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Rain and Technology

Depending on the area of the country you are in, you may be somewhere between finished with planting and still trying to put on NH3. It has been an interesting spring, with weather holding up things in some places, and others having near perfect conditions. For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, you know I have been testing some new technology hooking my autopilot to the Iowa DOT RTK network. This is done with a cellular connection to my tractor which then logs into a specific IP address provided by the Iowa DOT and gets network RTK correction messages. Through many different firmware updates, I believe we are getting somewhere. I had posted a while back from my mobile phone about a field I was in and couldn’t get any cell phone signal, thinking that was the problem and wasn’t able to get corrections.

Although this is a very big problem in some fields and the question still remains as to what you do in these areas, I don’t think that my initial observation was completely correct. I made it back to the same field where I was previously having some problems, this time to plant soybeans. With no bars of signal to one bar, I was able to maintain RTK fixed. This was a great improvement over what I have previously seen from this same unit. This is a tough field to get reception in, and I was very impressed that I could get the unit to work at all here.

As of right now, I am rained out with a few hundred acres of soybeans left to plant. I will keep everyone updated as I get to test this technology more.

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