With a particular precision!

For the first time in the Kursk oblast, AgroCentre tested the Trimble RTK base station offered by NivaControl, the company engaged in the development of precision farming systems. Andrey Shtubov, Product Manager of AgroCentreLiski, will tell us about the experiment.

‘What does Trimble offer to agricultural producers?’

‘The USA-based Trimble company is a pioneer in the field of navigation systems used in various industries including agriculture. Trimble applications support GPS and GLONASS signals and also have their own correction signals, which makes them most accurate. The RTK station, which is being tested on the Challenger tractor, provides such correction signal or the so-called differential correction.’

‘Why does one need correction signals?’

‘The GPS signals are not accurate enough to be employed in the agriculture; therefore, corrections are used to improve the GPS signal accuracy. Trimble pioneered RTK in the early 1990s as a means of delivering high accuracy corrections for field applications.’

‘How does the RTK operate?’

‘To transmit the RTK correction signal, a farmer needs a mobile station, a radio-modem and a navigation kit installed in the tractor. The location signal from the satellites reaches the station; the receiver processes and transmits it to the navigation system of the tractor, which corrects the signals and displays the data. The RTK station covers a 15 km radius keeping the position accuracy of 2.5 cm.’

'What benefits does the system have?’

‘The main advantage is that the RTK signal ensures high accuracy of the whole farming operation cycle from tillage to harvesting. While the RTK is very useful for farms specializing in growing row crops and requiring the highest precision at sowing, spraying and harvesting, it is simply indispensable for no-till and strip-till systems. The RTK signal provides accurate data even on challenging terrains, which was proved by our testing: the tractor drove uphill intentionally, and the RTK signal displayed extra accurate speed, time, direction and, most importantly, it did not lose connection with the satellite and demonstrated 100% consistent reception. The RTK is a one-time investment. You are not required to pay a monthly subscription fee for each tractor. A number of tractors can use one station. It is compatible with machines of any brand and output. It should also be noted that the number of RTK networks worldwide is increasing at a rapid pace, therefore the RTK coverage quality is improving constantly. Currently, the Trimble RTK networks cover over 200 million hectares in the USA and about 500 million hectares worldwide. The next testing of the RTK in Russia is planned to be conducted in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic.’