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Harvesting More For Less

Trimble technology helps maximize yields and minimize environmental impacts

Nearly 75 percent of the UK’s 24 million hectares of land is farmed for food production. A lifeblood providing nourishment and livelihoods, the agriculture industry employs about 472,000 people and feeds millions.

Farmers have always been challenged to combine traditional agronomic techniques with the best precision technology and plant science to grow their crops—and farms—organically and sustainably.

UK-based PX Farms is one agribusiness using precision agriculture and geospatial solutions. Run by fourth-generation farmer James Peck, PX Farms has been farming its 4,850 hectares (12,000 acres) since it was established in 2003—a business that grew from the Pecks family-owned businesses dating back to 1896.

Capitalizing on its own successes with advanced farm-management technologies, the company provides agricultural services and tailored solutions to help establish, operate, grow and improve farm businesses.

“Millions of people depend on what we do, so it’s crucial that we take care of the environment,” said Peck. “We use the latest technology and innovative farming techniques to maximize yields, reduce input costs and minimize environmental impacts.”

Innovation is indeed at the company’s core. PX Farms was one of the first in the UK to use Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF), an agriculture approach that involves using the same vehicle tracks consistently across all machinery. With CTF they’ve reduced soil compaction and damage to their land by 73 percent, overall fuel costs by 13 percent, and input expenses by 6 percent.

Supporting this system are hardware and software solutions from Trimble that connect Peck’s fields and farm specialists and give them the tools to turn farm data into profitable decisions in real time.

With Trimble® Ag Software (formerly FarmWorks), PX Farms can integrate, simplify, and streamline disparate data streams to manage its entire farm operation with a few clicks. Most importantly, they have the tools to capture and integrate important operational data and analyze it to get the most value from every hectare.

To maximize yield and reduce fuel cost, every single field is mapped with Trimble RTK technology and set up for machines with a 11.9 meter axel width and a 1.8 meter internal track spacing, ensuring exact wheel placement. Connected to guidance and mapping features of the Trimble FmX precision agriculture display, Peck can ensure the machinery operates within a tolerance of 2 centimeters.

The Trimble FmX® and TMX systems also automate crop spraying. Peck can map nutrients per hectare and program the data into the spreader to meet that year’s offtake. He can also minimize phosphate amounts being sprayed while maximizing the phosphates each plant gets.

PX Farms’ is reducing inputs by 3-5 percent and decreasing pollution with its precision drill and sprayer. Using RTK positioning for sectional control, they can target the right amount of product to the right place in their field. Utilizing a boom spreader also allows the company to improve distribution accuracy and make the most of fertilizer as a critical crop input. Coupled with the certainty and precision provided by Trimble technology, and its sustainable farming practices, PX Farms is reaping the rewards of what it sows.