MyWay RTK Featured In Farm Progress Build Farm Guidance Your Way
– Josh Flint, Prairie Farmer, November 2010
Just as Apple revolutionize digital music with the iPod, Effingham’s MyWay RTK could very well revolutionize farm guidance systems.
Prior to MyWay’s entrance, farmers have been tied to buying an entire guidance system from one company. If you like Brand X’s display, you’ll also need to buy Brand X’s base station, RTK service, etc.
MyWay RTK manager Don Bierman explains their strategy is to provide an RTK course correction signal separate from any sort of display or base station.
With MyWay, a farmer fist needs to purchase a cell phone modern with an Internet access plan. Using cell carrier’s signal, the modem connects wirelessly to the MyWay server, which crunch the numbers and beam the correction back to the tractor.
The next step is choosing a display screen. Folks can choose any design from any company.
The farmer’s equipment then matches the satellite array it sees through its own GPS receiver to the satellite array being provided through the connection to MyWay RTK to determine its sub-inch position.
Unlike other RTK networks, MyWay prefers not to utilize base stations sitting on top of tall structures where weather conditions can affect the signal. Instead, Bierman recommends mounting them on a lower surface, such as a roof.
Most farmers won’t have to worry about mounting an RTK base unit. MyWay maintains control of the base station network to ensure maximum coverage.
Farm perspectiveOlney farmer Matt Wilson is running an Ag Leader display with the Ag Leader ParaDyme roof module on the MyWay network. Wilson is extremely please with the Ag Leader display’s ease of use. He says it’s much more intuitive than previous yield monitors he’s used. With MyWay’s course correction, he estimates harvest has been at least $10 more efficient compared to driving the combine himself.
Thus far, the only problem he’s had lies with ensuring cellular data plan providers have suitable coverage for his area. This underscores the importance of knowing the coverage areas for each cell phone data plan provider.
Future opportunityTechnologically speaking, MyWay RTK is not doing anything new. Bierman admits competitors have been using cell phone Internet service to send correction signals for a couple years now.
However, new tech isn’t always needed to revolutionize an industry. Apple’s iPod wasn’t a new concept. A lot of companies were making MP3 players. Instead, Apple offered folks a way to instantly purchase only the songs they wanted.
In the same way, MyWay will open the market to allow companies to specialize within the farm guidance segment. Take Apple for example. The company has no experience creating farm guidance systems, but it knows how to make an intuitive touch screen. It’s easy to imagine a future where a marriage of concepts creates the perfect touch screen.
If companies don’t have to worry about every piece of the guidance system, it should result in more creativity.
- MyWay RTK provides correction signal separate from hardware.
- Farmers can pick and choose what equipment to put in the cab.
- The signal works via a cell signal, which the farmer selects.