Increased accuracy and lower costs can be achieved by using automatic section control on the growing number of ISOBUS-ready sprayers, fertiliser spreaders and seed drills, using the new Application Pro Universal system from John Deere.
John Deere’s AMS (Agricultural Management Solutions) division has introduced optional Sprayer Pro, Seeder Pro and Spreader Pro modules on the latest GreenStar 2 precision farming software packages, for use with the GreenStar 2600 in-cab display. These allow third party machines to be switched automatically on and off of according to their GPS position, in the same way as John Deere’s established Sprayer Pro system on its trailed and self-propelled sprayers.
The Sprayer Pro package includes automatic boom section control and an automatic master on/off control at the headland. Sprayer Pro takes over control of the boom sections and automatically switches them on and off when entering an area that has already been sprayed or is located outside the set field boundaries.
Initially, only Kverneland ISOBUS implements are being supported by the new Application Pro Universal system. However, other brands of ISOBUS machine will be tested and added to the approved compatibility list in due course, to provide the same auto-section control benefits. A complete list of currently compatible ISOBUS equipment can be found on John Deere’s Stellar Support website (www.stellarsupport.com).
Research has shown that average cost savings in crop inputs of between £2.60 and £5.20/ha can be easily achieved using this type of control system, with greater savings possible depending on the product being applied and the type of application – and the greater the level of positioning accuracy, the greater the savings.
Chief benefits include the avoidance of over- and underdosing, to create the best possible growing conditions for the crop and help maximise yields. Lodging can be reduced, as well as crop damage or disease problems arising from the application of incorrect chemical dose rates at the headlands.
With the introduction of these Application Pro Universal modules, two new features have been added to existing GreenStar Sprayer Pro systems for use with the GreenStar Display 2600. Headland Control allows inputs to be applied to the main part of the field first and afterwards to the headlands.
When spraying for example, the machine no longer has to travel through previously treated areas – so any chemical deposit on the machine, which is one potential source of environmental pollution, is reduced. In addition, when planting or drilling, overlaps can be minimised automatically without the need for any manual measurement or control.
The second new feature allows up to 25 pieces of information about each crop input to be stored, so all the relevant product information can now be shown on the display at the point of application. Without GreenStar Sprayer Pro or one of the new modules, only the product name, type, measurement units and application rate can be shown.
This is particularly important for tasks such as chemical spraying. Harvest interval, the latest application date, buffer zone conditions and active ingredient details can all be at the fingertips of the operator in the field. If Farmade software is also being used, this data may be transferred from the farm office PC to the field as part of the work plan or prescription.
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