PACE Turf - Turfgrass Information Center

Precision Management Tools

There are many vendors who supply various tools to aid in precision management. The first and probably most important tool is a composition notebook or other notebook that you are comfortable recording information in on a daily basis. No matter how computer oriented you are, a simple notebook and an indelible pen can be the most reliable method of maintaining a record or observations. The list of products below are those that we have had a chance to work with ourselves and feel that they do a good job measuring or recording events. There are many more to choose from by simply searching the web.

Global Positioning System Receiver (GPS):

There are many options in this area but we encourage you to look for a receiver that has both WAAS and Beacon differential GPS capabilities and sub-meter resolution. If these descriptions sound like Greek to you, read-up before purchasing a piece of equipment. One site to find some background information is the Trimble Navigation web page. Do not scrimp on this purchase if you intend to get started. Poorly designed equipment will only waste your time and discourage you from pursuing precision management to its fullest extent.

A Trimble sub-meter GPS unit and backpack will run about $5000 (Trimble Pathfinder Pro XRS Field Kit Part Number: 50355-50). A ruggedized computer will also be necessary, and will cost about $1600 (Trimble Recon 400 Part Number: 49670-20). To order the equipment, check the Trimble Navigation web page for a distributor near you.

Geographic Information System (GIS) Software:

You have already invested almost $7000 in just the GPS equipment, but without the software, nothing will happen. The news is slightly easier to swallow for the entry-level GIS software - the tool that you will use to develop maps of areas, management zones, and observations such as pest levels for use in IPM programs. To get started with GIS, we recommend a software package written by Richard Herrington at StarPal. The version of the program we use is HGIS (Handheld Geographic Information System) Professional including SensorTrack. You will immediately begin to collect course location data with the GPS/GIS system described here. Although HGIS is limited in presentation capabilities, it is fairly easy to use and will provide you with immediate measurements for length, area, and the ability to record comments with each entry.

Visit PACE Turf on Facebook! Visit PACE Turf on YouTube! Follow PACE Turf on Twitter!