Monitoring the depth of sowing and tillage using Escort DGV-200 proximity sensor
During the sowing season, agricultural companies are faced with multiple issues related to the tillage and the actual sowing. Quite often everything seems to be fine. The agricultural machinery operators did a perfect job plowing the fields at the right depth. The seeds were planted properly. Little fuel was used and the job was done fast and smooth. What else to wish for?!
However, during the next season it turns out that the job done last time was not all that perfect. All of sudden it comes to the surface that multiple breaches of technological requirements, such as planting seeds at a particular depth, were committed and now they may lead to lower harvest volumes this season. As a result, a company’s financial performance suffers from higher costs and losses.
With the right equipment capable of controlling the depth at which the seeds are planted, all that could be easily avoided.
Automating the control of sowing depth and tillage
Integrator was faced with the task of finding a solution to remotely monitor quality of tillage – the depth of plowing, cultivation, seeding.
Also, promptly identify areas treated with breach of technology and take necessary actions to fix the issues to help avoid excessive consumption of seeds, fertilizers, fuels and lubricants, the cost of processing personnel and thus save the company's budget.
Features of tillage and why it's important to automate the control of sowing depth
Crucial factor for obtaining rich harvest is the quality of work on tillage. For example, compliance with the depth of sowing, as different crops, depending on biological characteristics, require different depths for seeds. Not the least role is played by the cultivation of the soil: its crumbling, loosening and partial mixing, as well as the complete destruction of weeds and leveling the surface. Spraying liquid nitrogen fertilizers is also important. According to the technology, nitrogen fertilizers should be applied to a depth of 15 to 20 cm. In case of deviation from the norm, the efficiency of tillage is lost.
That is why, for precise compliance with the standards of the work on tillage, trailing equipment is better to be equipped with a special ultrasonic proximity sensor, which will measure the distance from the platform of the sowing complex to the ground.
The solution for controlling the depth of sowing and tillage
To accomplish this goals, system integrator decided to equip trailing equipment with Escort DGV-200 proximity sensor, which by means of ultrasonic signal allows to determine the exact distance to the object thereby to control the depth for the uniform (the lower platform of the seeding system, the lower the seeding depth), distribution of fertilizers.
Installation of tillage monitoring equipment
On the right and left sections of the trailer unit are attached: 2 ultrasonic distance sensors, see photo.
The sensors are set-up to measure the desired parameters for trailing unit, depending on the requirements of processing technologies. The cable from sensors, is connected to on-board controller, which is installed on the towing vehicle.
Example of visualization in monitoring platform
Dispatch software displays all the main parameters of the work-time, place, speed, fuel consumption, deepening of the working element of the trailer unit (photo 2).
View in dispatch software
- track processing of the selected field, with color indication of processing depth: green – good, yellow – within the permissible limits, black-outside the specified limits or cultivator in idle position.
- A – speed graph
- B – the shaded range of allowable depth of processing
- C – depth chart (you can visually track whether it falls into range B). Spikes correspond to up-lifts of unit during turns
- D – fuel consumption chart
- current indicators of speed, fuel and depth of processing.
When setting an identifier, the ID and number of the unit are displayed, the width of the working element is automatically set.
The result of the introduction of a system for monitoring the depth of sowing and tillage
After the installation of additional Escort DGV-200 proximity sensor on the vehicle with real time transport monitoring system (cultivation with a depth of 15 cm), measurements of the depth of processing in the field were carried out. The measurements coincided with the readings, and the deepening of the unit (cultivator "Salford") had to be adjusted further. Escort DGV-200 ultrasonic proximity sensor has shown itself as an effective and accurate measuring device that allows a decent level to monitor the quality of sowing, tillage.
As a result of its application, the problems of uniformity of seeding depth, distribution of nitrogen fertilizers were solved, the number of sites treated with violations of the technology decreased thus the company performs the work on time and at no additional cost.