Kverneland Mechatronics has developed a series of advanced application controls to boost the accuracy and efficiency of Vicon isobus equipment when used within precision farming systems.
Called GEOCONTROL and developed for use with the sophisticated IsoMatch Tellus dual screen terminal, this new suite of intelligent machine control systems allows a greater level of task control including automatic on/off and section control for headland management with sprayers, spreaders and seed drills.
“GEOCONTROL allows us to offer a higher level of intelligent machine control solutions for those seeking the ultimate levels of accuracy from precision farming systems,” explains Andrew Bowley, crop care manager for the Vicon brand. “With our weigh-cell spreaders for example, GEOCONTROL creates section control to allow each half of the spreader to be individually managed.”
With sprayers, GEOCONTROL affords greater management of individual boom sections. In addition, it offers future potential to use a crop sprayer as a mobile weather station, adding further versatility to record keeping.
Perhaps more importantly, GEOCONTROL has enabled the development of additional machine-specific controllers – GEOSPREAD and GEOSEED - to simultaneously manage working widths and variable rate applications with fertiliser spreading and seeding operations. It means section control is no longer the exclusive domain of the sprayer.
GEOSPREAD allows the Vicon RO-EDW weigh cell fertiliser spreader to automatically adjust its spread pattern, working width and application rate while on the move, to prevent under-dosing or over-dosing when spreading into wedge-shaped or curved boundaries.
It does this by automatically varying the discharge point of fertiliser on each spinning disc to suit application requirements, as defined by GPS location. Cleverly, the system allows the spreader’s working width to be reduced in 2m sections and can individually manage each disc’s output without influencing the coefficient of variation.
“With GEOSPREAD, our weigh-cell twin-disc fertiliser spreaders now have the most intelligent and most advanced GPS-managed spreading systems on the market,” adds Mr Bowley. “Using this level of machine control, over-lapping with expensive fertilisers is a thing of the past.”
GEOSEED offers an equally impressive level of seeder control with the Group’s maize and sugar beet drills, when equipped with electric seed metering drive. GEOSEED also allows down-the-row seed spacings to be managed on an individual basis, eliminating overlaps and losses at headlands, as defined by GPS location.
The potential for cost savings is impressive. The greater efficiency from using GEOSPREAD allows the Vicon RO-EDW spreaders to deliver a saving from 2-10% from reducing overlaps. And when used with the Unicorn precision drill, GEOSEED offers the potential for a 5-10% saving on seed.