1. Real-time kinematic (RTK) networks continue to drive adoption of sub-inch machine guidance in major farming areas. Many first-time ag GPS buyers are going directly to high-end RTK systems. Trimble RTK systems now provide coverage on more than 130 million acres of U.S. farmland. That area is greater than 2007 planted acreage of all U.S. corn, cotton, peanuts, potatoes, rice, barley and oats.

  2. Many growers are now realizing the need for GPS implement control to complete the sub-inch RTK guidance package. We are seeing a high level of interest from growers for new implement steering systems.

  3. Customers seem equally interested in both the economic and environmental benefits of precision spray control for both boom switching and rate.

  4. A change to more cab consolidation enables growers at all technical skill levels to expand precision farming practices by providing fast, easy access to GPS guidance and various application controls through a single cab display.

  5. Water management is a growing issue in many countries, including various U.S. growing regions. Accordingly, one of the most promising growth areas for Trimble is water management, in the U.S. and globally — especially in developing nations. We market systems with laser and GPS applications for drainage and land leveling to improve water utilization as well as crop yields and quality.

  6. Growers are facing higher production costs. With GPS guidance, payback is easy to understand and calculate. Key savings opportunities are with fuel, inputs, time and labor; more efficient use of existing vehicle fleets; and operating longer hours at critical times. In many areas, growers are substituting investment in GPS automated steering for hard-to-find skilled farm equipment operators.