Determining slurry quantities in advance with Topcon

Photo: Topcon
Photo: Topcon

Dutch agriculture company Cerfontaine equipped its slurry injector with a Topcon X35 console, and the AGI-4 receiver/controller in combination with the CL-55 telematics module. According to Daniël Cerfontaine, this means they can work more accurately and determine the slurry quantities in advance.

Cerfontaine is a Dutch, mixed agriculture company. A family-owned business, it employs over 70 people in Berg en Terblijt, The Netherlands. The team at Cerfontaine wanted to improve the crop yield by utilising the latest agriculture technology, and turned to Topcon for solutions.

Higher yields through precision farming

Livestock and arable farmers rely on Cerfontaine for the complete care of crops, including maize, cereals, carrots, onions, and grassland. When it comes to managing the process, Cerfontaine considers everything from the tillage of the soil, right through to harvesting. Daniël Cerfontaine, the company’s third-generation director, was looking to do all of this as precisely and efficiently as possible.

To start, the Dutch agriculture company equipped its Vervaet slurry injector with one of the latest Topcon consoles, the X35, and the AGI-4 receiver/controller in combination with the CL-55 telematics module. It also equipped its harvester and combine with X25 consoles, the CL-10 module and Yieldtrakk, in conjunction with the Topcon yield measurement system.

Spray selectively

When applying plant protection products, this meant Cerfontaine was able to use the Topcon technology to spray selectively over the land, meaning the amount of product required is reduced, helping to increase sustainability in the farming processes.

Cerfontaine combined these systems with the Topcon Agriculture Platform (TAP) to collect and evaluate field and machine data. With TAP, the team knows the required amounts of slurry, artificial fertiliser, pesticides and crop protective agents, even before they drive onto the field. This then helps to limit their use, ensuring that just the right amount is used. The plot boundaries and task cards are available in advance too, allowing the drivers to perform their work more accurately and making the processes less tedious and tiring.

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TAP allows Cerfontaine to inform their customers in real time about how the work was done and how much slurry ended up where. - Photo: Topcon
TAP allows Cerfontaine to inform their customers in real time about how the work was done and how much slurry ended up where. - Photo: Topcon

Optimising the yield map

Another challenge that Topcon and Cerfontaine took on was the measuring of onion yield, something which has previously been an issue industry-wide. Cerfontaine needed to know how many onions are in a field, in order to gauge how many tonnes they will need to export. Additionally, the team also looked to use all the gathered data for further optimisations to help with achieving a higher yield across the board.

A yield meter was installed on the harvester, which measures the yield with weighing bars, while another sensor monitors the running speed of the belt on which the onions lie. Combined with the GPS position, this data is used to create the yield map.

Tim van der Leck, account manager for precision agriculture at Topcon, said: “Vervaet is an important Dutch manufacturer of manure injectors and other agricultural machines, and this is the first time that we have equipped one of its machines with our automatic guidance system. It now collects data on the quantities of slurry actually delivered, plus the driving speeds, direction, height and application rate, and sends them to the Topcon Agriculture Platform (TAP), to which Cerfontaine has access. This offers the company essential information to make informed decisions, and improve productivity, accuracy and efficiency across its operations.”

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Daniël Cerfontaine (left) and Tim van der Leck, account manager for precision agriculture at Topcon, examine the data the Vervaet slurry injector has gathered. - Photo: Topcon
Daniël Cerfontaine (left) and Tim van der Leck, account manager for precision agriculture at Topcon, examine the data the Vervaet slurry injector has gathered. - Photo: Topcon

Daniel Cerfontaine was delighted with the experience: “We use TAP because it allows us to inform our customers in real time about how the work was done and how much slurry ended up where. It also enables us to measure the field exactly. Altogether, this means we can work more accurately and, in this case, we can determine the slurry quantities in advance.”

Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming
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