In this video, Marc Yoder, northern regional director of precision at Hoober Inc., discusses the dealership’s RTK network and how it has created non-ag revenue opportunities.
While RTK correction services aren’t new to precision farming, Hoober Inc. has aggressively expanded its cellular network since 2009. Initially, the dealership test marketed a handful of pilot systems with progressive customers and today, has more than 200 active subscribers in 13 states.
“We have more than 180 base stations set up and find that it’s been a reliable option for customers who don’t want to spend $30,000-$40,000 upfront for their own system,” says Marc Yoder, northern regional precision director for Hoober. “All they need is a modem and cell phone service. It’s been an excellent revenue stream for us and a reliable service for customers.”
The dealership is partnering with Pennsylvania-based Keystone Precision Instruments to offer annual subscriptions for $895, which Yoder says are competitively priced with other correction options such as OmniStar.
Hoober also offers an RTK data package for $1,295, which bundles in the cost of a customer’s data plan. The dealership then adds the data plan to its existing company data plan, which can be more affordable for the customer so they don’t have to add a provider or add to the cost of their current cellular plan.
RTK subscriptions have allowed Hoober to expand its precision reach beyond its traditional customer base as well. Cranberry bogs in New Jersey and golf courses in several New England states utilize the network for fertilizer and pesticide application.
“Applicators will go out and spray 18 holes using RTK and on many of those courses, they are going to spray several times each week, so they’re seeing the payback a lot quicker,” Yoder says.