The Grade family at Eldorado utilizes an auto-steer system on some of their equipment. The Real Time Kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation system is used for planting, hay harvesting and as a guide for their tile plow.
They are able to move the system from one piece of equipment to another.
RTK is a technique used in land survey and in automatic guidance of farm equipment based on the use of carrier phase measurements of the GPS signals where a single reference station provides the real-time corrections to the tractor or combine to a level of accuracy down to a centimeter.
The RTK system consists of a local base station near the field or farm that transmits corrections to the StarFire 3000 receiver on the RTK System equipped vehicle.
The base station monitors the constellation of GPS satellites and continuously calculates a position.
Those farmers who toured Roger Grade's farm at Eldorado recently had an opportunity to see the system and learn more about how it works and its many applications.