Precision in mineral fertiliser application
Amazone offers ever more precise machines and processes, so that the agricultural sector can retain its competitiveness and future viability and operate more sustainably at the same time. The current public and political debate means that it is extremely important that fertilisation technology meters the fertiliser precisely and distributes it in exactly the right place. There will also be a shift away from full-area application to part-area specific application in the future, so that the available average amount of fertiliser per hectare can be targeted to the needs of the plants. More fertiliser is applied in the areas of the field where high yields are to be expected and the fertiliser requirement is therefore high, and less fertiliser is used in the areas where the plants require lower quantities of fertiliser.
Precise metering to the kilo
Amazone offers online weighing technology for the ZA-V and ZA-TS mounted fertiliser spreaders and the ZG-TS trailed fertiliser spreader, in order to ensure that the application rate of the fertiliser spreader is constantly monitored and controlled. Weighing is carried out at a frequency of 200 Hz and a comparison is made between the setpoint and an averaged actual value every 25 kg. The shutter slide is automatically adjusted if there are any changes in the flow behaviour due to changing fertiliser properties and the setpoint and actual values no longer match. This ensures that the correct application rate is applied over the entire area. Thanks to the weighing technology, the driver always knows exactly how much fertiliser is left in his tank.
Apart from the application accuracy, performance and the associated maximum application rate also play an enormous role these days. The flow rates of the ZA-TS or ZG-TS can be infinitely adjusted between 3 kg/min and 650 kg/min by means of the volume shutter slides. For example, maximum application rates of 500 kg/ha at a working width of 36 m and 22 km/h can be achieved thereby. This provides a combination of precision and maximum efficiency.
Targeting the fertiliser quantity according to plant requirements
If the maximum amount of fertiliser per hectare is further restricted, it will become increasingly important to target the fertiliser more specifically to the needs of the plant in the future. This means that yields and quality can be safeguarded, even if the total amount of fertiliser applied is restricted, and the environment is protected at the same time. For this purpose, the quantity of fertiliser must be individually regulated for part-areas and not for the field. This can be provided either via an offline process or an online process. When using the online process, the fertiliser spreader is combined with a sensor, which is located either in the front hydraulics or on the roof of the tractor. This sensor analyses the fertiliser requirement of the plant during spreading and adjusts the application rate accordingly. In the offline process, a farm management system is used beforehand to create an application map based on various parameters such as yield maps, soil maps, expert knowledge, etc. This is transferred to the terminal and the application rate is adjusted to the part-area thanks to precise positioning using a GPS receiver. Not only can the application rate of the spreader be automatically adjusted over the entire working width, it is even possible to apply different quantities on the left-hand and right-hand side of the spreader at the same time.
The data can also be documented in the terminal via the task controller for specific part-areas and transferred to a farm management software, so that the fertiliser quantity can not only be planned precisely beforehand but also accurately documented as you work.
Simple data exchange via the agrirouter
The agrirouter is ideal for data transfer between the machine and the management software. The agrirouter is a universal data exchange platform for farmers and contractors through which machinery and agricultural software can be connected across manufacturers. Each user can create a personal agrirouter account and creates their own data stream consisting of his individual machinery and management systems. In the control centre, only they can determine the routes through which his data is transmitted. The user decides which manufacturers, service providers and consultants have access to his or her personal data.
AMAZONE presented the myAmaRouter App for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets at Agritechnica 2019. This app acts as a link between the AmaTron 4 ISOBUS operator terminal and the data hub. By creating a hotspot using a smartphone, data such as the job data and application maps can be sent from any Farm Management Information System (FMIS) via the agrirouter to the AmaTron 4, which is equipped with a WLAN USB key, using the myAgrirouter App. Conversely, jobs being carried out can be recorded on the AmaTron 4 and sent to a Farm Management Information System for documentation via the myAmaRouter App.
Lateral distribution is what counts
Precise lateral distribution over the entire working width is just as important as an accurate application rate. This is the reason why Amazone uses triangular spread patterns and double overlap for fertiliser spreaders. For example, the fertiliser is spread from 36 m to 72 m in a tramline system, i.e. up to the next tramline. This means that the spreading patterns of the Amazone fertiliser spreaders are very stable and resistant to external influences.
As the fertiliser properties have an enormous influence on lateral distribution, this should be checked in the field. The actual spreading properties can deviate from the settings determined in our spreading hall under practical conditions due to storage or air humidity, for example.
Simple verification of the lateral distribution with Easy Check
The digital mobile test kit EasyCheck can be used for quick and simple verification of the lateral distribution of the fertiliser, directly in the field. The test kit consists of 16 rubber mats to catch fertiliser and an app for your smartphone. A particular advantage is the easy transport of the mats, which can be carried on the spreader or tractor without occupying too much space. The 16 mats can be carried by one person and can therefore be quickly laid out in the field. The farmer lays the mats in the tramline and at certain points between the tramlines. Fertiliser is applied to the "test area", and the mats are photographed using your smartphone. If the lateral distribution is not correct, the driver gets a new setting recommendation for his Amazone spreader in the app. This feature is part of the Amazone "mySpreader" App. In addition to the EasyCheck functionality, the user can find all the setting information for countless spreading materials with this app. Furthermore, the app includes the EasyMix function which enables the best setting recommendation for a fertiliser blend of different spreading materials to be found. Depending on the equipment of the spreader, all setting values can be sent directly to the machine via Bluetooth, so that the spreader can automatically adjust itself.
Permanent monitoring of the lateral distribution via ArgusTwin
The ZA-TS and ZG-TS spreaders can be equipped with the ArgusTwin sensor system, in order to ensure that the lateral distribution is also monitored during the entire spreading process. ArgusTwin enables all the spread fans on the right and left-hand side to be monitored constantly by 14 radar sensors. If there are any deviations, the lateral distribution is automatically corrected by adjusting the electrical delivery system. This can be carried out individually for each side, thereby ensuring optimum lateral distribution.
Perfect lateral distribution in windy conditions
AMAZONE offers WindControl as a supplement to the ArgusTwin system for particularly windy locations. According to Prof. Dr. Karl Wild of the University of Applied Sciences, Dresden, the influence of wind on the spread pattern can also be constantly monitored and automatically compensated for with WindControl. A wind sensor mounted on the machine records both the wind speed and the wind direction. In conjunction with information from ArgusTwin, the job computer uses this data to calculate new setting values for the delivery point and spreading disc speed, which are then automatically adjusted. The influence of the wind is thus automatically compensated for, ensuring optimum lateral distribution.
Exact switching on the headland and in part-width sections
Amazone offers the GPS-Switch automatic part-width section control for fertiliser spreaders, crop protection sprayers and seed drills for exact switching in wedge shaped fields and on headlands. In this respect, the part-width sections switch on and off automatically depending on their position. Depending on the type and equipment, Amazone fertiliser spreaders offer up to 128 part-width sections. The fact that the Amazone fertiliser spreaders switch the part-width sections in a kidney-shaped pattern is of particular note. This is because the spread pattern does not cut off at the position of the spreading discs in the outer area. The fertiliser is thrown further forward in this location instead. When the spreader arrives at the headland, the outer part-width sections are therefore switched off first, followed by the inner ones behind the spreader. When leaving the headland, the outer and then the inner part-width sections are switched on. When switching in wedge shaped fields, the part-width sections can be switched from outside to inside and across the centre to the other side, as is the case with the sprayer. Automatic part-width section control reduces fertiliser use by 5-10 %, depending on the field structure. In addition, the crops in the headland and wedge shaped fields are much more uniform. Lodged grain caused by unwanted over-fertilisation is avoided.