How it works
Founded by four South Cambs. farmers, RTKs principle ideal is to create a cost effective system enabling reliable coverage 24/7.
RTK (Real Time Kinematic)
RTK (Real Time Kinematic) is the use of fixed position base stations to enhance the accuracy of GPS systems by transmitting signals that correct positioning errors caused by the Earth’s atmosphere.
Fixed RTK base stations, as the name suggests, have a permanent position which never changes. This position is transmitted to the Tractor which can then correct its own position, which constantly varies, and align it to the base station. Therefore creating the most accurate position. .
As the base stations never move it is possible to create fixed traffic lines in fields as the recorded GPS positions are repeatable and will always be in the same place.
The range of RTK Base stations is limited to 15 Kilometres. This is due to the fact that both the vehicle and Base station need to be receiving positioning information from the same GPS Satellites in order for the process to work. As this range is often too small for farms that are spread out over a larger area or indeed contractors working on many different farms, RTK Farming has installed a network of Base stations supported by repeaters that allows for much wider coverage.
RTK Farming Ltd was founded by a four South Cambridgeshire farmers; Edward Banks, David White, Andrew Crossley and Chris Ascroft. They joined together to make a robust and affordable GPS RTK network, initially to cover their own farms. Its principle ideals were to create one of the first RTK networks in East Anglia that is cost effective and most importantly, did not limit the individual farmer to small areas of coverage; ensuring that as far as is possible every field had reliable coverage the whole time.
Starting with just five base stations, the network quickly grew as more famers adopted the technology and it became more mainstream. Now with over 100 Base and repeater sites covering 4 million hectares throughout the East of England, RTK Farming is the largest and most robust RTK operator in the UK.
This is achieved by using a network of base stations and repeaters. The Network does not rely on base stations operating at their maximum range, but with overlap from neighbouring bases and repeaters providing robust coverage. Unlike many other signal providers, by using a Trimble signal RTK Farming Ltd customers are not restricted by brand or colour of machinery they control as Trimble Precision Agriculture equipment has been designed to be as universally compatible as it is technologically possible. It is also factory fit for 4 manufacturers and preferred choice for many dealers.ultricies augue, ac porttitor leo nibh vitae velit.
Using a RTK you gain accuracy of +/- 2cm. This means that that your overlaps can be reduced to 0.33% on all machinery passes (this compares to approximately 4% using manual techniques).
By upgrading to a RTK network signal you will be guaranteed year on year repeatability. Using standard GPS auto-steer equipment using a global correction signal, vehicles can drift between 0.5 – 1.5m, but with RTK this simply does not exist. As a result a ‘Controlled Traffic Farming’ system can be utilised, minimising soil compaction, improved soil structure and subsequently reducing tillage.
With absolute accuracy on all machinery, fuel costs are dramatically reduced as well as a substantial increase in work efficiency. It has been shown that the potential savings would be £19/ha on seeding and fertiliser applications alone (ref: HGCA Research Review 71). No infrastructure costs to you.
Reduced Driver Fatigue
By using a GPS auto-steer system driver fatigue is reduced substantially improving the operation of the equipment.
By having RTK GPS systems, variable rate applications can be applied, tailoring the requirements of the growing crops to their needs. Patch spraying herbicides or areas requiring additional PGR can be programmed.