The 2022 Agritechnica Innovation Award winners have been announced today by organisers The DLG (German Agricultural Society). The annual agricultural innovation awards scheme has chosen one gold and sixteen silver winners with the reduction of soil compaction a particular focus in both the gold AND silver categories.
GOLD – NeXaT GmbH’s Autonomous Implement Carrier
NeXaT GmbH has won the only gold award with its autonomous carrier vehicle ‘NeXaT-Systemtraktor’ – a machine which integrates implements used in crop production, tilling, sowing, spraying and harvesting. Instead of conventional hauling, the implements are carried which leads to increased efficiency compared to tractor and towed implement combinations.
The 12 metre wide version has been designed to ensure that 95% of the total field area is never driven on in the envisaged bed mode – this results in higher yield potentials and reduced soil compaction which is better for the soil microbiome, plant health and also carbon storage.
The NeXaT is equipped with a peripheral monitoring system and a cab that can be rotated by 270° is available for process monitoring. This establishes the basis for fully automated machine operation and enables manual vehicle guidance during transport. The integrated implements are mounted between four large, electrically driven track running gear units, which can be rotated by 90° for travelling by road.
The unit is currently powered by two independent diesel engines, each offering an output of 400 kW/545 hp, with generators, but the vehicle is designed to accommodate alternative drive technologies such as fuel cells.
Utilising live farmland conditions to plan machinery routes
Silver award winner TerraService offers arable farmers a digital service with which they can calculate the navigability of their farmland in advance to minimise soil compaction from vehicle journeys. A joint development by RAUCH Landmaschinenfabrik GmbH and AgriCircle AG, soil moisture is estimated by means of radar measurements performed by Sentinel-1 satellites in combination with local weather data. By combining known on-farm soil structure information with the latest moisture readings TerraService can calculate the navigability of the agricultural land in advance. The information is displayed on a portable terminal and is displayed for the specific partial areas in a 10 metre grid view.
Should TerraService calculate that the ground is likely to be unnavigable, or close to that state, a warning message is displayed. The order in which the fields are driven on, the entry position into large fields and the processing sequence of the ruts can also be optimised or defined to prevent heavy machinery becoming stuck in heavy conditions.
With the TerraService, Rauch and AgriCircle have significantly evolved existing simulation models for ascertaining navigability and calculating the risk of harmful compaction by using satellite-supported radar measurements for determining the soil moisture.
The service is flexible and can be used for various agricultural work processes such as fertilisation, spreading liquid manure and crop protection, and helps farmers to maintain a good soil condition, a good soil structure and therefore a high yield level.
Journey planning with the Compaction Prevention System (CPS)
Another silver award winner, the Compaction Prevention System (CPS) from Sweden’s Agtech 2030 offers the user a service that shows the current compaction risk for a field and therefore its navigability in advance and in the form of a map. The speedy, location-specific calculation helps to plan work and also enables the driver of the machine to bypass partial areas that are at risk if necessary. In particular, the ‘field status’ is additionally included in the simulation, and covers important soil status variables such as the tillage method, the arable crop and the vegetation status, for instance.
The system offers users decision-making aids regarding the risk of soil compaction and helps to decide where and when work should be carried out on the fields in the specific vehicle configuration. The farmer is able to plan his work optimally and safeguard the soil as much as possible. Additional tillage measures for eliminating harmful compaction as well as the resulting CO2 emissions can be prevented. This leads to time and cost savings and ensures a high yield potential.
Claas displays soil compaction avoidance indicator
CLAAS KgaA mbH has won a silver award by combining the CEMOS drive assistance system with Terranimo, a tool used to simulate soil loading and load bearing capacity that is already well recognised throughout Europe.
The new system from Claas shows a machinery driver how high the risk of compaction is under the current operating conditions directly on the cab’s terminal. A red warning light indicates increased risk of soil compaction. In this case, the driver can abort the planned operation or implement suitable countermeasures (e.g. changing ballast weights or tyre pressures) and immediately check the effects of these again.
In order to calculate the risk of compaction, Claas connects information supplied by the CEMOS driver assistance system on aspects such as the soil type/condition, axle loads or tyre pressures with data from Terranimo. The latter is able to predict contact area, shape and stress distribution in the tyre–soil interface from wheel load, tyre parameters and known topsoil strength. Dynamic axle load shifts are also taken into consideration in this process.
Thanks to this preventative driver support, the Claas Terranimo soil compaction risk display on the terminal enables the avoidance of harmful compaction and the related, negative effects on soil health and profitability.