Valtra’s SmartTouch armrest is accessible via a simple touch screen, the tractor’s Task Management handles the farmers cultivation plan, AutoGuide accurately steers the tractor, and ISOBUS controls the implement.
AgControl including Section Control and Variable Rate Control in turn ensure that the tractor and implement work in perfect coordination, allowing the perfect amount of fertiliser, for example, to be spread in just the right place.
AutoGuide automated steering and ISOBUS implement control have been available on Valtra tractors for ten years but the new SmartTouch user interface together with other new features allows the farmer to maximise these technologies.
“AutoGuide automated steering and ISOBUS implement control can be purchased separately, but together they really enable precision farming. Even if you do not begin using them immediately, it is likely that you will eventually come to rely on them during the lifte time of the tractor,” says Timo Mattila, Specialist Product Marketing.
Precision farming applications are mostly used for farming on fields. When cultivating special plants and working on large fields in particular, it does not take long for the system to pay for itself, Valtra claim. For example, potato farmers can plant rows 3 to 5 percent closer together when using AutoGuide automated steering instead of steering manually, which means in practice you get 3 to 5 additional hectares of land per 100 hectares.
If you compare the cost of the system to the rent or capital outlays for a hectare of field, then you can see how the system pays for itself in just a couple of years. In addition you also get other benefits, such as lower fuel consumption, higher quality harvests, less consumption of fertilisers and pesticides, and easier working conditions.
Variable Rate Control lets you vary the amount of fertiliser that you want to spread on different parts of the field.
The rule of thumb is that the most precise version of AutoGuide should be specified for sowing tasks, as it steers the traction with an accuracy of 2 to 3 centimetres. This is particularly true for row crop farming and special plants, but also for grains. If weeds are removed mechanically using a harrow, then the precision should be at least the same as for sowing. For spraying and spreading fertilisers and manure, the basic version of AutoGuide is sufficient, as it steers the tractor with an accuracy of 20 to 30 centimetres using the free-of-charge EGNOS satellite correction signal.
“The SmartTouch armrest is perfect for operating the AutoGuide and ISOBUS systems thanks to the nine-inch touch screen. If you want to monitor other tractor functions at the same time, however, then you might want to specify a second screen,” Mattila recommends.
Valtra’s TaskDoc and TaskDoc Pro precision farming applications are compatible with most precision farming software. TaskDoc enables files to be transferred between office and tractor using a Bluetooth connection. TaskDoc Pro also lets you transfer files using a mobile phone connection. These tools can be used to store information about all your tractor tasks.
“AgControl (Section Control) and Variable Rate Control allow fertiliser or pesticides, for example, to be spread very precisely in just the right place and just the right amount. This helps even out variations within the field and optimises your yield. The system does not use artificial intelligence, however, so you have to have a good idea about what you want to do with your fields. When your cultivation plan is ready, you can then use your precision farming applications as a tool for implementing the plan,” Mattila adds.