Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Saturday 21 April 2018

Crop Sensor Development from claas

Derek Casey

Derek Casey

Another innovation launched by Claas this week is the firm's new Crop Sensor.

This machine makes an online, plot-specific calculation of a crop's optimum nitrogen uptake and is the only sensor on the market with an Isobus connection.

So how does it work? The sensor automatically calculates the nitrogen (N) requirement of the crop while driving, and thereby manages without the manual calibration usually carried out for N-sensors at the time of application.

This means that the optimum fertiliser quantity and its application rate are calculated at the same time.

The device is an optical sensor with two sensor heads. These are fitted on the right and left of a carrier frame, which is mounted on the tractor's front mounting at a distance of 80cm from the crop.

The sensor heads then work on a circular area with a diameter of 50cm. Thanks to active lighting, the crop sensor can be used in the day and at night.

Biomass reflection is the measure for crop analysis. A measurement is taken of the light reflected by the crop under the sensor head.

This is used to calculate the vegetation index, which reflects the current nitrogen supply to the crop.

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The sensor measures the quantity of nitrogen which has already been absorbed by the crop up to that point, compares this measurement with the target value of the current growth stage, and then calculates the missing nutrient difference which must be applied by the spreader on the back of the tractor.

Irish Independent