A FRESH warning has gone out to farmers that thieves are targeting expensive guidance systems.

Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual has joined forces with police and agricultural machinery manufacturers to tackle a surge in thefts of expensive guidance systems.

Many of the stolen systems are John Deere StarFire receivers and cab display units – but other systems are increasingly being stolen.

In the UK, thefts have spread from East Anglia, where they first became commonplace, and police and insurers are now dealing with thefts all across the UK.

In recent weeks, NaVCIS, the policeagricultural vehicle theft co-ordination organisation funded by NFU Mutual, is being alerted to multiple GPS thefts from farms and machinery dealers almost every day.

To help stamp out the crime wave, farmers are being urged to rigorously check that any GPS kit offered for sale outside dealer networks has not been stolen.

Bob Henderson, NFU Mutual National Technical Engineering Manager, said: “Having tractor GPS kit stolen during harvest is hugely disruptive.

"Not only do replacement units – which can cost £8,000 and more – have to be sourced, fitted and programmed, but modern farms can’t work effectively during the vital harvesting period without them.