East Yorkshire farmers Andrew Manfield and Peter Southwell are to bring in complete ultra-precise RTK tractor and implement steering packages that include the GPS signal and all the equipment.
The new company is called RTK Solutions and the packages are aimed mainly at farmers growing potatoes, sugar beet and veg, though the founders reckon the technology could appeal to a wider audience as time goes on.
The equipment and know-how all comes from Dutch firm SBG. It says that its guidance systems will steer any tractor or harvester, irrespective of make. They can also use any correction signal apart from John Deere’s.
A key part of the packages is active implement steering. This involves having two GPS receivers – one on the tractor and one on the implement. If the implement tries to slide sideways on sidling land (called “going off-track”), the GPS system will automatically bring it back into line.
This is ideal for producing accurately spaced beds for potatoes and other root crops, with steered ridgers, soil separators and planters all giving true tracking. It also opens up possibilities for ultra-precise band-spraying and mechanical weeding.
RTK Solutions will also offer SBG’s Autoplough system. This works with any vari-width plough and only requires a small adjustment to the plough itself. It uses the very accurate RTK signal to automatically widen and narrow the furrow width to cancel out driver-induced deviations and give arrow-straight ploughing. And you don’t need an autosteer tractor to use it.