Research: Boom And Clutch Control Save Money

The more “irregular” your fields are and the “finer” your application and planting resolution, the bigger the benefit. That’s the essence of research findings out of Auburn University in Alabama to gauge the cost savings possible using automatic control technologies. John Fulton, assistant professor, biosystems engineering at the school, worked with his team to develop a computer model to run tests of automatic control technologies over typical field to calculate the cost savings based on a reduction in overlapping and overspray.

In Alabama, where irregularly shaped fields are the rule rather than the exception, Fulton was compelled to find a way to test the potential benefit of the recent technology growers and custom applicators were considering to add greater control to planting and application work.

The computer model was designed to test three types of field operations: over the top crop protection application, sidedress nitrogen application, and seed planting. The model can test any configuration, from section-based control all the way down to individual nozzles and clutches to measure the benefit of different resolutions of control.

Auburn University’s published production costs for “traditional” field operations were used as the basis for comparison, says Fulton, and all known costs (including seed technology fees) were included in the equation to present the clearest possible picture of benefit.

The verdict? Irregularity of field shape is the thing that generates the biggest benefit to the technology, as well as “environmental barriers” such as wooded areas, structures, and waterways. And in comparing “trials” at different resolutions from section to individual nozzle/clutch, the benefit increased significantly. On 20 fields tested, the benefit ranged from a low of 2% cost savings on overapplication to a high of 10%.

Spray control at the nozzle resolution is not widely available yet, but Fulton says that the payback being demonstrated through the model indicates that its adoption will be strong once it becomes more available to end users.

For more information, contact John Fulton via email or visit the Auburn Precision Agriculture web site. A Precision Agriculture and Field Crops Conference is scheduled for December 8, 2009 in Atmore, AL. Visit the Auburn precision agriculture web site for the latest information.

Subscribe to the Newsletter!
Get your free weekly Precision Ag Newsletter!

Leave a Reply

Variable Rate Stories
Variable Rate2014 Precision Ag Top 5 Technologies
September 2, 2014
The top precision agriculture technologies didn’t change in the past year, according to experts. What has changed, however, is their order of activity. Read More
Variable RateVRA Shows Growth In All Its Forms
May 27, 2014
From seed to fertility to irrigation, variable rate is benefiting from the positive ag economy and a proliferation of new technology. Read More
Variable RateVariable Rate Success Makes Precision Programs ‘Stick’
January 28, 2014
A Michigan-based consultants believes variable-rate fertilizer programs will hold up in 2014, even if the ag economy takes a step back this year. Read More
EquipmentTeeJet Technologies Introduces New Automatic Sprayer Control
August 29, 2013
The Radion 8140 automatic sprayer rate control is equipped with a bright 4.3" color touch screen, allowing operators to easily enter system settings and the target application rate. Read More
Trending Articles
AwardsNominations Open For 2016 PrecisionAg Awards Of Excellence
February 5, 2016
The PrecisionAg Award of Excellence program sheds light on some of the most important people and programs that have helped agriculture realize the full benefits of technology to improve agronomy, efficiency, and stewardship in crop production. Read More
EquipmentNext-Gen SeedCommand Coming This Summer
February 2, 2016
The updated SeedCommand product line promises to enhance the functionality and productivity of planting operations for farmers. Read More
Farmlink computer screen
DataFarmLink Advisory Board To Spur Technology Transformation In Agriculture
January 27, 2016
As part of its drive to transform modern agriculture, FarmLink has announced the creation of its advisory board focused on Read More
SST Analytics
DataSST Analytics Helps Ag Retailers Navigate Down Economy
January 21, 2016
The next few years may be tough for ag retailers. High yields continue to depress grain prices while the global Read More
Imagery45,000 Farmers Get Drones; Some Likely To Apply For FAA Certification
January 21, 2016
According to Kris Poulson, vice president of agriculture for Sentera, an estimated 45,000 farmers across the U.S. received a drone Read More
Precision Ag Innovation Series
DataRegistration Tops 200: Innovation Series Event is Next Tuesday
January 18, 2016
Join an impressive gathering of data stakeholders on Jan. 26 in St. Louis for "Data and Agriculture: Finding What Works. Read More
Latest News
ImageryAg Drone Buyers Guide Published
February 12, 2016
Andrew Nixon over at BetterForTheJob.com has published an agriculture drone buyer’s guide at bestdroneforthejob.com/drones-for-work/agriculture-drone-buyers-guide/. It’s a pretty well-curated web resource Read More
ComputingSentera Announces SST agX Collaboration
February 10, 2016
Sentera, a global provider of software, sensors, and drones to the agriculture industry, announces its compatibility with the agX Platform. Read More
EquipmentDigi-Star Adds GT560 Scale Indicator To Harvest Tracker…
February 10, 2016
Digi-Star introduces the GT 560 Scale Indicator as part of the new Harvest Tracker System during the National Farm Machinery Read More
ATI AgBOT Raptor Module
EquipmentAgribusiness Report: Drones Making Precision Pay
February 10, 2016
There are now around 300,000 drones registered to the Federal Aviation Administration. Drones are seeing strides forward in use after Read More
EquipmentCase Launches AFS RTK+, ElectriSteer And AFS Connect Da…
February 10, 2016
Case IH is pleased to introduce three new Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) products: AFS RTK+, ElectriSteer and AFS Connect Data Read More
EquipmentTrimble Intros Irrigate -IQ Uniform Corner
February 10, 2016
Trimble introduced today the Irrigate-IQ uniform corner, a unique solution that allows farmers to apply a consistent amount of water Read More
Drones, UAVs, UAS, precision agriculture
ComputingAll Drone Solutions Launches Remotely Operated Agricult…
February 9, 2016
All Drone Solutions announces its intention to demonstrate and launch ROAM (Remotely Operated Agriculture Mapping) solution for growers and agronomists Read More
PrecisionAg InstituteSurvey Results: Growers More Interested In Boosting Yie…
February 9, 2016
Farmers are more than twice as likely to be motivated by how high they can get their yields than by Read More
HardwaresenseFly eBee Drone To Get Cheaper Multispectral sensor
February 9, 2016
Swiss professional drone maker, senseFly, has confirmed that Parrot’s Sequoia multispectral sensor – announced today at World Ag Expo in Read More
GuidanceTrimble Establishes Global Vantage Distribution Network
February 8, 2016
Trimble has announced that it is extending its distribution channel by establishing a new global network of independent distribution partners Read More
ComputingWECO Electronic Fruit & Vegetable Sorter Case Study
February 5, 2016
The Problem Woodside Electronics Corporation (WECO) manufactures and services electronic fruit and vegetable sorters used by food processors to improve Read More
AwardsNominations Open For 2016 PrecisionAg Awards Of Excelle…
February 5, 2016
The PrecisionAg Award of Excellence program sheds light on some of the most important people and programs that have helped agriculture realize the full benefits of technology to improve agronomy, efficiency, and stewardship in crop production. Read More
Precision Ag Instructor and student
EquipmentPrecision Agriculture Students Among Those Eligible For…
February 4, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA), through a $50,000 gift from its Educational Trust, has created a new opportunity for its Read More
Phillip R. Owens, Purdue University, and doctoral graduate Jenette Ashtekar
MappingAgReliant Genetics, AgSoil Analytics Partner On Soil Ma…
February 3, 2016
AgReliant Genetics has announced its formal collaboration with AgSoil Analytics, Inc., a Purdue-affiliated company led by Purdue University agronomy professor Read More