Innovation projects

Site-specific lime sprinkling with the aid of RTK-GPS

 

In order to adjust the acidity of the soil for subsequent crops, it is often necessary to apply lime to the agricultural parcels. This is often done on the basis of the analysis of soil samples obtained after sampling. The soil samples are taken manually at around 20 cross-connected locations on the parcel. The entire parcel is then equally limed using traditional lime sprinkling techniques without taking into account site-specific requirements on the parcel.

Knowing that the capital of agriculture lies in the soil, a soil scan such as that which can now be carried out thanks to the Verisscanner device is a major step forward in the era of precision agriculture. Land consolidation and economies of scale in the industry regularly lead to the consolidation of smaller parcels into a single large area that often contains strongly heterogeneous zones. Differences in soil conditions cause differences in yield. There are also variations in solar radiation and water supply on any given parcel. Why then opt for a traditional and uniform liming process where some locations are unnecessarily sprinkled with lime.

An existing lime spreading cart will be adapted to be able to spread lime according to a soil map obtained following a soil scan. This will be achieved by updating the accuracy of the GPS system to a distance of 2 cm and a synchronized speed control of the hydraulic motor that drives the discharging disc.

This technique will not sprinkle more lime (tonnes per hectare), but rather will sprinkle the lime more efficiently. The raw material that is lime is not an expensive raw material per se, but when the Verisscanner will, in the medium term, be able too to analyse Magnesium (Mg) and Potassium (K) in-line in the soil, it is expected that variable fertilizing can take off.

 

Realisation of SME Parrein NV (Langemark-Poelkapelle)

At agricultural contractor Hans Lamerant (Merkem)

Together with Inagro and Agrometius

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