While the general public adjusts to the idea of self-driving cars, in the agricultural world it’s old hat, writes Joe Lawler on SiliconPrairieNews.com.
Navigating corn fields is a different experience from driving on streets and freeways, but DigiFarm is there to help make sure it’s a safe journey.
Most tractors, combines, sprayers and other big pieces of farming equipment come out of the factory with modems installed. DigiFarm uses that now-standard tool to improve fieldwork for farmers.
DigiFarm founder David Dusanek started the company out of his own need. His family has a farm in Monticello in eastern Iowa, and Dusanek was looking for ways to incorporate GPS into the farm equipment.
None of the commercially available products fit his needs, so Dusanek turned to Google. Through trial and error, he built a GPS base station and installed netbook computers into four tractors. Soon, he was able to program the tractors to do work around the farm.
When neighboring farmers expressed interest, Dusanek built similar setups for them, operating out of his GPS base station. As word spread, farms outside of the base station’s coverage area started requesting to use DigiFarm’s equipment, and Dusanek started building more GPS base stations to expand the company’s coverage.