Case IH AFS Soil Command tillage prescription technology enables producers to vary their tillage settings based on changing soil types, field conditions, conservation practices and topography. This allows operators to address a range of soil management challenges to make every inch of the field an optimal environment for plants and to minimize erosion and preserve moisture where needed.
This capability completes the full suite of AFS Soil Command offerings — including seedbed sensing, agronomic control and mapping technologies — to optimize seedbed preparation for planting productivity.
“Whether a grower practices conventional or conservation tillage, AFS Soil Command tillage technology is a game-changer because it brings site-specific precision to soil management. With tillage prescriptions, we’re taking the same variable rate approach growers use for seed and fertilizer rates,” said Chris Lursen, Case IH tillage marketing manager. “Zone-managed tillage allows growers to farm for all conditions — from residue management and compaction removal to improving soil conservation.”
With AFS Soil Command tillage prescription technology, producers can match soil management to the unique needs of their fields. When using a True-Tandem 335VT vertical tillage tool in fields with highly erodible zones, AFS Soil Command enables the operator to run at deeper depths to manage heavy residue cover, and as shallow as 0 inch in areas that a farm manager needs to preserve. It can also help producers address compaction by giving operators the ability to run deeper to fracture the compaction layer with a tough primary tillage tool, such as the Ecolo-Tiger 875 disk ripper — and work soil less aggressively in other areas for soil preservation.
Through Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) Connect, a farm manager, consultant or agronomist can create prescription maps that enable automatic machine adjustments to help achieve changing soil goals across a field. Each aspect of the tillage tool can be assigned different prescriptions, so the entire tillage tool, not just depth, is precisely coordinated and monitored. AFS Soil Command agronomic control technology optimizes settings for depth control, fore/aft leveling, stabilizer wheel position and “Crumbler” downforce.
Agronomic control technology
“With tillage prescriptions, farm managers can rest assured that soil management is being completed efficiently and correctly,” Lursen said. “Agronomic control technology helps instill peace of mind, knowing that the tillage tool is set for optimal performance, no matter the operator.”
After an operator’s tillage run is complete, producers can gather and visualize as-tilled data for better agronomic insights into their operation with AFS Connect. Through the desktop or mobile platform, producers can visualize and review various layers of agronomic information — including the data recorded with AFS Soil Command — to help make data-driven decisions through the rest of the growing season and into the next.
AFS Soil Command tillage prescriptions contribute to more efficient soil management. With the ability to vary and increase speed as conditions allow, operators can cover more acres. Plus, tillage prescription technology can help minimize equipment wear and tear — and maximize fuel efficiency — as the machine is adjusted in conditions that require little to no tillage treatment.
In Case IH research with the ”Ecolo-Tiger” 875 disk ripper, prescriptions developed based on soil type and conditions contributed to more efficient fuel economy and usage, compared with constant-depth tillage. With increased field speeds, tillage prescriptions helped enhance productivity by up to 9.5%.
“This productivity gain can make a world of difference when operators are performing soil management in tight windows,” Lursen said. “Plus, these efficiencies can help producers get the most out of their equipment by lowering cost per acre.”
In fields with compaction, tillage prescriptions can be developed to fracture hardpan at the appropriate depth to help boost yield potential. In research from the University of Illinois, corn yields increased by 33 bushels per acre, and 18 bushels per acre for soybeans — all by eliminating compaction. This is because uneven crop emergence and stand variability — often caused by compaction — can reduce crop yields by up to 50%.
The full suite of AFS Soil Command tillage technology is currently available for the “Tiger-Mate 255” field cultivator, single-fold True-Tandem disk harrows and vertical tillage tools, and the Ecolo-Tiger 875 disk ripper. AFS Soil Command prescription technology can be used on Case IH AFS Pro 1200 and AFS Pro 700 displays.