Data drives tractor in right directions

We’ve seen data-driven technology improve the performance of combines, tractors, grain-handling equipment and sprayers. Electronic soil sensors and data-driven technology have finally caught up with tillage and planting equipment.

Case IH has released a new AFS Soil Command feature, marking major progress in field mapping capabilities and agronomic research. The company says seed bed sensing technology enables the operator to measure and optimize the agronomic quality of a seed bed in real-time. This allows the operator to make adjustments that help eliminate an uneven seed bed floor, which causes planter row-unit bounce.

“AFS Soil Command helps producers monitor and optimize soil conditions down to the square inch for tillage,” the release said.

“No more ‘farming on the average’ using the same equipment and tillage settings through entire fields, despite changing field conditions. Presets allow each area of a field to be treated differently. The technology then records all key tillage tool adjustments and provides producers with real-time field mapping data.”

The new mapping technology notifies operators of problem areas and changing field conditions using seamless two-way data transfer. This allows producers to compare recorded data with yield maps using AFS software and other data analysis systems. It helps them understand the effects tillage had on those areas so that they can make the most of every inch of every field.

The sensing technology is seamlessly integrated into Case IH hydraulic cylinders to provide feedback to the control technology. When shank depth is adjusted, all other functions of the machine automatically react to remain optimized for peak performance, including fore and aft leveling, disc-gang depth, leveller depth and crumbler pressure.

“We’re excited to give farmers a deeper understanding of the agronomic benefits of tillage and stop ’farming on the average,’ said Chris Lursen of Case.

“Making precise adjustments to treat different areas of a field is critical for boosting yields. Producers consistently rely on hard data to streamline their operations, from tractor fuel economy to planter and seeding data. Now, that data is becoming increasingly available for tillage equipment, too.”

To further understand tillage optimization, Case IH is partnering with Ohio State University to evaluate the potential of Ecolo-Tiger 875 disc rippers equipped with AFS Soil Command. The university is using mapping technology and additional data solutions to research the impact of tillage adjustments on yield potential in varying field conditions from residue management to accounting for varying soil types. By collecting this data, OSU hopes to see if there’s a better return on investment from better tillage tactics.

“We want to communicate the importance of tillage through measurable returns,” said Andrew Klopfenstein, senior research engineer at OSU.

“Today, it’s more important than ever to assess every aspect of your operation, including tillage. The future of tillage is tech-based, and we’re here to support that with yield and field mapping data.”

AFS Soil Command mapping technology will be available for the fall season of use on all AFS Soil Command agronomic control technology and seed bed sensing technology equipment: the Case IH Ecolo-Tiger 875 disc ripper, the Tiger-Mate 255 field cultivator, True-Tandem 345/375 disk harrows and True-Tandem 335 VT/Barracuda vertical tillage tools.

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