Ag groups join Keep GPS Working Coalition

Several agricultural groups have joined the Keep GPS Working Coalition.

The coalition says the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to allow Ligado Networks to operate a terrestrial wireless network could threaten the reliability of GPS receivers used in precision agriculture.

Nick Rust, with farm equipment dealership H&R Agri-Power, says the industry is already operating on tight margins and any interference from Ligado Networks will cause more problems.   

“We cannot allow anything like Ligado to threaten GPS–it’s too important to agriculture,” he says. “Agriculture will be set back 20 years without GPS.”  

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson says there’s no logistical justification for the order.

“The potential damage this could cause in and of itself should stop anybody from moving ahead with this,” he says.

The Minnesota Democrat says the committee does not have jurisdiction over the issue but will do what it can to support the coalition.

Jim Kukowski, with the American Soybean Association, says he’s made an investment of more than $200,000 in GPS technology on his Minnesota farm.  

“If Ligado is willing to pay for the government to replace or update their equipment, they should also pay for my updates or replacements,” he says.

These comments were made on a media call Thursday about the coalition.

The groups added to the coalition include the Agricultural Retailers Association, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council of America, Equipment Dealers Association, Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association, and USA Rice Federation.

The new ag members join the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau, and more in urging the reversal of the FCC’s Ligado order.

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