Over the past two years major equipment companies have begun using the term precision when talking about tillage. It’s not so much about being in the right place; it’s more about doing the right things in the right place.
Agco has added its version of precision control over the Sunflower machines, and now Deere has expanded its TruSet technology to 11 of its tillage tool models, including retrofit kits for more recent machines.
A gopher’s eye view of the technology would see machines varying the depth and down pressure based on soil parameters, such as elevation and moisture, as well as the resulting changes in residue or weeds and volunteers — what ever can be mapped or predicted and placed into a prescription.
Jarred Karnei, a Deere tillage specialist, said operators can “till each acre the way they want by making more precise and faster adjustments to depth (0.1 to inch accuracy) and down pressure (zero to 900 pounds per sq. inch) as residue, compaction and soil conditions change across the field.
“At the same time, tillage information for each field is mapped and stored and can be overlaid with other data to make better agronomic decisions later on.”
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The 2720 disc ripper is the latest machine to get the technology. Using the company’s TruSet, farmers can run deeper in headlands, shallower in the flat ground and till lightly on the ridges and hilltops by setting ripper depth and using the rolling baskets’ active hydraulic pressure to manage down force. As well, both can be controlled on the go from the cab or using a prepared plan.
The TruSet precision tillage does require a 2630 display and Greenstar compatible or a competitive company’s tractor and at some point will likely be available for the 4600 units. In some cases additional electronic components might be required when retrofitting the system, the company said.