Trouble in the sky?


For those of you who use GPS in your farming operations (and I’m assuming it’s most of you), take note: There’s a battle royal underway between companies providing GPS services (and agriculture is at the front of the line) and a new technology company attempting to build a brand new wireless network across the country.

There’s even a coalition of companies that has organized to deal with the issue. It all has to do with radio signals and the spectrums that these devices use. According to Coalition to Save Our GPS, this issue is “a serious threat to the reliability and viability of the Global Positioning System (GPS) – a national utility upon which millions of Americans rely every day.”

The coalition says the Federal Communications Commission recently granted a waiver to a company called LightSquared to repurpose the satellite spectrum immediately neighboring that of the GPS. This, the coalition contends, could potentially cause severe interference with GPS receivers.

I found an interesting article that provides a good general assessment of the situation from a non-ag viewpoint. It’s a good read.

Most every farming operation now has some type of GPS device, from a harvest monitor to full-fledged precision planting equipment. So the stakes are potentially huge. We’ll keep you updated.

So speaking of GPS, what’s the newest technology you are implementing on your farm? And how has GPS changed the way you farm?