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Ed Groholski, who farms close to 2000 acres in south central Michigan, can tell you a thing or two about the evolution of GPS.  His first experience was in the late 90’s using a GPS receiver to access WAAS satellites for manual guidance jobs.  Today, Ed uses a combination of satellites and cellular technology for his GPS corrections.  Connected to his Trimble® FmX® display, the DCM-300 modem uses cellular technology to improve his repeatable pass-to-pass accuracy.  There is also the added benefit of maintaining a higher level of accuracy throughout the day – ideal when using his Trimble Autopilot™ automated steering system.  “We like the flexibility of the DCM-300 modem because it can use a third party correction service (such as CORS) while using the same data plan for wireless data transfer,” says Ed.  Data transfer between the field and farm office can include A-B guidance lines, field records, yield maps, as-applied maps, and other important data.  The modem data plans (Verizon or AT&T) are also available through Trimble which eliminates the guesswork when using the technology for the first time.

Farm Works Software® has been the backbone of his operation since 1996.  Importing yield data and printing various types of field reports on his computer has allowed him to analyze his data and make better management decisions.  Ed also understands that the Connected Farm™ plays a key role by integrating his data with his FmX display and Trimble Field-IQ™ system.  “I can control variety locations and sections on my planter with my Field-IQ system and transfer all of my data back to the office to print reports at the end of the day,” states Ed.  Connecting the field to the office for the upcoming Fall harvest will also be easier this year.  Ed quickly points out, “Seamless data transfer of yield maps from the FmX display to the Farm Works Office software will allow me to worry about one less thing in the field.”  The ability to eliminate the USB data stick for transferring data is a big time saver for Ed.

When asked about where he sees himself in five years in regards to precision ag, Ed chuckles in excitement about the possibilities.  “It’s crazy.  One of the other aspects that we are looking at is the field tiling system, which can be upgraded with an unlock code using our existing technology.”  Ed would like his FmX display to automatically control the drainage machine to install tile in the right place at the correct depth and slope, ensuring optimal farm drainage.  It is the next logical step in pursuing a Connected Farm. 


For more information about the Connected Farm, please click here.

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