The alliance between precision manufacturer Ag Leader Technology and sensor manufacturer Holland Scientific has yielded its first product release, the OptRx on-the-go sensor.
OptRx is a crop sensor designed for use in mapping and data collection, as well as real-time variable rate application of crop protection products and nitrogen. This new crop sensor technology allows operators to put the right amount of nitrogen where the crop needs it. Allowing operators to take full advantage of ideal application conditions, OptRx features a patented advanced light-sensing technology that is not dependent on ambient light, so the system can be used day or night.
“Simply put, OptRx shines light on a growing plant and then reads the light reflected back at the sensor,” says Roger Zielke, New Business Development Manager. “Then, using a compatible Ag Leader display, the OptRx™ crop sensor system can create a prescription that varies the rate of nitrogen application on-the-go by sensing a crop’s health. For example, OptRx sensors will communicate with the applicator to put on less nitrogen on healthy corn plants and more nitrogen on weaker, nitrogen-deficient corn plants.
“Nitrogen is applied at a rate that maximizes yield and profit potential in all areas of the field while avoiding excessive nitrogen rates common to flat rate application,” continues Zielke. “Flat rate nitrogen application leaves a lot of money on the table. We’ve seen the variable rate technology of OptRx™ provide input cost efficiency and less environmental impact.”
OptRx crop sensors can be mounted on many types of vehicles to collect information while driving through the field. Information collected throughout an entire field, including vegetative index, can then be used to measure the impact of nutrients, water, disease and other growing conditions on crops.
OptRx will be available for the 2010 growing season for mapping sensor readings, which consultants can then use to identify trouble spots in the field. Variable-rate nitrogen application for corn is also included for the 2010 growing season. Ongoing testing continues for OptRx to be used for variable rate nitrogen application in other crops as well as to potentially vary the rate of any agrochemical in which the rate changes with crop size or vigor.
For more information visit www.agleader.com.