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Solar Storms are disrupting farmer GPS systems during critical planting time

A John Deere Tractor driving in a field.
Image: John Deere

The solar storms that have been wowing people with the Northern Lights across the United States the last two nights have also been disrupting GPS satellites, crippling some Midwest farmers’ operations, reports 404 Media. The issues have forced many to stop planting just as a crucial planting deadline for corn farmers approaches.

The storms reportedly knocked “some GPS systems” offline temporarily, which messed with the accuracy of “Real-Time Kinematic” (RTK) systems. Tractors from John Deere and other brands use RTK for “centimeter-level positional accuracy” when carrying out farming work like crop-planting or fertilizing, 404 Media writes.

The “extremely compromised” systems caused “drastic shifts in the field and even some heading…

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