In modern agriculture, precision farming is considered one of the most important factors for productivity during plant cultivation. In precision farming differences in soil as well as varying yield capacities within a field are taken into account during the cultivation process in order to use operating materials efficiently, conserve resources, and increase agricultural yields.
The use of geophysical measuring systems is one of the key factors in agriculture for understanding soil mechanics.
By using the Topsoil Mapper, the farmer himself can now, for the first time, record inhomogeneity in the soil for a large area and comprehensively map soil parameters, such as soil type, water saturation, and compaction using electromagnetic induction. These soil parameters can then be used in real time for variable machine control.
The Topsoil Mapper product set consists of the following components:
1. Topsoil Mapper (TSM)
The sensor itself is made of robust, entirely non-conductive material, can be used during each pass and is capable of recording soil data autonomously. On any towing vehicle, the TSM can be used regardless of weather and vegetation.
There are various application possibilities:
Contact-free analysis of soil structure
In BASIC mode, the system can be mounted on any towing vehicle to conduct autonomous measurements of the soil’s electrical conductivity without contacting the soil. Maps with the soil parameters for compaction, type of soil and water saturation can be determined from the measured data.
The farmer then has the option of integrating this data with other data for their farm management system and generating application maps from the results. As a rule, farmers use these maps in combination with the site-specific control of their agricultural equipment, as well as for planning of further agricultural operations.
Variable control of agricultural machines in real time
As an alternative to asynchronous usage, the soil information can be used in PRO mode in combination with the appropriate agricultural equipment so that the latter can be controlled flexibly in real time. This allows two processes (acquisition and application) to be combined into one work step. The TSM is the only soil sensor on the market that can be used in this manner.
When using the TSM for cultivation, the soil parameters determined by the system will be integrated into the calculation of the ideal depth of cultivation in real time. The parameters will be transferred as control parameters to the appropriate machine, while simultaneously implementing data acquisition during the soil cultivation process.
Depending on the cultivation strategy (shallow cultivation, sub soiling or contour tracking), corresponding settings can also be modified on the terminal software so that additional information about the field will be taken into consideration.
Sensor-supported seed control in real time
The application of sensor-supported real-time control, which can be realized with the TSM, also presents a huge potential for optimization in other areas, such as seed drilling. The TSM is the first ISOBUS-capable soil sensor that can be used to control sowing machines. With this system it is for the first time possible to adapt sowing to varying site conditions (soil type, soil moisture) in real time.