What does the future hold for crop production?
The answer to this question is currently the key driver for many innovations. The need for precision and automation in agricultural machinery will continue to increase in the future, in order to ensure optimum crop development with reliable yields and good quality, whilst reducing the use of pesticides and fertilisers.
This means: Maintaining yields, saving costs and conserving the environment at the same time. We have therefore set ourselves three important targets for us and our customers, which are naturally interlinked:
Digitalisation of processes
Logical digitalisation for more precision, user-friendliness and transparency
AMAZONE 4.0 is our keyword for the rapidly increasing digitalisation and networking of all operational methodology in agriculture. It encompasses our current and future contribution in the fields of software, electronics and sensor systems. Part-area, site-specific, part-width section control and individual nozzle switching and the use of application maps are already state of the art, and have contributed to a considerable reduction in fertiliser and pesticide usage in recent years.
In this area, AMAZONE already offers a solution with the UX-AmaSpot crop protection sprayer, which can recognise and handle individual plants in a targeted fashion, thanks to sensor technology and special nozzle technology. Over several years in practical use, this has enabled savings of up to 80 %. In addition, we presented new developments for the recognition of individual plants and extended spot applications, including field robotics, at the Agritechnica Fair.
Planning and documentation systems record and process large amounts of machine data and work data for increased transparency. We make the agrirouter data hub landscape very simple and free for all farmers and contractors to use thanks to our myAmaRouter App. While doing so, farmers always retain full control of their data. Needless to say, we are also open to using many other different platforms and would like to work with all manufacturers.
We are collaborating on the Cenius ZoneFinder project in partnership with exatrek to gain more information about the soil conditions during tillage. Using the information acquired about the soil, the intensity can be adjusted according to the soil structure during the next pass – as deep as necessary and as shallow as possible.
We also presented simplified machine operation using our new App concept. The new AgApp (Agricultural Apps) concept creates tangible added value for our customers. Thanks to tools like the mySpreader App, it is now possible to spread fertiliser, including blended fertilisers, to the crop even more precisely.
With SmartService 4.0, AMAZONE is continuing to expand its learning and training processes in the field of technical customer service, and is supporting its sales partners and customers with repair and maintenance work using virtual and augmented reality technology.
Reduction in resources consumed
Further reduction in resources such as plant protection agents and fertilisers
From an agricultural point of view, there is no clear boundary between eco-agriculture and conventional agriculture. The lines are blurred. Agriculture will start to focus more heavily on “integrated crop production” again: Taking into account biological, biotechnological, cultivation and cultural measures, the use of chemical plant protection agents and fertilisers should be limited to the amount necessary.
We see the future of plant protection as a combination of many different measures. Starting from modernised planting and sowing processes, variety selection, more varied crop rotations and the growing of catch crops and nurse crops, all the way through to new technologies in precision agriculture.
Mechanical crop protection technology is growing in importance in Europe, thanks to extremely precise camera, GPS and control technology, and the resulting increased efficiency: This combination of hoeing and band spraying facilitates a clean crop with a pesticide saving of 40 to 60 %. Schmotzer hoeing technology enables us to offer the leading technology with many different tool options for various crops and applications.
We have developed a series of innovations In the field of chemical crop protection technology, to reduce the consumption of pesticides. For example, the AmaSelect spot nozzle switching system enables part-area, site specific, weeding based on high-precision drone imaging.
Thanks to the SmartSpray joint project, it is now possible to identify weeds automatically in real time with cameras (Bosch), to select an application based on damage thresholds and expert knowledge using software (xarvioTM), and to perform a part-area application using the latest spot application technology (AMAZONE), right down to the individual plant. Since the herbicide is only sprayed where it is needed, according to the damage threshold principle, a potential saving of 20 to 60 % is possible.
The new precision air seeder Precea not only sets new benchmarks in user-friendliness, accuracy and speed in the precision seeding of various crops, it is also able to position fertiliser closer to the seed via the FertiSpot system, thereby considerably reducing the amount of fertiliser used. Precise part-area, site-specific sowing and fertilising using application maps is provided via electrical drives.
More flexible techniques
More flexible machine and methodology concepts specific to different farm sizes and climate zones
After harvest, even greater importance is being placed on shallow soil tillage in order to prevent volunteer grain and weeds from taking root to the greatest possible extent. Deep soil cultivation will also become more intensive in several areas of agriculture, and ploughing may increasingly be used as the first line in plant protection again. We are currently expanding our portfolio with the Catros compact disc harrow, the Cenio and Cenius mulch cultivators, and the Cayros and Hektor ploughs.
When sowing, optimum sowing conditions and precise seed placement play an important role in promoting seedling development. In certain conditions, a narrower row spacing for faster canopy closure and targeted under-sowing can play an important role in preventing the growth of weeds. Another approach is to increase row spacing to allow for mechanical weeding between the rows. For every possible application in different climate and soil zones, we have developed different single disc, double disc and tine coulter systems for conventional, mulch and direct sowing.
The use of our water-saving and erosion-reducing technology, which is available to direct seeders and drilling systems with strip-wise reconsolidation, for example, will become increasingly important in many regions and will define the correct arable farming system.
Our new Cirrus-CC with a second conveying section and an additional FerTec single disc coulter in front of the tyre packer, is a perfect example of a versatile seed drill. This allows two different materials to be metered and positioned differently. For the farmer, this enables many different uses of land.Thanks to the combined delivery of seed and fertiliser, fertiliser can be placed directly where it’s needed and fertiliser consumption is reduced. Especially in regions with a short growing season, with higher water shortage during the growing season and forspring sowing, this method is growing in importance worldwide.
Another interesting option is the combination of the fertiliser delivery in a single-shoot and double-shoot process. This allows a small amount of fertiliser to be supplied to the grain directly via the single shoot, which supports seedling development immensely. What’s more, the Cirrus-CC can be used to establish feed mixtures, mixed crops and ground cover for effective weed and erosion management.
If needed, the new GreenDrill 501 catch crop seeder box can also be used to meter and dispense a third crop. Everything is controlled via ISOBUS from just one AmaTron 4.
With the Minimum TillDisc cutting disc element, the Cirrus also can be equipped with preparatory tools. Soil, harvest residues and living crop residues can be cut by the cutting discs directly in front of the sowing coulters at a row spacing of 16.6 cm. With the cutting discs, there is considerably less soil movement than with a conventional 2-row cultivator disc element.
GO for Innovation
With all these innovations, it is our goal to continue to serve as the global specialist in “Intelligent Crop Production” and to be the first port of call for farmers, contractors and machinery rings. That is why we are continuously working on the development of our technology, all the way through to international system chains for farm businesses of all sizes and all climate zones.