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 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 Now Open! 2015 PrecisionAg Awards Of Excellence
January 20, 2015
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
DataCropMetrics, DTN Announce Collaboration On Weather, Irrigation Data
March 11, 2015
The new collaboration will enable growers with real-time, site specific weather and crop modeling information dedicated to helping improve grower’s irrigation management decisions. Read More
iSOYL mobile app
Variable RateVariable Rate Applications Made Easy With New iPad App
February 20, 2015
The new iSOYL app streamlines the variable rate application process for iPad users, saving growers time, money and effort. Read More
Typical Drainage Water Management Installation
EquipmentTaming Water With Technology
January 29, 2015
Farm drainage systems are getting vital updates thanks to precision tools. Read More
1255 Early Riser Planter with Precision Planting
Variable RateVRA Seeding Primed For Growth
January 27, 2015
As technology options increase, experts foresee a big year for variable-rate seeding adoption. Read More
ComputingClimate Corp. Acquires 640 Labs
December 9, 2014
The 640 Labs team will join The Climate Corporation, strengthening the company’s efforts to build the industry’s leading data science platform for farmers.   Read More
Latest News
Topcon X Family of Consoles
GPSTopcon Kicks Off Technology Roadshow In Toronto
April 17, 2015
Topcon Positioning Group announces the kickoff of the 2015 Topcon Technology Roadshow in Toronto, ON. The mobile solutions center will Read More
SoftwareOnFarm Spring Update Features Water Management Tools
April 16, 2015
OnFarm, developers of farm production management software, have included in their spring release a suite of features supporting water management Read More
Drones, UAVs, UAS, precision agriculture
ImageryAirware Launches Commercial UAV Operating System
April 16, 2015
Airware today unveiled its Aerial Information Platform (AIP), an operating system for commercial drones that combines hardware, software, and cloud Read More
SoftwareAgWorks Announces CDMS Alliance
April 15, 2015
AgWorks, a provider of unified agronomy management software for Agribusiness retailers, announced a new partnership today with CDMS, Inc. to Read More
DataHarvestMaster’s H2 High Capacity GrainGage Now Av…
April 15, 2015
HarvestMaster’s new H2 High Capacity GrainGage is now shipping. Designed to collect data on large-plot, high-volume grain samples, the H2 Read More
Imagery10 Precision Ag UAVs For 2015
April 14, 2015
There are many flight-worthy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on the market today for various civilian applications. Here are 10 models Read More
Joe RussoUnderstanding Scale In Precision Agriculture
April 14, 2015
Early in their education, meteorology students learn about the atmospheric scales of motion. Atmospheric scales of motion refer to the Read More
SoftwareCropMetrics: Here’s 3 Steps To Avoid Field Runoff…
April 13, 2015
Field runoff is a problem that everyone is concerned with – including precision irrigation outfits like CropMetrics – but I Read More
DataRanch Systems Shipping RX30 Weather Sensor Worldwide
April 10, 2015
Ranch Systems is now shipping the RX30 expansion unit worldwide. The RX30 is a “drop-in” expansion board that allows the Read More
DataMapShots, Raven’s Slingshot System Detail Enhance…
April 9, 2015
With the upcoming release of MapShots Inc.’s Service Pack 0, AgStudio users who also subscribe to Raven Industries’ Slingshot system Read More
SoftwareAgSense Field Commander Ultimate Precision Irrigation S…
April 9, 2015
AgSense announced its release of the “Field Commander Ultimate” precision irrigation package. The package combines the industry’s most installed controller, Read More
Irrigation, Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation
EquipmentMore Precise Irrigation Control
April 8, 2015
As more regions of the country struggle with water conservation and off-site nutrient movement, growers are looking for ways to Read More
ImagerysenseFly Soups Up eBee Ag Capabilities
April 8, 2015
Swiss professional drone manufacturer senseFly has optimized its eBee Ag drone solution, adding powerful new software that makes it easy Read More
Drones, UAVs, UAS, precision agriculture
EquipmentOregon State Scientists Discover Novel UAV Application
April 7, 2015
For the first time, scientists at Oregon State University are measuring atmospheric temperatures with fiber optic thermometers suspended from unmanned Read More
AgJunction, InfoAg 2014, Autosteer, GPS
SoftwareEFC Systems Acquires AgJunction’s Cloud Services …
April 2, 2015
EFC Systems, Inc. today announced it has signed an agreement for the purchase of AgJunction Inc.’s Cloud Services division. EFC Read More
EquipmentVegetable Focus: Growers Find Success With Precision
April 1, 2015
Three exceptional vegetable growers share their success stories using precision agriculture technology to improve their operations. Read More
UAVs, drones, Empire Unmanned, SenseFly, eBee Ag,
ImageryEmpire Unmanned Ready To Fly First Ag UAV Missions
April 1, 2015
After being granted their first Certificate of Authorization (COA) from FAA, Empire Unmanned (Hayden, ID) has completed mandatory training on Read More
Irrigation, Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation
EquipmentNetafim PDMI System Slated For Great Plains Debut
March 31, 2015
In a major step forward for growers in the water-stressed Great Plains, Netafim USA has joined efforts with Teeter Irrigation, Read More