AGCO’s return to more prominence in the precision or digital ag sector includes the acquisition of a US company ‘Intelligent Ag’, which has some useful monitoring devices that can be retrofitted to sprayers and seed drills.
The sprayer unit Spraysense installs a very simple electronic flowmeter at every nozzle body, and these can detect changes in flow to individual nozzles caused by either partially blocked or worn nozzles.
These changes may not be picked up on by changes in overall boom flow rate. The individual nozzle outputs are displayed graphically in the cab.
The second Intelligent Ag product, namely Blockage Plus, uses an acoustic sensor to detect blockage in individual coulters in a pneumatic seed drill.
This is a system that could prove very useful in wet autumns like we have just had.
While there are individual electronic seed detectors already available, this unit uses a single acoustic sensor bank, to which acoustic tubes are connected, like stethoscope tubing, which are attached to a solid, sealed sensing pipe section fitted into each coulter pipe.
Although these are fitted near the distribution head, they can detect a change in acoustics within seconds of a blockage.
There are no electronics or wires connected to the individual pipe sensing tubes. The individual pipe that is not delivering seed correctly is quickly identified in the cab.