A relatively cheap retrofit auto-steer system is now available through Monmouthshire-based guidance specialist Patchwork Technology.
Having severed ties with US firm AgJunction five years ago, when it was effectively priced out of the market by bigger players such as Trimble, it has returned with the Simply Steer system from FJDynamics.
However, the kit has been fine-tuned by the Chinese firm’s Swedish subsidiary, Sveaverken, which has resulted in a more refined terminal and slicker software.
It comes as a complete kit and is primarily designed to form and follow straight and curved lines.
It doesn’t yet have the capacity for section control or variable rate, unlike systems offered by some of the bigger names, but these developments are apparently in the pipeline.
Fitting and setup takes less than an hour and involves replacing the tractor’s steering wheel and rigging up the wheel angle sensor, 10in touchscreen display and roof-mounted receiver.
It costs a modest £4,200 and comes as standard for use with an Egnos correction signal, which should be adequate for arable cultivations.
But sub-2.5cm accuracy can be unlocked, with subscriptions costing £525 when tethered to a smartphone or £650 using a roaming SIM card.
The standard FJDynamics auto-steer system is sold by Cheshire-based Campey Agriculture.