GPS: ‘I’m now spending less time in the field – to get the job done’

Reducing the carbon footprint from spreading slurry is a real challenge for farmers. That’s according to Vantage Ireland’s James Murphy.

According to Murphy, a case in point is the fact that all of Bord Bia’s ‘Sustainable Assurance’ schemes now have this principal in place.

He explained: “The use of GPS technologies can help grassland farmers meet these criteria in a way that minimises inputs, while not compromising farm output levels.”

GPS usage

“One method of maintaining yields is to reduce the potential coverage of the field by limiting potential wheeling damage. This involves the use of GPS to track vehicles across the field at an appropriate working width, which is decided prior to all field-work getting underway.”

Murphy explained the specific benefits of GPS for farmers when spreading slurry, saying:

All of these technology options allow farmers to make best use of their time, while also saving them money on fuel and other input costs.

“Adding to the attraction of these precision farming technologies is the affordable cost – for farms of all sizes.”

‘Turnkey’

When it comes to GPS equipment for farmers and contractors, Vantage Ireland claims to be one of the key players in the field here in Ireland. The company distributes ‘Trimble Agriculture’ equipment.

“We provide a turnkey service to our customers,” explained Murphy.

Fitting various GPS technologies to tractors and equipment can be undertaken at the farmer or contractor’s convenience. It’s easy to do now.

“The tractor operator can then control all the systems he wants to use – from an easily-worked touch-screen inside the cab.

‘Benefits’ of GPS

Patrick Shine – a farmer milking 130 spring-calving cows near Reechestown, Co. Tipperary – says that he now “fully recognises the benefit of using a GPS guidance system” for both slurry and fertiliser spreading.

His most recent acquisition is a 3,000-gallon Conor slurry tanker and 7.5m-wide dribble bar on the rear.

He explained, briefly, how GPS technology benefits this rig, saying:

The use of GPS [technology] for slurry spreading takes the stress out of the entire operation. The guidance system ensures that there is no overlap when slurry is put out on to the ground.

“Because the GPS ensures that there is no overlap when spreading fertiliser, it’s saving me real money.

“GPS guidance is resolving all sorts of problems. I’m now spending less time in the field – to get the job done.”