Reaping benefits of technology efficiency on their holding in Cork
Father and son use the latest GPS tracking systems to improve
Cork farmer Richard Vickery and his father Robert run an arable farming business from their base just outside of Dungorney, Midleton, Co Cork.
Renting a substantial amount of ground to grow spring wheat, barley and beans, Richard employs the latest in GPS technology from agricultural equipment manufacturers to assist in accurate and efficient crop production.
Having recently changed over to CaseIH tractors, supplied by local dealer Lynch and McCarthy, Richard uses two CaseIH Puma 225 CVTs for all key tillage operations. Richard took delivery of the first of the Puma CVTs last summer, and this he has equipped with the latest generation CaseIH branded Trimble GPS guidance and steering systems -- the EZ Guide 500 and the EZ-Steer unit.
"I originally had GPS maybe 10 years ago, and back then the kit cost about €5,000 to buy and maybe €1,000 subscription every year. That was only for the standard EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) system, which wasn't very good for precision work like drilling, but OK for fertiliser spreading etc," says Richard.
"So back then when we were buying our new drill we bought it with pre-emergence markers on it for the tramlines," he says.
Before the sowing season this year they bought a new trailed Amazone 6m Cayena 6001 pneumatic coulter drill. To assist in accurate driving for drilling, Richard subscribed to the latest level of GPS accuracy correction for his EZ Guide 500 and EZ-Steer steering systems.
There are different levels of GPS signal accuracy available out there from the free EGNOS system, which offers a level of positional accuracy of about 15-30cm (about 6-12 inches), down to about 2cm (around 1in) on a subscribed GPS system with ground-based correction to improve the GPS accuracy.