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CLAAS releases ‘universal’ nitrogen optimisation system

Published on 03 February 2016

CLAAS ISARIA has become the first ISOBUS-compatible optical crop sensor available on the market. Developed by the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF), ISOBUS is the internationally-recognised communication protocol for agricultural technology. The certification means the cutting-edge nitrogen application system can be operated in combination with any ISOBUS-compatible tractor or implement.

Landpower Group Product Manager, Luke Wheeler, says the capability of modern farming technology is often dependent on the compatibility of the various components. “ISOBUS compatibility, as confirmed by AEF certification, allows producers and contractors to be confident about the operational reliability of their farming technology when combining different tractors and implements,” he says. “Put simply, it enables any ISOBUS-compatible implement to be operated using any ISOBUS-compatible tractor via any ISOBUS-compatible terminal. This ‘plug and play’ technology means producers and contractors can standardise the operating systems of all of their machinery, regardless of manufacturer. The bottom line is easier operation and significant savings by eliminating the need for two or three separate terminals inside the tractor.”

The CLAAS ISARIA optical crop sensor system enables the variable application of fertilisers, growth regulators and other crop protection products based on measured nitrogen uptake in crops. It automatically calculates the crop’s nitrogen requirements, determines the optimum application rate and then adjusts the fertiliser spreader in a single pass. The two sensor heads, fitted on either end of a sturdy aluminium frame mounted to the tractor's front linkage, measure the infrared light reflected from the crop. “This provides a measure of the amount of nitrogen uptake in the crop,” Luke says. “ISARIA then compares this measurement with the target value and calculates the optimal application rate after adjustment for crop density, biomass and crop calibration. The application rate can also be adjusted for yield potential using a map overlay system. These algorithms are based on more than 20 years of research. The system ensures maximises crop potential by optimising nitrogen availability but without over-application, reducing input costs, saving time and protecting the environment.”

The sensors take up to 500 measurements per second, with the frequency automatically adjusted to the prevailing conditions. The system is also fitted with LED lighting, allowing it to be used at night. The lightweight yet sturdy unit can be mounted to the front linkage of any tractor in just a few minutes. “There is no need for the installation of complex wiring or interfaces,” Luke says. “ISARIA can be controlled using the CLAAS CEBIS terminal or any other ISOBUS-compatible device.”

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