The innovation

The Innovation

Watch the presentation video of the new CPS!

How it works

Soil compaction is a serious problem in modern agriculture, not only because it decreases yields but also because it damages soil health in the long run and because it can lead to emissions of nitrous oxide. The innovation “Compaction Prevention System” (CPS) enables continuous and automatic indication of expected soil compaction. Thus, people responsible for driving a work vehicle can make the right decision to minimize soil compaction – both as a planning tool and in real time. The system can also be equipped with an alarm function, which is activated when a certain level of soil compaction risk is exceeded.

The user interface of the CPS is an app for devises such as iPads or Android tablets, see figure above. The user simply starts by selecting (or adding) a field on which is intended to do some work, for example the field “Svinhusbiten” at Tolefors. Then, the user selects source of soil moisture information, automatic mode or manual. Next step is selection of what’s called “field status”, for example if the field is harrowed or “cultivated stubble”. Next step is selection of vehicle, for example Stieger 620 track tractor. Finally, the user selects attachments if any, like a Metsjö MetaX trailer or a Väderstad cultivator. Then a unique computer algorithm calculates the compaction risk and generates risk maps as well as signals to a soil compaction risk meter for instant and clear monitoring in relation to a current vehicle location.

What to do when compaction risk is high?

The CPS is both an analysis and decision tool. It can support real-time decisions as well as long-term decisions on the farm. Here is an overview:

Operative planning decisions

The CPS is a useful planning tool for selecting fields (or part of fields) to start with at a given time, when for example preparing sowing in the Spring.

The CPS can not least be used to select the best time for any given activity on the fields. Farmers know that timing is everything. Moreover, CPS can help making decisions regarding cultivation methods and machinery. For example, shallow cultivation could sometimes be chosen instead of deep/heavy cultivation.

Entering decisions

Just before going out on a specific field on the farm, the driver gets an indication of soil compaction risk on spot at the boarder of the field. The driver then can reconsider for example to enter the field or not. The driver can also reconsider choice of equipage, choice of tire configuration and load maximum of such things as seed or fertilizer.

Driving decisions

While the driver is already out on the field, he or she can keep an eye on the compaction risk meter included in CPS. By means of this the driver can adjust load of for example fertilizer or stop driving if approaching a high-risk-situation. The driver can also go back to the farm center and change configuration of the equipage, for example dual wheels, ballast or simply change tractor. If having an equipage equipped with hydraulic links between tractor and implements the driver can adjust the hydraulics and redistribute the pressure over the different parts of the equipage.

Strategic planning decisions

When knowing more about compaction risk on the farm, one can do new evaluations of investments in such things as tires (IF or VF tires) or track systems but also whole machine fleet including tractors and combines. CPS might stimulate options such as shallow cultivation, strip-till or direct seed (although such decisions needs holistic analysis).

In some cases the farmer might consider having two or more smaller machines instead of one or a few big (heavy) once. Concepts such as reloading carts at harvest might also be options as well as hose systems for manure spreading instead of heavy slurry tankers. Future options are robot systems such as Fieldgofer for grain or fertilizer handling. Last but not least, CPS can inspire machinery producers to make lighter constructions by means of high-strength steel or aluminum for example.