A “Cerealist’s Diary”, the testimony of a wheat farmer

29 June 2020
97% of new tractors in Europe using GNSS are equipped with EGNOS, the preferred low-cost entry technology for precision farming in Europe
97% of new tractors in Europe using GNSS are equipped with EGNOS, the preferred low-cost entry technology for precision farming in Europe

A cereal farmer in Salamanca, Spain, explains how satellite navigation systems help farmers to reduce CO2 emissions and save time and money, and demonstrates how EGNOS currently plays an important role in European agriculture, helping farms to improve crop yields while reducing their environmental footprint.

We met with Fernando Benito, a cereal farmer in Spain, who spoke to us about how EGNOS supports the entire wheat production cycle by facilitating various tasks such as ploughing, fertilizing, sowing and spraying.

EGNOS, the preferred entry technology for precision farming

EGNOS, with its sub-metre level accuracy (20-30 cm pass-to-pass), offers an affordable solution for some of the field work required by precision agriculture. EGNOS allows farmers to better monitor their harvest yields, perform effective in-field data collection and use guidance in cultivation. It also increases their efficiency, allowing them to work in poor visibility or bad weather conditions, while increasing productivity, lowering costs and minimising environmental impact - all with minimal investment. 

In the words of Fernando: “EGNOS allows me to save time and money across all my tasks. Thanks to its precision guidance it enables the correct dissemination of fertilizer and phytosanitary products, thus avoiding overlaps and errors. EGNOS is very easy to use and to configure, it saves me resources and time.” 

To benefit from the 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 through this link. You can also download GEAR, an interactive (and free) virtual demonstrator that allows you to have fun experiencing various farming tasks under different weather conditions, while showcasing the benefits of EGNOS for machinery guidance. If you want to calculate how much money you can save by using EGNOS on your farm, try the EASE tool. This software provides a cost-benefit analysis by comparing the results achieved through EGNOS+GPS guidance versus GPS alone.

Fernando added: “I can say that EGNOS is a 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 adopt satellite navigation services. This is confirmed by the fact the vast majority of agricultural GNSS devices on board farming machinery today are EGNOS-enabled and EGNOS is fast becoming the preferred entry-level technology for sustainable precision agriculture in Europe.

Watch the video here.

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Updated: Jun 30, 2020