Save Our GPS Coalition Expands

Cindy Zimmerman

precision farming kip cullersThe Coalition to Save Our GPS is growing as new evidence mounts that a proposed communications network would interfere with GPS systems. New agriculture industry members of the coalition include AGCO, Agricultural Retailers Association, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Cotton Council of America, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, North American Equipment Dealers Association, and USA Rice Federation.

A report was submitted last week by a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) technical working group on the potential for interference to GPS from the proposal by Virginia-based company LightSquared to set up 40,000 wireless broad-band stations across the nation on a frequency that is right next to the one used by GPS.

According to Ken Golden with Coalition member John Deere, the report affirms that the proposed LightSquared network would have a serious impact on farmers. “The report of the working group demonstrates there is no practical solution to mitigate the interference that would result if the proposal is allowed. It is not acceptable to allow a new network to interfere with these vitally important industries and weaken the strong competitive position of the U.S. in the global economy. Research has shown that losing the use of GPS technology could have a negative impact of $14 billion to $30 billion annually for U.S. farmers.”

growmark sid parksGROWMARK is one of the coalition members also, and I talked with Manager of Precision Farming Sid Parks about why this is such an important issue for the industry.

“The coalition was formed as group representing those users of GPS technology across not only agriculture, but other industries as well,” Sid said. “It is a very wide-reaching potential threat to the pulse of America, really.”

That includes public safety, aviation, transportation, construction, technology, recreation, and shipping – just to name a few. “We are a user of the technology and we try to use it to be the most efficient operators we can,” said Sid.

Listen to or download my interview with Sid here: Sid Parks Interview

Audio, Farming, GROWMARK, Precision Agriculture