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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Computer Geek GPS Farmers

It's pretty remarkable, where you'll find computer nerds these days, but farmers in tractors certainly had to be one of the last. I live in a pretty agricultural area, once I'm out of the city, and it never occurred to me, that farmers would make more use out of computers, than doing their accounting. But, in reality, they use it for all sorts of things, probably the coolest, is to put their tractors on auto pilot. Using GPS technology, more specifically Trimble GPS technology, combined with some pretty sophisticated software, farmers are putting their tractors on auto pilot. Apparently, by using GPS technology, and plowing, cultivating, preparing, and harvesting fields can be done incredibly more precise. This is important to farmers, as it means less time driving a tractor over the same section of field. That results in fuel savings, and manpower savings. By having computer driven GPS receivers in a tractor, that tractor can actually drive itself. I'm not sure if the farmer stays in the tractor as well, but it would seem a little safer to me. You'd hate to see a tractor run amok, and end up trying to plant peanuts down the highway. Trimble seems to have things worked out pretty good though, so that doesn't happen.

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