Trimble Navigation Limited
935 Stewart Drive
Post Office Box 3642
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Tanimura and Antle Families Choose Trimble AgGPS Autopilot System
GPS System Improves Farmers Productivity by Enabling Simultaneous Drip Tape
Installation and Crop Bed Preparation
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb 9, 2001 - Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) announced today that Tres Picos Company, a supplier of soil and land-preparation services for row crop farmers, has selected Trimble's AgGPS® Autopilot system for use with its Caterpillar Challenger tractors. The tractors will be used on several ranches - 7400 acres - that Tres Picos services in the San Joaquin Valley for members of the Tanimura and Antle families. Tres Picos is using the system to install drip irrigation tape and prepare crop beds in the same operation, significantly increasing productivity, efficiency and quality.
Trimble's AgGPS Autopilot is a high-performance Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation control system that connects to a tractor's power steering hydraulics to automatically steer it in consistently straight rows. The system's features enable drivers to ensure minimum overlap and spend more time overseeing in-field operations such as bed preparation, planting and cultivating.
Tres Picos has been manually installing the tape using visual alignment. Because water is a closely regulated commodity in the San Joaquin Valley, Tres Picos plans to install drip tape on all the 7400 acres that it services.
"Trimble's AgGPS Autopilot technology is bringing key advantages to producers in today's competitive agriculture market," said Ron Hyatt, senior vice president and general manager of Trimble's Agriculture Division. "Agri-business leaders like the Tanimura and Antle families, who are known for their commitment to technological innovation, gain a competitive edge with the AgGPS Autopilot's machine guidance. And that can ultimately reduce costs in a commodity driven market."
While invaluable for water-sensitive produce, drip tape is notorious for being difficult and expensive to install and maintain. Prior to using GPS, rows were listed and drip tape installed separately. Planting required a difficult "two spade method," with people digging at both ends of the row to locate the tape and inform the driver where to plant.
"Crops like lettuce require precise placement of drip tape in the center of two beds. If the tape isn't centered, irrigation is unbalanced and yield compromised," said Frank Perico, a manager for the Tanimura and Antle families.
After mounting Trimble AgGPS Autopilot systems on two tractors, Tres Picos installed drip tape in 600 acres in about half the time of manual installation.
With the AgGPS Autopilot system, Tres Picos can bury drip tape and create crop beds directly over the tape, in the same pass, improving in-field efficiency. And with the drip tape precisely installed, they are able to maximize water use and avoid costly tape damage and replacement during future field preparation saving money across the board.
"The way I see it," said Perico, "Tres Picos saves in the use of two tractors and two men, who can then work on other farm operations. And that, in turn, lowers costs to Tres Picos and to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley."
Drip tape must also be replaced after three or four years of use. With crop rotation, Perico expects that all of the Tanimura and Antle family members' ranches will have GPS-installed tape within the next several years.
Tanimura & Antle, Inc. (T&A) provides sales and marketing services to the family members who farm the various ranches in the San Joaquin Valley. "Because GPS permits the farmers to produce better crops more efficiently, GPS is improving T&A's competitive edge for the farmers' crops in the marketplace," said Steve Bassi, vice president of T&A.
"We need consistent quality and volume every day of the year for our customers, who sell to the consumers of America and overseas," he said. "Adding precision to our operation does all that; they can increase their yields and quality by better managing inputs: water and fertilizer. Bottom line: It improves their competitive edge and reduces the farmer's costs. GPS is taking farmers to the next level. You can't beat that in today's world where returns to the farmer are being so tightly squeezed."
"Trimble is the best name in GPS and has the most going for it, including research and support," said Bassi. "Tres Picos and its farmer clients knew that if they didn't get the right company for support, they wouldn't use the equipment to its fullest potential and we at T&A wouldn't have the best product to sell for them at the best possible prices."
About Tanimura & Antle
Tanimura & Antle is the leading grower/shipper/distributor of lettuce in the United States. Headquartered in Salinas, California with several hundred million dollars in annual sales, Tanimura & Antle markets and sells produce for the family members who farm in the San Joaquin Valley. It also grows its own lettuce and selected high-value row crops in Salinas and Oxnard, California and Yuma, Arizona. Additionally, T&A markets and sells the crops of other farmers in California, Arizona, and Mexico. Tanimura & Ante is known for supporting farmers' use of innovative technology to increase productivity and quality. For information about T&A or its produce products, contact Dave Eldredge at 1-800-772-4542 or visit the Web site: www.taproduce.com.
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,200 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808