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Agriculture groups join Keep GPS Working Coalition to reverse FCC Ligado decision

September 29, 2020  - By
Photo: artiemedvedev/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: artiemedvedev/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Several agriculture groups have been added to the Keep GPS Working Coalition, which was launched in June to protect GPS users from harmful interference resulting from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to permit Ligado Networks to operate a terrestrial wireless network in the band adjacent to GPS.

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

The new members from the agriculture sector join the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association and Boat Owners Association of The United States in urging the reversal of the FCC’s Ligado order.

“The FCC’s decision represents a sweeping governmental and regulatory assault on farmers who are already facing unprecedented challenges including severe weather, low commodity prices and supply chain vulnerability as a result of COVID-19,” said Dale Leibach, spokesperson for the Keep GPS Working Coalition. “The order must be stopped. The FCC’s decision must be reversed.”

According to the coalition, farmers are increasingly relying on precision agriculture applications that deliver centimeter-level accuracy that enables farmers to maximize crop yields while lowering costs and environmental impact. Precision farming also reduces costs for consumers, delivers economic benefits for rural economies and enables the efficient production of the foods required to meet a growing global demand for food, fiber and fuel, the coalition added.

“Ag retailers often fill a role as trusted advisor to their farmer customers, suggesting new and emergent technologies in the precision ag space,” said Daren Coppock, president and CEO of the Agricultural Retailers Association. “Without the GPS location services needed for proper planning and implementation of these resources, farmers may not have the tools they need to increase crop yields, lower input loads and decrease inefficacies. ARA stands behind the coalition’s work to protect GPS as a valuable resource to farmers.”

Agriculture industry leaders and a member of the House Committee on Agriculture will participate in a conversation discussing how the FCC’s decision to allow Ligado Networks to operate a terrestrial wireless network will threaten the reliability of GPS receivers used in precision agriculture at 11 a.m. EDT on Oct. 1. Details can be found here.

About the Author: Allison Kral

Allison Kral is the former digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Pit & Quarry magazine, Portable Plants magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.