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Spatially Monitoring Tractor Performance to Evaluate Energy Requirements of Variable Depth Tillage and Implement Selection
- Kichler, C.M., Fulton, J.P., Raper, R.L., Zech, W.C., McDonald, T.P., Brodbeck, C.J.
- Paper 2007 no.071028
- tractors, equipment performance, energy use and consumption, data analysis, electronic equipment, loads, forces, torque, axles, tillage, deep tillage, subsoiling, tillage implements, spatial variation, fields, precision agriculture, global positioning systems, geographic information systems
- Recent rises in fuel costs have started to impact the bottom line for farm managers, making them consider possible methods to achieve energy savings. Conventional subsoiling can be performed deeper than necessary to alleviate compaction layers. However, site-specific subsoiling permits a subsoiler to be operated at the depth necessary to impale the compaction layer thus, reducing draft forces while also saving fuel. The overall goal of this study was to develop a mobile data acquisition system to monitor equipment performance parameters in real-time to assess and quantify energy requirements for site-specific tillage. A data acquisition system was developed to collect and monitor slip, fuel consumption, axle torque, and draft load data on two site-specific tillage experiments. Results indicated a 54% reduction in draft forces and a 17% reduction in fuel consumption occurred with a shallow depth (9 in.) compared to a deep depth (14 in.). The three implement time rotation experiments produced increased fuel consumption, draft loads, and axle torque with longer time spacing. The Bigham Brothers Paratill experienced increases of 8%, 25%, and 21% in fuel consumption, draft forces, and torque, respectively, with the triennial time rotation compared to the annual and biennial rotations. The Kelley Manufacturing Company (KMC) in-row subsoiler experienced increases of 6%, 24%, and 18% in fuel consumption, draft forces, and torque, respectively, with the triennial rotation compared to the annual and biennial rotations.