Auto steering systems play a big factor in farm operations due to the high degree of precision and ability to manage and share field information making farm operations easier and more efficient.So what is precision agriculture? How are the tractor auto steering systems used in precision agriculture? The purpose of this blog is to provide a general overview of these issues.
What is precision agriculture？
Precision agriculture is an umbrella concept that refers to using strategies and new technologies such as drones, robots, sensors and artificial intelligence in an interconnected manner to optimize the farm production process and minimize dependence on manual labor.
Precision agriculture allows processing and analyzing data collected over time, space, and people to be managed in a centralized platform. With visibility to all field conditions, quick decisions can be made to control sections of fields, such as adjusting the amount of fertilizer, farming time, technology optimization, among others, ultimately enhancing production efficiency, production quality, farmers' profits, and the sustainability of agricultural production.
Precision agriculture is also referred to as GPS farming or variable speed farming on a technical level.
Why practice precision agriculture?
Producing more with fewer resources while upholding high standards of quality is central to precision agriculture. Its purpose is two-fold.
For farmers: Precision agriculture allows the optimization of a farms resources and workflows. Consequently, consumption and waste are decreased, and land productivity is increased. Processes are accelerated and made more effective by better management, which lowers production costs.
For the environment: With precision agriculture, resources can be used more conscientiously. There is less waste and reduced emissions from fertilizers and herbicides. Precision agriculture practices prevent soil degradation and reduce soil compaction allowing the land to remain in a sustainable state.
What are the benefits of auto steering systems?
Auto steering systems allow tractors to complete tasks as programmed while preventing human errors and easing effort from the driver. We have identified 3 main benefits:
1. Reduced driver fatigue
Driving seeders, harvesters, sprayers, and other equipment all day can be physically taxing to the driver. The driver needs to be alert to ensure that the tractor follows an intended path. When handling huge farmlands, the driver can become easily fatigued. The auto steering system makes it easier for the driver to monitor and control the direction of the tractor through a screen.
2. Lower operating costs
Auto steering systems keep tractors operating precisely over field paths while preventing overlaps. This prevents wasted seed and fertilizers and the need to rework fields, optimizing processes and reducing labor costs.
3. Boost output quality and quantity
With the prevention of overlaps in fields, crops can receive the proper amount of fertilizer and pesticide needed, increasing both the quality and quantity of their output.
What is auto steering’s significance in precision agriculture?
1. GNSS+RTK high accuracy guidance
These are some of the most well-known precision agriculture technologies. These systems can boost productivity and efficiency.
GPS or GNSS technology allows locating and moving the position of agricultural machinery. This prevents tractors from overlapping or bypassing fields during the application of fertilizers where overlapping drives up fertilizer consumption while bypassing can result to reduced yield or pathogens.
Both Ragnar R160 and R180 have the auto steering system as a standard configuration while the Ragnar R70 gives buyers the flexibility to add on auto steering system in accordance with their needs. By using this auto steering system, Ragnar's tractors can move from point to point with high accuracy, saving time and fuel. This allows farmers to plant crops in a more efficient way.
2. Electric steering wheel + wheel angle sensor for precise steering
The auto steering system comes with electric wheels and wheel angle sensors which allow precise steering. This lessens the physical workload needed while operating the tractor, allowing the operator to concentrate on other aspects of their job.
3. ISOBUS protocol - A common language for precision agricultural services
In order to take full advantage of precision farming, various agricultural machines need to communicate with each other. ISOBUS is a communication protocol for the agriculture industry that helps solve this problem. It allows communication between tractors, software and devices, even from different manufacturers.
Equipped with auto steering system, Ragnar's SMART tractors can efficiently perform the farm tasks while being smarter than other tractors, thus becoming an essential farming component in precision agriculture. For more information about precision agriculture and Ragnar Tractors, please visite our blog.