Controlled Traffic Farming
In the Autumn of 2010 we introduced the first Precision Farming technical equipment to Agromino, technologically advanced for its time and surpassing our competition, it cost us in the region of $10,000 per machine and was the Trimble Autopilot system. In very simple terms the device enabled the tractor with the assistance of GPS signals from several satellites that orbit the earth, to steer itself in a perfectly straight line. Initially, we fitted the devices to our cultivating and sowing machines, and then subsequently have steadily expanded the system to cover the majority of tasks performed in the fields and in 2017 completed the whole agricultural cycle, including our newer combine harvesters and chaser bin tractors. In 2010 we were working to an accuracy of 20cms. After the introduction of RTK technology (Real-Time Kinetic) in 2017 we now can work with an accuracy of 2.5cm and 98% repeatability to go back to where we have been driving exactly before.
When you replace equipment in an agribusiness, it is logical to upsize, introduce the most modern technology and try to reduce the number of units you operate. In 2016 we were operating 26 combine harvesters, that were some of the biggest capacity available when purchased, but ten years later were by comparison pretty small, so the question was what to replace the fleet with.
We chose the Case 9240 equipped with tracks, Autosteer that is fully compatible with our existing Trimble system, and an extended unloading auger; it is a well-proven machine, relatively simple with less moving parts than many of its rivals, and good value for money. For cereals and oilseeds harvesting we have purchased MacDon FD140 Flexdraper headers. We consider them to be the very best harvesting option on the market and we fully appreciate the fact that the header and how efficient it is, really has one of the largest effects on harvester output. Our aim is that each machine should be able to harvest up to 500 tonnes of crop per day; you can only achieve this with the best equipment and first-class logistical management. The header width is 12.2 metres; the additional 0.2 metres is enough to allow for any GPS inaccuracies which will inevitably occur.