Accuracy is driving profitability in agriculture, but RTK is out of reach for many farmers. It’s complicated to use and requires capital investment in additional hardware, not to mention a strong data or radio connection.

But a significant upgrade to CenterPoint RTX, Trimble’s centimeter-level correction service, is lowering the barrier to entry for precision farming operations. In the past, farmers had to choose between performance and ease of use, but with this new upgrade to CenterPoint RTX, they can have both. 

Trimble announced the firmware upgrade on Nov. 9, 2021. CenterPoint RTX has been on the market for 10 years now, and this is one of the biggest changes we’ve made to date. With the release of our new ProPoint GNSS engine, we’ve decreased CenterPoint RTX startup times to 5 minutes or less throughout the world. Satellite services typically take 20-30 minutes to start, so 5 minutes is impressive.

The new firmware update also makes positioning in the field more robust. Customers are still getting the same 1 inch, or 2 ½ centimeter, accuracy, but performance near treelines and other difficult environments is greatly improved.

RTX ticks every box in the performance category that RTK would, but it’s a much less complex and less expensive solution. RTK requires a second GNSS or GPS receiver near where the farmer is working, and a strong data or radio connection to that base station to calculate GNSS positions in the field. RTX, on the other hand, uses a method called precise point positioning (PPP), which operates off Trimble’s global network of base stations. The farmer doesn’t have to invest in anything locally to use the service.

This is a very simple firmware upgrade that really broadens the market of who can get into high-accuracy positioning. As long as the customer has aTrimble NAV-900 receiverwith the most recent firmware, they can take advantage of the new upgrades. It’s really just turning on “subscribe,” and away they go.

Your dealership doesn’t have to make an additional investment to realize the benefits of CenterPoint RTX for your customers and your sales. This is a cost-effective way for a farmer usingRangePoint RTXor another satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) to try out higher-accuracy services. You also don’t need a tech wizard on your team who understands how to use RTK to sell CenterPoint RTX. Instead, you can use the time you would have spent selling, troubleshooting or maintaining RTK on a higher-margin activity, like finding new customers or upselling current customers.

We’ve hosted webinars for Trimble dealers about the new upgrade, which are available to watch on demand here, and updated collateral for your product teams is coming soon.

I see this as a really powerful tool for the reseller — one that’s going to drive increased yields and improve efficiency throughout your customers’ fields.

Michael Bruno is the agriculture market manager for correction services at Trimble.


Precision Farming Dealer’s series “Technically Speaking” is brought to you by Trimble Agriculture. This monthly article features insight, advice and observations from precision farming experts on a variety of trending and topical dealer-focused topics.

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