A SATELLITE circling high above the earth is helping a farmer save time and money by keeping him on the right track.

Glenn Robinson, farm manager for H & R Hudson, of Wick, near Pershore, is using the latest RTK guidance system, supplied by Chris Tallis Farm Machinery. The 1,000 acre enterprise includes mainly arable cropping of wheat, oilseed rape and barley alongside 100 acres of permanent pasture, 100 acres of woodland as well as about 15 acres of flowers grown specially for confetti.

Mr Robinson said the system was installed at the beginning of July from the Autotrack SF2, which was very good, but the satellite signal was not always reliable under trees and certain areas.

“We found we needed something more, a repeatable accuracy which the RTK gives you.

Another reason was that we grow flowers for confetti production and over the years we have lost most of the herbicides we used on the flowers and so consequently we now have to rely in the inter-row spraying, which is where the accuracy of the system comes into its own.”

Using the system had really transformed the guidance system on the John Deere machinery.

“It is so reliable, lines are always in the same place.

Whereas you could half finish a field under the old system and when you came back the next morning until the satellite settled down the lines were in a different place. With the new system you can half finish a field and come back and your lines are in exactly the same place, no waiting for the signal.

It is a huge jump forward.”

As for versatility, Mr Robinson said: “We use it on the combine, for spraying and fertilising and for drilling. Another aspect of it is that over the whole 1,000 acres there are no spots where there is no signal.”

He said they did yield maps from the combine, variable rate applications of fertilisers and used the swath controller for the automatic shut off on the sprayer and fertiliser spreader, as well as filed records and work plans.

“The whole package is aimed at using the latest technology to the best advantage,” Mr Robinson said.