Bringing the GNSS Age to Agriculture

One of the oldest human activities-farming-has become the beneficiary of one of the world's most recent utilities, GNSS-aided positioning, navigation, and guidance.

Indeed, pioneers in the agricultural industry began adopting the new technology nearly two decades ago, exploiting differential GPS methods well before the elimination of Selective Availability allowed civil signals to provide full accuracy to users. Early uses included monitoring yields during harvest, soil sampling, and variable-rate applications of fertilizer and pesticides.

Today, centimetre-level GNSS positioning using real-time kinematic (RTK) techniques and digital maps enable farmers to implement automated guidance of field equipment and pinpoint applications of chemicals to reduce the cost of labor, equipment, and fuel in the competitive agricultural marketplace.

As a long-time innovator in precise positioning, NovAtel brings not just technical but also human resources to bear on the challenges of its customers. Among the company's strategic business partners in this sector is the Brazilian agricultural equipment manufacturer Stara S/A, whose customers produce such commodities as soybeans, corn, wheat and cotton.

As a true original equipment manufacturer (OEM), NovAtel provides board-level receivers that Stara engineers integrate into the Brazilian company's machinery. This partnership highlights NovAtel's depth of experience in the agriculture business sector, the flexibility of its solutions, and the supplier's willingness to align closely with customers over the entire cycle of design and production.