GPS Tracker For Farm Equipment
GIS/GPS Positioning System For Precision Farming
When GPS tracking emerged in the mid-90s onto farms, the application was limited: yield mapping for crops. Now about 15 years later, GPS technology has made significant in-roads into the way crops are planted which enhances crop yields even further. Today, GPS technology can be used for precision farming, asset security and more. Regardless of the application, GPS manufacturers are now including the wiring and mounting spaces for GPS trackers that are built specifically to hold these units upon tractors or other farming equipment. Also, these tracking devices are performing important functions in the planting process that adds specificity heretofore not enjoyed by the farming community.
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Farming GPS Technology
Not your average off-the-shelf GPS tracking devices, these units perform specific functions in the tilling, planting and harvesting of crops. The key in all of this is in the minute detail and control that is possible.
GPS trackers work with tractors to control steering and plant density in the planting process. The steering control allows tillage, planting and harvesting to be performed on the identical path through a given field. What this means is that greater control and accuracy allows farmers to conserve fuel. Also, the planting density allows them to extend yields and get more out of each acre of ground.
Another important feature is called row command. This allows rows to be placed according to the mapping of a field with high precision so that there is no overlapping and waste of seed.
GPS Benefits for Farmers
All of this comes down to these very important principles: fuel savings, lower seed waste, reduced hours on equipment, reduced man-hours (takes less time) which results in less stress in the complete process on each field.
This is what is known as precision farming and it comes with a hefty price tag which is based upon the accuracy of the planting system. The lower accuracy costs the least – about $10,000 for down to 10-inch accuracy, about $16,000 for 4 inches and $20,000 for accuracy down to the one-inch level.
Farming GPS Tracking Benefits
But dealers point out that there is a return on this investment in the ways mentioned above. Plus, equipment that is outfitted with these devices sells for higher prices on the used market.
Farmers must view this as an investment in their farming operations that will help them increase their income from the additional accuracy afforded to them.
Important in this process is the continuous capturing of data from the fields. This takes years of mapping during each growing cycle. As this data is compiled, it is used to make small adjustments that bring larger profits. The adjustments come in the form of planting rates, fertilization application including spray programs.
Repeatability and consistency are proving to be very important components of improving farming operations profitability. GPS tracking has many uses now and will continue to make its presence known in the coming years in the agriculture industry. However, the solution often described as “The Best GPS Tracker For Farm Equipment” is nothing more than a simple live tracker that records activity while providing theft-security.
The connection to the rest of us is that GPS monitoring devices are having an impact on our world in a myriad of ways. From the food that ends up on our tables to the assets that we track, we are being made aware of their presence and benefits.
GPS Tracking Helps Agro-Business
In an age of consumerism that places increasing emphasis on technology-oriented products and services, it is easy to forget that agriculture forms the backbone of success for virtually everything on our planet. Without the efficient and safe production and selling of food crops, our ever-expanding world population would not be able to sustain itself. Rural farmland is becoming increasingly scarce as we continue to expand housing and commercial developments across the globe, and this expansion calls for farmland experts to make the most of the land they have and in the timeliest manner possible. In India, fleet tracking professionals in the consumer goods and retail sector are turning to the application of GPS trackers to reach out to rural farmers in hopes of bringing the end products their crops produce to market at a much quicker rate.
Marico, a company involved in the procurement of large quantities of safflower seeds for the production of sunflower oil, covers almost 80,000 acres of farmland spread across seven Indian states. Because of the vast distances between farmers in remote areas, Marico’s GPS fleet tracking and procurement managers wanted a system that could not only help their representatives in locating farmers but also allow them to be monitored. By developing a GPS tracking application for the cell phones of Marico’s field representatives, the company’s IT department can now plan and monitor the routes of 120 of its employees, as well as gather real-time data from farmers. When a field rep takes photos of crop and soil with the device, GPS tracking data obtains the coordinates and allows Marico to monitor the progress of contract farmers, seed information, and weather conditions. While a query from Marico’s fleet tracking managers in charge of deploying field reps to address crop procurement issues used to take 10-15 days to address, with the instant online availability of GPS tracking data this time has been reduced to a mere 24 hours.
Additionally, Marico has implemented a management information system (MIS) that connects all its distributors, allowing its fleet tracking managers to keep track of inventory and reference real-time GPS tracking data to see if a certain distributor’s stock is in need of replenishing and respond accordingly. Future Group, India’s largest retailer with over 1,000 stores across the nation, allocated GPS tracking devices into its fleet of over 600 trucks following the successful implementation by Marico, one of its primary clients. With so much depending on the future of the agribusiness sector of our global economy, India has definitely made the right choice in bringing modern technology to the most rural of places across the nation.
Sage is a freelance writer with a background in information technology.