A key change took place this week for farmers that use WAAS - a Wide Area Augmentation System - for Precision Agriculture.
Matt Yanick, President and Owner of MyPrecisionAg Limited says the WAAS PRN 138 satellite was decommissioned on Tuesday (May 17) which could impact equipment operations.
"If you lose that signal, you're going to lose the ability to autosteer, you're going to lose the ability of your sectional controller to function. You'll lose variable rate mapping, even the ability for most new seeders to work because you get the ground speed off GPS."
Farmers are being told to double-check their satellite service, and if they are using WAAS, to reprogram equipment to work with the new satellite.
A lot of producers in the prairies have been running the free WAAS system for years.
Yanick has been busy reprogramming customer equipment and getting everything switched over to the new satellite which is now fully operational.
"If you do not switch your GPS system to use PRN 135 you might see an interruption in signal. You can always do it after, but it's better to do it now ahead of time. So that if you're in the middle of the field, and they shut it off, you're not down for a few hours trying to get it to work."
Producers that maybe unsure what system they are using should contact their equipment dealer, or precision ag representative to reprogram the equipment to the new satellite.
He notes this only impacts WAAS users, if your running another system like John Deere SF-1, SF-2 or SF-3, Trimble RTX, RTK , Outback Atlas, or Raven GS you won't be affected.
MyPrecisionAg offers precision farming solutions for prairie producers.