Case IH adds an innovative soil sensor for controlling tillage equipment and seed drills to its product portfolio

19 Feb 2018

Low fuel consumption thanks to variable depth guidance / sensor-supported adjusting of the working depth / higher work efficiency thanks to a more uniform working speed / less strain on the driver / complete ISOBUS compatible soil sensor / ISOBUS task controller for tillage equipment


The resource-friendly tillage of agricultural soils is the central production factor in modern agriculture and has been a longstanding Case IH key competency. Combining a modern sensor system with the advantages of Case IH tractors allows farmers to considerably reduce their use of inputs while at the same time increasing their working efficiency.
At Agritechnica 2015, the Topsoil Mapper was presented as the first soil sensor to control tilling machines and was awarded DLG’s silver Innovation Award. The technology allows for soil-optimized and automated control of hydraulic tillage equipment via ISOBUS.
Case IH is actively working with the Austrian Technology provider Geoprospectors GmbH  to facilitate  the development of a long term soil sensing technology partnership.
As a result, Case IH is collaborating with the Geoprospectors GmbH’s Topsoil Mapper while also taking over the exclusive distribution of Geoprospectors’ products in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine.


Sensor-supported depth guidance

The heterogeneity of agricultural soils requires different working depths during tillage in order to make up for subplot-specific differences in type of soil, compression and water content. Ultimately, it is only possible to measure these parameters with the required accuracy and reliability in real time, as they vary greatly according to the season.

Over many years of development, Geoprospectors GmbH has developed a sensor system capable of capturing the relevant soil parameters in real time and sending this data to the tilling machine’s computer in order to control the depth guidance. To do so, the sensor is installed in front of the tractor. The collected measured values are directly converted into control commands for tillage by the sensor’s computer and then transmitted to the machine’s job computer via ISOBUS.

“The Topsoil Mapper is the first soil sensor that can be directly integrated into agricultural implements and is also capable of controlling tilling machines in real time. This way, it can adjust tillage according to the actual soil and weather conditions” says Michael Pregesbauer, CEO of Geoprospectors GmbH.


First complete ISOBUS solution in soil tillage

With the Topsoil Mapper, Case IH dealers now offer the world’s first completely integrated ISOBUS solution in the field of soil tillage. In addition to the sensor, a complete package includes an ISOBUS job computer with implement control as a retrofit kit for any hydraulic tillage equipment.
The Topsoil Mapper can either be ordered as sensor components or as a special front weight solution. The latter is primarily of interest when the front linkage requires a counterweight for tilling.
“To achieve maximum customer acceptance, it is crucial that the new system can be integrated into operators’ existing work processes. This is why Case IH relies on the Topsoil Mapper’s ISOBUS compatibility to ensure the best possible integration into existing operations for its customers” says Maximilian Birle, Precision Farming Manager for Germany.


Geared towards efficiency and operating comfort

Once the sensor is connected to the front ISOBUS connector and the tillage equipment’s job computer is connected to the tractor’s rear ISOBUS connector , work can start. No complicated calibration is required, and the driver selects one of the available control programs and starts immediately. Standard programs are available for flat and deep tillage, as well as for subsoiling. User-specific regulations can also be parameterized for special cases.
The Topsoil Mapper and the implement computer are controlled exclusively through the tractor’s ISOBUS terminal. Depth values are documented by the terminal’s task controller. The tractor’s GPS positioning is used for mapping sensor readings.


Maximal documentation

Up until now, soil maps were created in a separate step. Now, the Topsoil Mapper means updated soil information can be recorded during operations, and subsequently for further application planning. The Topsoil Mapper can be used in all vegetation, weather and soil conditions. Data is exchanged via standardized exchange formats including  ISOXML or Shape Files for integration into common farm management systems.


A competent partnership for exclusive distribution and service

Each introduction of a new technology requires the best possible advice and support. This is why Case IH, as the exclusive sales partner in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine is taking over market introduction, sales and service for the Topsoil Mapper. With a retailer network specialized in precision farming products in these countries, Case IH ensures that all of its customers receive the best support so that they too can quickly benefit from the technology.


A big step towards more efficiency

With the Topsoil Mapper and the retrofit kit for implements, Case IH offers its customers an attractive solution with a number of benefits. These include,  reduced fuel consumption leading to cost savings, as well as resource-friendly soil tilling. “The variable depth guidance marks the beginning of a new chapter in the future of subplot tillage”, says Maximilian Birle.

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