Heather Black

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Video: Twister Destroys High Tech Tower

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-Last week’s EF-3 tornado in Noxubee County also destroyed a tower that’s of vital importance to area farmers.

The tower was part of guidance system that helped farmers know the best places to plow. We caught up with a few Noxubee County farmers who are doing their best to work around the setback.

April 11th’s tornado left plenty of destruction behind. It’s high winds left one very important iron tower bent and on the ground.

Over 30 Noxubee farmers relied on this tower for planting their crops by using a high-tech guidance system to know down to an inch where to plow.

“We don’t have markers on tractors equipment anymore because you have this other so when you lose it and you don’t have it; it makes it a little more difficult to do. You can still adjust the satellites to control it, but you won’t be as accurate as you would be if we had the RTK,” says Jack Huerkamp.

The Real Time Kinematic GPS system is a new technology farmers use to help keep track of their fields during planting season. The system gets its information from Russian satellites, then provides very precise information for local farmers.

Jesse More, a row crop farmer and owner of a customs spraying business, depended on the tower for More than 2 years.

“With the tower here I would start my machine up and it starts talking to this tower and it basically steers it, maps my fields, the convenience of having these technologies to get it to do what I need it to do it’s a good thing to have,” says Jesse More.

The RTK system is beneficial for more because he can use it to plant other crops, miles down the road.

“My farm is probably five miles as the crow flies, I do branch out away from my farm and do some work for other people within this area I would say 15 miles I can still use this tower to talk to my machine and to guide it and to track my progress and what I’m doing,” says More.

Even though the tornado made this year’s planting a challenge, More says the area farmers are optimistic about the future.

“We have figured out that we do want to put a new tower up and we’re working together trying to figure out the best and fastest way to do it,” says More.

The farmers say it will take up to a month to replace the tower, but hope to be planting their crops as soon as the grounds dry.