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Smart4Grass: Innovative grassland maintenance

Smart4Grass is a joint project by the 4 German companies Düvelsdorf, FarmFacts, Fritzmeier and Planterra. They are developing tools for smarter grassland maintenance including a set-up for variable rate overseeding.

Düvelsdorf is a company that produces amongst others grassland rakes and rollers, FarmFacts, part of BayWa, is a software provider, Fritzmeier is the developer of the Isaria crop sensor and Planterra, also part of BayWa, is provider of seeds.

The project was initiated by Hans Koch, grassland expert at BayWa / Planterra in May 2017. The aim of the project is to apply fertiliser and grass seeds more precise.

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By using the Fritzmeier Isaria crop sensors, overseeding in grassland can now be done variable rate (photo shows demo in cereals). - Photos: René Koerhuis
By using the Fritzmeier Isaria crop sensors, overseeding in grassland can now be done variable rate (photo shows demo in cereals). - Photos: René Koerhuis

Variable rate overseeding

Key in the aim of applying grass seeds more precise is the Fritzmeier Isaria crop sensor. This sensor, already in use for variable rate side dressing of fertilisers in arable crops, measures the plant density of pastures and then determines what dosage, if any, of grass seeds is needed to ‘repair’ the pasture. According to Fritzmeier and Düvelsdorf, who presented the system recently, farmers should pay more attention to (over) seeding pastures and should choose more modern grass seed varieties. “No single arable farmer would even consider a 15 year old winter wheat variety.”

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According to the project partners, the system usually applies dosing rates between 2 and 3.5 kg/ha compared to 5 kg/ha commonly applied during uniform seeding.
According to the project partners, the system usually applies dosing rates between 2 and 3.5 kg/ha compared to 5 kg/ha commonly applied during uniform seeding.

Algorithms for Isaria sensor developed

Based on numerous photos of pastures, extensive research and field trials, algorithms for the Isaria sensor were developed to overseed variable rate irrespective of the grass variety. A 6 metres wide Düvelsdorf GREEN.RAKE combination rake equipped with a pneumatic overseeding device takes care of the site-specific dosing. “The only thing a farmer (or contractor) has to do, is to enter the number of days since the last cut.”

According to the project partners, the system usually applies dosing rates between 2 and 3.5 kg/ha compared to 5 kg/ha commonly applied during uniform seeding.

Also read: New easy to operate, affordable crop sensor by Fritzmeier

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