ESSP – a European Satellite Service Provider – has visited a European cereal farmer in Salamanca, Spain, to take a closer look at a real life example of how satellite navigation systems help farmers to reduce CO2 emissions, as well as save time and money.
The company looked at how EGNOS, Europe’s regional satellite-based augmentation system, today plays an important role in European agriculture, helping farmers to increase their productivity while being more sustainable for the environment.
They have produced a video of the cereal farmer’s testimonial describing how EGNOS supports him during a crop campaign by facilitating various tasks such as ploughing, fertilizing, sowing and spraying.
EGNOS, has a sub-metre level accuracy (20-30 cm pass-to-pass), and offers an affordable solution for some of the field works required today by precision agriculture.
It allows farmers to better monitor their harvest yields, perform effective in-field data collection, use guidance in cultivation, increase efficiency (allowing to work in poor visibility/weather conditions), increase productiveness, lower costs and minimise environmental impact – all with minimal investment.
As Fernando Benito, the cereal producer in the video says, “EGNOS allows me to save time and money during all the tasks carried out as it is very precise in the guidance, therefore it allows a correct dissemination of fertilizer and phytosanitary products, thus avoiding overlaps and faults. It is very easy to use and to configure, therefore it helps me save time”
To benefit from EGNOS service, all you need is an SBAS-enabled antenna and a receiver properly configured to receive the signal. For those interested in equipment configuration details, guidelines can be downloaded here. You can also download GEAR, an interactive (and free) virtual demonstrator which, in a friendly way, allows you to experience in an entertaining way some farming tasks under different weather conditions while showcasing the benefits of EGNOS for machinery guidance.
If you want to calculate how much money you save thanks to using EGNOS in your farm, try the “EASE tool“. This software provides cost-benefit analysis by comparing the results achieved through an EGNOS+GPS guidance versus a “GPS alone” one.
That is why Fernando Benito, the cereal producer, also added: “I can say that EGNOS is the tool that meets the requirements of my crops at low cost. It provides me with the precision I need at all times throughout the season, so I would recommend it to other cereal farmers.”
The agriculture sector has been one of the fastest to use satellite navigation services in recent years. This is confirmed by the fact the vast majority of agricultural GNSS devices, on board farming machinery on the market today, are EGNOS enabled and it is becoming the preferred entry level technology for a sustainable precision agriculture in Europe.
The European agricultural industry can count on this free and public service which is part of the GNSS programmes owned by the European Commission and managed by the European GNSS Agency.