Case IH is adding more precision technology to that last bastion of crop farming simplicity — tillage tools.
The company announced its new AFS Soil Command Agronomic Control Technology for Tillage recently. The technology puts sensors in hydraulic cylinders and means more automated adjustments for tillage implements.
For example, if the depth of the main tillage tines on a cultivator are changed, the harrow unit on the tool will also be adjusted to maintain a consistent seedbed.
“AFS Soil Command helps producers overcome the challenges of properly setting their tillage tool to unlock more agronomic potential of their seedbed,” said Chris Lursen, Case IH tillage marketing manager. “Case IH tillage equipment already sets the stage for an ideal seedbed, and now producers can choose to take soil quality a step further. They can use AFS Soil Command to make agronomically correct adjustments from the seat of the tractor, ensuring the entire machine is properly set.”
The tillage implements can be adjusted as a farmer wishes, from the tractor cab, with the new system.
The AFS Soil Command agronomic control technology is being added to Case IH’s Tiger-Mate 255 field cultivator, single-fold True-Tandem disk harrows and vertical tillage tools, and the Ecolo-Tiger 875 disk ripper for spring 2019.
The control of the tillage components will be based on the company’s already-existing seedbed sensing technology capabilities,
A smooth seedbed means better planter conditions, which has become more of an issue as companies ramp up planter speed.
Case IH said that often producers adjust the depth of their tillage tools without adjusting other machine functions. On an Ecolo-Tiger 875, for example, shank depth and disk depth could become misaligned and could result in an uneven finish.
With AFS Soil Command system, those components can automatically be co-ordinated.
“In many cases, operators may not be aware of a misadjusted tillage tool,” Lursen said. “On a True-Tandem disk harrow, fore/aft levelness and Crumbler pressure should be evaluated when the disk depth is changed, but this doesn’t always happen.”
Once settings are optimized for a particular field condition, operators can save a setting to one of the four presets. With a push of a button, the implement adjusts to improve agronomic performance.
The company says that its sensors are matched to the rugged conditions faced by tillage equipment. Most of them are located within hydraulic cylinders.