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.

Leave a Reply

Variable Rate Stories

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
Variable RateCVA’s Advanced Cropping Systems: Limitless Potential
January 17, 2013
Central Valley Ag Cooperative is betting heavily on precision ag technology in northeast Nebraska. Read More

Trending Articles

EquipmentDeere Dealer Meeting: Machinery Improvements Boost Precision
August 23, 2014
John Deere's array of new releases and product improvements were punctuated with efficiency upgrades that should allow for improved use of precision practices. Read More
Data5 Key Precision Farming Trends Showcased At The InfoAg Conference
July 30, 2014
No other event in agriculture quite captures the latest trends in precision farming like The InfoAg Conference. Find out what was hot at this year's event in our photo gallery. Read More
EquipmentNew Soil Sampling System Debuts At InfoAg
July 28, 2014
North Carolina grower Allan Baucom has what he feels is a better idea for automating soil sampling, and it’s on Read More
EquipmentKinze Electric Multi-Hybrid Planter Moves Closer To Full Launch
July 15, 2014
Based on early successes with the multi-hybrid planter, Kinze announced that it is putting the model into limited production for the spring 2015 planting season. Read More
SoftwareTrimble Adds Multi-Spectral Processing Capabilities To Connected Farm
June 19, 2014
Trimble has added another new agronomic service to its Connected Farm solution. Read More
ImageryInfoAg 2014 Is Next Week, Record Crowd Anticipated
June 11, 2014
A new and improved InfoAg 2014 program hits the hot topics of today: unmanned aerial vehicles, big data and wearable computers. Read More

Latest News

PrecisionAg Institute1 On 1 With Paul Schrimpf: The Climate Corp.’s John J…
August 29, 2014
John Jansen of The Climate Corp. talks with PrecisionAg Executive Editor Paul Schrimpf about how the company’s technology platform has Read More
DataThe Climate Corporation Announces Acreage Milestone, Ne…
August 28, 2014
The Climate Corporation has announced a new acreage milestone achieved by its Climate Basic service, as well as a new price point for Climate Pro subscribers. Read More
SteeringOutback Guidance Introduces Next Generation Auto Steer …
August 27, 2014
Outback Guidance has introduced three new precision auto steer systems: the eDriveXD, eDriveXC and eDriveESI. Read More
GuidanceTrimble Conducting Demonstrations Of NextSwath End Of R…
August 26, 2014
Trimble is conducting live demonstrations of its cutting-edge NextSwath end of row turn technology at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA. Read More
MappingTrimble’s RainWave Solution Now Maps Rainfall Amounts…
August 26, 2014
Trimble has announced a significant advancement in its RainWave precipitation monitoring solution that maps precise rainfall amounts within an entire Read More
SoftwareConnected Farm Now Includes Field Data Management Solut…
August 26, 2014
The solution consists of two Web applications: Connected Farm Field, a field data management tool for the farmer; and Connected Farm Advisor, a field data management tool for the farmer’s trusted advisor. Read More
EquipmentValmont Acquires Majority Stake In AgSense
August 26, 2014
Valmont Industries, a leading global provider of engineered products and services for infrastructure and mechanized irrigation equipment for agriculture, has acquired a majority interest in South Dakota-based AgSense. Read More
EquipmentCase IH, Precision Planting Let Producers Customize The…
August 26, 2014
Producers can choose to add any or all Precision Planting components to their new Case IH Early Riser planter, depending on which they feel will deliver the greatest value to their operation. Read More
EquipmentDeere Dealer Meeting: Machinery Improvements Boost Prec…
August 23, 2014
John Deere's array of new releases and product improvements were punctuated with efficiency upgrades that should allow for improved use of precision practices. Read More
PrecisionAg Institute1 On 1 With Paul Schrimpf: Midwest Laboratories’ Tim …
August 22, 2014
Tim Mundorf of Midwest Laboratories talks with PrecisionAg Executive Editor Paul Schrimpf about key trends in soil testing, how the company collaborates with universities on recommendations, how delivering quality data is as important as ever, and much more. Read More
GPSResearchers Uncover New GPS Application
August 22, 2014
Researchers are using GPS out west to monitor the massive drought that has intensified over much of the region. Read More
DataBig Data Workshop Set For Monday, Aug. 25 In Ames
August 20, 2014
"Big Data: Managing Your Most Elusive Farm Asset" is set to bring growers, educators and industry experts together Aug. 25 on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, IA. Read More
DataWinField Launches Data Silo, Mobile App Store
August 20, 2014
Answer Tech by WinField is a web portal and mobile app store, while the WinField Data Silo is a secure, cloud-based data-management system. Read More
UncategorizedUSDA Launches Website To Provide Guidance For New Farme…
August 20, 2014
Farmers work hard while dealing with unpredictable weather, long hours and countless risks. New farmers face even more start-up obstacles Read More
DataVilsack, USDA Pledge $2 Million To Lake Erie Water Qual…
August 19, 2014
The new funding is the latest contribution of resources to the Lake Erie watershed from USDA, which has invested $46 million in the watershed since 2009. Read More
DataLeadership Change Ahead For AgGateway
August 19, 2014
Current Executive Vice President and COO Wendy Smith will move into the role of AgGateway President and CEO beginning in 2015. Read More
PrecisionAg Institute1 On 1 With Paul Schrimpf: Topcon Precision Agriculture…
August 13, 2014
Harlan Little of Topcon Precision Agriculture talks with PrecisionAg Executive Editor Paul Schrimpf about key issues in precision agriculture, how positioning and steering systems are still a key focus for the company, data privacy and much more. Read More
AwardsPrecisionAg Awards Of Excellence Winners Talk About Car…
August 13, 2014
Winners of the 2014 PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence share insights into their successful careers and what’s driving advancement in farming technology. Read More