Growing pace of isobus control

The use of isobus compliant control systems for implements is gathering pace, with Kverneland adding to the software and hardware available through its iM Farming initiative.

A number of the group’s implements are already equipped with the on-board computer needed to work with an isobus terminal such as its own IsoMatch Tellus twin-display touch-screen unit. New software and some hardware upgrades on selected implements provide added control functions.

Apart from documenting field work for farm records, GeoControl operates with GPS to provide variable rate application and to automatically switch seed drills, fertiliser spreaders and crop sprayers on and off at headlands.

It will also adjust spreading and spraying widths to avoid applying fertiliser or pesticides where the machines have already made a pass.

Apart from reducing the operator’s workload and the stress of trying to judge such things by eye, Kverneland engineers calculate that the automated approach can reduce fertiliser use by 2-10% and pesticides by 5-15%.

Actual savings depend on the size and shape of individual fields because the main benefit comes from avoiding excessive overlaps where tramlines converge.

An important feature of GeoControl, which is available for Kverneland Exacta and Vicon twin disc spreaders, is that it alters the flow of material heading on to the discs in proportion to the reduction in working width. That should ensure the required application rate and an even spread pattern are maintained, which the company claims is not always the case with similar systems.

Although GeoControl can also be used on Kverneland grain drills, they only have half-width shut-off. That will change to multi-section shut-off on future models but, for now, the technology is best exploited on precision seeders.

Equipped with sensors and individual electric motor drive to keep each cell wheel perfectly aligned with its neighbour, the will sow seed in such a regular pattern that mechanical weeding along and across the rows is possible.

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