A wheat, chickpea, sorghum and cotton farmer from Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia, has faced many challenges over several years including extreme long-term weather patterns of drought, flooding and wildfires. And, most recently, the pandemic disrupting the supply chain. Another notable challenge: managing the correction services budget during financially challenging times.

 

Weighing the Benefits

Looking for more precise positioning results, farmer Anthony Brennan worked with Vantage New South Wales to connect his Trimble CFX-750 guidance display and Trimble AG25 GNSS antenna with Trimble’s CenterPoint RTX subscription service. CenterPoint RTX delivers horizontal positioning accuracy of 2.5 centimeters (one inch) or less, pass to pass, year over year, with the versatility of satellite or cellular delivery. With no base station or radio needed, Brennan uses the satellite delivery option and gets to work without having to set up additional equipment. He also needs not worry about internet blackspots due to cell tower overload or other causes of connection outages.

During the drought of 2018/2019, Brennan decided to downgrade from CenterPoint RTX to RangePoint RTX to reduce costs. While RangePoint RTX did the job for general spraying and field maintenance, Brennan found the year-to-year repeatability wasn’t adequate.

For a controlled traffic farming operation like Brennan’s, the difference between two- and 50-centimeters year over year repeatability meant a loss of repeatable accuracy. “Once our seasons returned to normal with reliable rain patterns, we just weren’t getting the repeatability we required, especially in our summer crop and tram-tracked fields,” added Brennan.

Journey Back to the Center(Point)

Even after two years of absolutely no cropping through the drought (this time was spent maintaining controlled traffic operations for weed spraying), Brennan was able to maintain the crop stubble within the pre-existing tramlines using RangePoint RTX, which in turn retained topsoil and improved moisture retention. This is, of course, critical when minimal rain is received.

But, once weather patterns returned to normal and planting accuracy was critical, Brennan needed to rely on a higher level of guidance accuracy to plant the crops at correct row spacing, as well as to maintain weeds with inter-row cultivation or spraying operations. This led Brennan to switch back to the repeatable accuracy of CenterPoint RTX, making it simple to maximize the fields, seeds, fertilizer and other products used in crop farming.

“Having used both Trimble RangePoint RTX and CenterPoint RTX over the years, I’ve seen real advantages to the additional accuracy CenterPoint RTX provides,” said Anthony Brennan.

This year, Brennan upgraded his sprayer with Trimble’s Field-IQ crop input control system. “The extra costs we’re saving on chemical inputs combined with the accuracy of CenterPoint RTX are really starting to add up.”

 

Anthony Brennan, Photo Credit: ABC News Australia

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