High-tech Farming Comes To Idaho

Published online: Oct 03, 2003
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A California company is putting a permanent base station network in eastern Idaho to move growers ahead in high-tech production agriculture.

Precision Farming Enterprises is investing several thousand dollars to put a GPS antenna atop the General Mills grain elevator at Rockford, ID. The base station will be installed and operational before October 10.

The height of the installation at 140 feet above ground level will allow an effective radio range of between 18 and 26 miles. The installation is the first for a network that will eventually cover the entire Upper Snake River Valley from American Falls to Rexburg and beyond. The network will be operational by the end of October.

Brad Kirwan CPA, and executive vice president of PFE said the Rockford station should serve an area from Shelley to Aberdeen. This will provide growers using the Trimble AutoPilot tractor auto-steering technology access to sub-centimeter tractor auto-steering repeatability on a 24-seven basis.

PFE, a seven-year-old company, is the world's largest tractor auto-steering dealer, representing Trimble Navigation's agricultural GPS product line. PFE currently maintains networks in California and Washington. This is the first in Idaho.

Kirwan said the networks are crucial for high-value row-crop producers because they minimize investment by the growers in the technology and eliminate the operation difficulties encountered by growers who maintain private base stations.

PFE is relocating its administrative offices from California to Boise, ID, because of growth in the company.