainable form of agricultural production. it is based on a more precise and resource-efficient approach. New farms will finally realize the eternal dream of mankind. It’ll feed our population, which may explode to 9.6 billion by 2050

In summary, GPS tracking, monitoring, and navigation equipment allow farmers to easily manage every portion of their land,. Thereby, using fewer resources while increasing production. Therefore, using GPS tracking and navigation technology, farmers will continue to modernize farm techniques and breaking production records.

2 thoughts on “Use of GPS Tracker in Farming

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