Cultivator for detecting small-scale soil differences

Screenshot_Exatrek_01_d1_190806_p50
Intelligent algorithms from exatrek calculate a soil density map from the data provided by the tractor and cultivator

Soil is an important foundation when it comes to Precision Farming. The existing soil maps provide the basic knowledge, but they do not take into account the impact of long-term management of agricultural land on soil structure. Despite small-scale soil tillage, currently only a small amount of real-time data is collected in work. The detection of different soil structures during work, such as when carrying out soil tillage, however, offers great potential for adapting the seedbed cultivation intensity to the needs and conditions of the soil, as well as using resources in an optimum manner. Today’s sensor systems for the creation of real-time soil analysis are not proportional in terms of effort and benefit. Previous methods of soil analysis omit tractor data such as fuel consumption, tractive force and slippage.

For the first time, the companies AMAZONE and exatrek intelligently link the data of the Cenius-2TX ZoneFinder with the CANbus data of the tractor. This results in maps being created during soil tillage, on which small-scale differences in the soil structure can be seen. This information can then be used as the basis for deciding on any subsequent agricultural measures. The main element of the Cenius ZoneFinder is the exatrek telemetry module with data logger. This module, in turn, transfers the collected data to the exatrek cloud. The data logger registers the forward speed, traction, fuel consumption and slip data from the CANbus of the tractor on the one hand, whereas on the other, it receives the working position, working depth and inclination of the mounted cultivator Cenius-2TX. The control box on the cultivator is linked to the tractor via an ISOBUS connection cable. In order for the data to be recorded with geo-referencing, the location data is permanently transmitted.

During soil tillage, the data from the tractor and the Cenius-2TX are continuously noted. The result of this data collection is the production of clear soil texture maps, which are created by an intelligent algorithm. Ascents and downhill runs are automatically detected and calculated so that the soil density can be mapped on a part-area, site-specific basis and without the influence of the topography. Customers can then easily view this data in the exatrek web portal and export it as a shape file for further use.

This innovative system offers customers the opportunity of adjusting the working depth in specific zones across the field during subsequent soil tillage. This means that the farmer can work a shallow cultivator profile and then loosen only the particularly compacted areas more deeply, thereby avoiding any unnecessary fuel consumption. Additionally, if this data is combined with the yield data and the associated straw yields, the farmer can optimise the soil tillage again on a part-area, site-specific basis in order to ultimately achieve optimum mixing of the straw and loosening of the soil with reduced fuel consumption.

In addition, the data transfer of these soil maps to a consultant as an additional input into any crop establishment decision-making is now easily possible via the cloud. 

After any soil tillage has been performed, a part-area, site-specific seed rate adjustment for use when drilling is possible due to the created soil map. For this step, the data collected during the soil tillage can be blended with other information systems in order to increase its informative value. In this context, the small-scale pass with, for example, a 5 m working width during soil tillage, is another advantage that helps improve the accuracy of the data. In addition to optimising operational workflows, telemetric data can be important for reducing downtime or identifying more efficient working guidelines for the areas to be cultivated.

Press review 2019

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