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Thread: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

  1. #1
    Jon
    Guest

    Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    I am a long time N sensor user with tractor/spreader

    New sprayer coming which will also carry spreader, moving towards liquid N also

    Agleader looks like the best sprayer controller, but can't do N sensor
    Topcon X20 will do everything, but I have reservations (reliability, user friendliness)

    I think N sensor is the best tool for VR nitrogen, but has limited hours of operation (can't justify ALS)
    I prefer how SOYL sense works in terms of knowing what the plan is before the operator goes into the field, but had accuracy/boundary issues during a trial last year

    As far as I can make out my options are:

    Agleader with SOYLSense and accept a potential loss in accuracy of vari-N but have longer working hours available

    Topcon with N sensor and accept potential reliability issues and shorter days but better accuracy

    Which option do I take, or have I missed an alternative? Can the Agleader take a signal from an X20 for example, or will forthcoming compatibility of N sensor with X30 also make N sensor compatible with Agleader (ISO)?

    All views very welcome

  2. #2
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    x20 as you say can do it all but feels old now compared to a X30 which is much faster and more reliable

  3. #3
    lexion man
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Nothing wrong with optrex system of variable. Rate n application in my opinion works equally well as n sensor having been a user

  4. #4
    lexion man
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Agleader integra is now iso compatable so should in theory b poss

  5. #5
    Alistair_Nelson
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Have a look at the Agleader optrx sensor works as well as an n sensor ALS and you don't need an extra box so will work out far cheaper only thing it lacks is absolute n algorithm for rape otherwise spot on run ours for 3 seasons (1 of the first sets) and never a moments bother. If you want to know more by all means send me a pm

    Cheers

    Alistair

  6. #6
    WDP
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    I would agree with the Optrx choice.

    I had an N Sensor classic with its control box and Agleader Insight for Autosteering. The two systems were never compatible, but both did their respective tasks well. Daylight length was a bit limiting but at the time this was all that was available.

    When Agleader started with the Optrx, I sold the N Sensor. The Optrx was about a half the price, had its own light source, one less control box in the cab as it ran off the Insight, no annual unlock and free software updates throughout the year.

    My 2p.

  7. #7
    Jon
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Thanks for your replies. Looks like Optrx is worth a look

  8. #8
    Nametab
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Thanks for your replies. Looks like Optrx is worth a look
    Jon - 2 sensor OptrX 8k

  9. #9
    lexion man
    Guest

    Smile Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Thanks for your replies. Looks like Optrx is worth a look
    Pm me if want any optrex info

  10. #10
    Agritech_Gizmo
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    The information below is directly taken from Agleader ( http://www.agleader.com/2011/02/08/o...swered-part-3/ )

    Taken from the AgLeader Specs and Website..

    We suggest you have 40% of the application width represented with a sensor. We also suggest you round these numbers up to the nearest whole number for better accuracy.

    20 ft. 2 sensors
    30 ft 2 sensors
    40 ft 2.5 sensors
    60 ft 3.5 sensors
    80 ft 4.5 sensors
    90 ft 5 sensors
    100 ft 5.5 sensors
    So a 24m machine ( realistically the smallest which is likely to have a N System ) 24m = 78ft so...


    I make that 5 sensors across a 24m boom as recommended by AgLeader HQ, compared to the two recommended above.

    Before I get the bollocking post, yes I work for Precision Decisions, Yes we support the Yara N-Sensor and yes the Optrx is a 'rival' product.

    My point is, if you are making any investment please research the technology first and how it is being sold to you otherwise it doesn't do anyone any favors. Do your research from the manufacturers and published papers not just the dealers, buy the product on its quality, research, benefits and not just because its the cheapest option put in front of you. Ask questions and if you don't find a satisfactory answer ask someone else.

    Too much misinformation flying around these forums and its frustrating to see, even more frustrating when you try and correct it which only upsets people further.

    [EDIT]

    There may be a agronomic reason why the Optrx only uses two sensors in the UK but I can only find US stuff which may or may not be applicable, so if any one has any UK / European data please let me know.

  11. #11
    Jon
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Agritech_Gizmo View Post
    Too much misinformation flying around these forums and its frustrating to see, even more frustrating when you try and correct it which only upsets people further.
    As far as I can see every post on this thread is perfectly valid and based on personal experience, which is an extremely valuable component of product research.

    For what its worth, I think the N sensor is the best product from a technical point of view (particularly the research behind the algorithms), and also value for money, but throw in practicality, usability and compatibility and the choice is not as clear cut.

    Of course the N sensor is not alone in being locked to particular hardware - it is an issue across the precision farming market, and a very frustrating one at that.

  12. #12
    Agritech_Gizmo
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    As far as I can see every post on this thread is perfectly valid and based on personal experience, which is an extremely valuable component of product research.
    Of course personal experience is of great value, but my point is always double triple check what your getting. In this thread yes most information is sound, these forums as a whole is often different.
    Of course the N sensor is not alone in being locked to particular hardware - it is an issue across the precision farming market, and a very frustrating one at that.
    The sensor is not locked to any particular hardware, it will run on any windows or linux based device and is compatible to pretty much anything with a RS232 connection, we can even give you the software to run on your home PC if you wanted. In my opinion there is never going to be full harmony across the whole industry. Its only frustrating if you find out the hardway.

  13. #13
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    whilst on the subject of misinformation can anyone explain how any sensor works with a double overlap spreader ? ie how does it adjust the rate when half of it's spreader pattern is determined by sensor info gained on the next tramline ?

    also correct me if i'm wrong isn't chlorophyll content and therefore "greenness" determined by calcium ? so why apply N to areas deficient in Ca ?

  14. #14
    Krampeman
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    With a fert spreader using spinning discs I fail to see the point in trying to vary fert rates. I used one for 5 years and now think what on earth was I doing because your sensors on the cab at the time were not reading 12m (assuming a 24m tramline system) either side of the cab so how it can make a judgement accurately is beyond me. Even if it did/could read 12m either side of the cab your then trying to vary the rate out off a spinning disc that is overlapping or double overlapping. The whole idea to me now is 100% flawed.

    Its a bit better with liquid, but again if you cant sense 12m either side of the cab, then your varying the rate at a guess for anything past the sensing width. Again even if it did read the full 12m (which it may do now) you would need individual lines to each nozzle to get the intended benefit, because say at 10m you needed 250l/ha but at 2m you need 50l/ha. It cant do both at the same time down the same line within split seconds as it passes over the crop.

    So all your ever doing is averaging which is the same as blanket applying isn't it?

    The technology is right and I agree with it, but at the moment its the application equipment that is holding it back.

  15. #15
    Agritech_Gizmo
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    whilst on the subject of misinformation can anyone explain how any sensor works with a double overlap spreader ? ie how does it adjust the rate when half of it's spreader pattern is determined by sensor info gained on the next tramline ?
    It can't this is a spreader issue not a sensor, as you have said many times...Liquid. I could be a bit more helpful if you have a spread pattern graph as its not a linear degradation....Turner didn't paint his landscapes with a 12" roller, he used a tool with the correct resolution for the job.

    also correct me if i'm wrong isn't chlorophyll content and therefore "greenness" determined by calcium ? so why apply N to areas deficient in Ca ?
    Extend this to P,K,Water, Suphur + any other nutrient. If something else is limiting the crop then that will limit the crop... ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig'...of_the_minimum ) any sensor is a tool in the toolbox not a solution to bad nutrient management.

    It is possible to underlay a yield potential map ( with the N-Sensor. I can't comment on the others ) so if you have an area which you know is limited by some other factor then you can alter the application of N accordingly.

  16. #16
    Agritech_Gizmo
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Krampeman View Post
    The technology is right and I agree with it, but at the moment its the application equipment that is holding it back.
    I'm currently researching robotics and Phytotechnology for this very reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytotechnology

  17. #17
    Krampeman
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Agritech_Gizmo View Post
    I'm currently researching robotics and Phytotechnology for this very reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytotechnology
    Having only briefly looked at your link and knowing jack s**t about it, are you thinking of a different way to applying inputs using something like degradable irrigation line that can then target say 1m either side of itself?

    Or are you thinking about using the methodology of Phytotechnology and adding it to current application methods?

    I think it could be done at the moment via a crop sprayer with individual lines from the pump. Thats sort of happening anyway because individual nozzle shut off is now happening, so realistically your there or thereabout as long as the reading equipment can read for each individual nozzle. Surely a fold out front bar with the same number of sensors on it as nozzle on the rear would be able to achieve this right now. I think then the results would be astounding.

    Just means that site specific targeting and sprinng discs spreaders is finished, which it should be anyway because its a load of cods-whollops and was merely a way to get farmers to take on the idea of precision application of inputs when in fact there is nothing precision about it at all.

    Precision Farming is 'targeted applications of inputs' and nobody is actually achieving this as yet across the board.

  18. #18
    DGJ
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    I'm only going to comment on Agleader equipment as that is what we sell.
    If someone would like the European catalogue then the 2013 version is being printed and will be available soon. This does have more info regarding European crops etc. I also have a link to an online version.
    In the UK we have many satisfied customers using OptRX, the majority are using 2 sensors and have in the past some have used "other" crop sensors. The ease of use & price are often commented on.

    There has been some research that using two sensors even on a wide boom gives 80% efficiency compared the the "ideal"



    Quote Originally Posted by Agritech_Gizmo View Post
    The information below is directly taken from Agleader ( http://www.agleader.com/2011/02/08/o...swered-part-3/ )

    Taken from the AgLeader Specs and Website..



    So a 24m machine ( realistically the smallest which is likely to have a N System ) 24m = 78ft so...


    I make that 5 sensors across a 24m boom as recommended by AgLeader HQ, compared to the two recommended above.

    Before I get the bollocking post, yes I work for Precision Decisions, Yes we support the Yara N-Sensor and yes the Optrx is a 'rival' product.

    My point is, if you are making any investment please research the technology first and how it is being sold to you otherwise it doesn't do anyone any favors. Do your research from the manufacturers and published papers not just the dealers, buy the product on its quality, research, benefits and not just because its the cheapest option put in front of you. Ask questions and if you don't find a satisfactory answer ask someone else.

    Too much misinformation flying around these forums and its frustrating to see, even more frustrating when you try and correct it which only upsets people further.

    [EDIT]

    There may be a agronomic reason why the Optrx only uses two sensors in the UK but I can only find US stuff which may or may not be applicable, so if any one has any UK / European data please let me know.

  19. #19
    jamin
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Krampeman View Post

    Just means that site specific targeting and sprinng discs spreaders is finished, which it should be anyway because its a load of cods-whollops and was merely a way to get farmers to take on the idea of precision application of inputs when in fact there is nothing precision about it at all.

    Precision Farming is 'targeted applications of inputs' and nobody is actually achieving this as yet across the board.
    I think a lot of farmers out there would agree with what you are saying and to be 100% perfect you are right however we don't live in a perfect world there is always compromise at some point. With nitrogen it is cost of solid versus liquid for starters and the cost of what you are suggesting would be required to do it. I accept that putting N on with a spinning disc is not perfect and is not true precision but it is better than doing nothing.

    Technology will catch up and things will change however till then we have to make the most of what we have available and whether that be with an N sensor, optrx or soylsense surely it is better to be trying to do something even if only to improve our public image and making educated decision rather than decisions based on history.

  20. #20
    Toptiff
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    So will anyone stick their neck out and say that sensor based variable rate application 100% definately gives an increase in yield or the same yield with reduced inputs? (and to quantify that result!!)

  21. #21
    Krampeman
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Toptiff View Post
    So will anyone stick their neck out and say that sensor based variable rate application 100% definately gives an increase in yield or the same yield with reduced inputs? (and to quantify that result!!)
    I can tell you from yield maps that I saw no yield benefit from using a n sensor and spinning disc spreader for 4 seasons. First 3 seasons complete use and 1 pass out of 2 in the 4th to try to even crop up as at that point I was suspecting its ability. In year 5 with a move to liquid again I only used it on 1 pass out of 2 and saw no benefit. I never let it go 'absolute' though in that time and would set a lower and upper limit.

    Again I will say I agree with the idea but see no point in using it at the moment because we do not have the ability to target apply correctly. I dont regret using it because it cost 1/acre but in hindsight I cant see how it can ever work with current equipment.

  22. #22
    Alistair_Nelson
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Toptiff View Post
    So will anyone stick their neck out and say that sensor based variable rate application 100% definately gives an increase in yield or the same yield with reduced inputs? (and to quantify that result!!)
    I would happily stick my neck out and say we used approx on average 5% less fert and with every pass the crop was more even on our rolling yorkshire wold land and our yields are definitely the same and if pushed I would say marginally better on average but only 2-3%. But the one thing it has removed completely is crops going flat in the lush soils of valley bottoms.

    Better put my tin hat on now and run for shelter!!!

    Cheers

    Alistair

  23. #23
    Krampeman
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Alistair_Nelson View Post
    But the one thing it has removed completely is crops going flat in the lush soils of valley bottoms.
    Alistair
    Think what Alistair has said about flat crops is a very fair comment and I would agree with it. However stopping crops going flat is not precision application of plant nutrients so I think its two different things.

    The n sensor is far more than a 'non flat crop' machine but again is limited by the equipment its sensing to because they cannot precision apply.

  24. #24
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    we did VRA N for about 5 years - don't anymore

    Think the tech works ok (as long as you use liquid) 24m is not too wide a paintbrush and certainly better resolution than an entire field. Rather pointless with solid fert though

    However I have become skeptical of the science behind it and have doubts that it is valid quite honestly.

    I saw no different yields when we were using it, and used similar amounts of N lot of placebo effect though I guess ! I felt I was doing the right thing at the time

  25. #25
    Col
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    I would agree on the eveness of crops across fields from having harvested crops done with N sensor. "Here" though biggest limiter would probably be lack of water (some years) followed by lack of nutrient holding capacity so we are always going to have uneven crops so not a lot of point chucking more N on sandy areas that are either going to be dry or lack something else.

  26. #26
    lexion man
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Having used variable rate nor 5 seasons I would say the main points I would say is more efficient use of n some seasons you use more some less and it definitely reduces lodging and a more even crop to harvest having done some field scale trials over two years we have seen a positive return in wheat and rape two years running but wouldn't read a great deal in to much from this year as there are too many other under lying factors. Just because it don't work for some doesn't mean it has to be the same for everybody variable rate n is only part of the bigger precision farming picture a piece of the jigsaw if u like

  27. #27
    Chae
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Krampeman View Post
    Think what Alistair has said about flat crops is a very fair comment and I would agree with it. However stopping crops going flat is not precision application of plant nutrients so I think its two different things.

    The n sensor is far more than a 'non flat crop' machine but again is limited by the equipment its sensing to because they cannot precision apply.
    Could you not just use n sensor when applying pgr and put more on darker areas of fields? I like your comments with regard to vari rate N and P and K and the fact you don t always say what your doing is best and everyone should be doing it. Some people I feel just do whatever is in fashion at the time, and because the neighbours do it.

  28. #28
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Chae View Post
    Could you not just use n sensor when applying pgr and put more on darker areas of fields? I like your comments with regard to vari rate N and P and K and the fact you don t always say what your doing is best and everyone should be doing it. Some people I feel just do whatever is in fashion at the time, and because the neighbours do it.

    clever though precision farming tech is I have to say there has been a tendency to do things just because we can rather than basing decisions on cold hard facts and evidence

    you can see a pattern in just about anything if you look hard enough and manipulate data enough

  29. #29
    Krampeman
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Quote Originally Posted by Chae View Post
    Could you not just use n sensor when applying pgr and put more on darker areas of fields? I like your comments with regard to vari rate N and P and K and the fact you don t always say what your doing is best and everyone should be doing it. Some people I feel just do whatever is in fashion at the time, and because the neighbours do it.
    Problem is at the moment these sensors are only reading a small area of the crop the following piece of equipment is applying to. A 24m sprayer runs 12m out each side of the tractor/sp cab. Obviously the bigger the boom the further its stretching.

    However these sensors are generally sat on the cabs or mounted on small toolbars no wider than the tractor width. e.g:



    So if thats sensing 4m out of the cab at each corner, its not sensing the last 8m of the boom which means for every 24m pass your not sensing 16m of the working width. Then it also looks like its not sensing infront of the cab which means the rear 3m section of the boom is on top of the missed area.

    Those figures are a guess and I have no idea how far the sensor runs out to, but what we do know for a fact is its not sensing the full 24m working width which is what I am getting at.

    So if it cant sense the full working width then you cant really even apply PGR's because its not really applying what the crop needs outside of the sensed area which looks to be quite small to the area covered by the booms.

    One thing is for sure spinning disc spreaders should not be used with a sensor and I actually think they would have a negative effect because they do not have the ability to variably apply correctly.

    What I would like to see is independent lines to each nozzle and then a sensor sat in front of each nozzle looking after the width of the spray pattern that nozzle covers. The independent lines to each nozzle I think is nearly here but the cost of lots of small sensors would be prohibitive. However until this happens then none of us are truly doing precision input applications, because thats the only way we are going to get better yields.

    Remember a wheat seed at planting has the ability to yield over 20t/acre. Us silly farmers plant it spend a load of money on it and then reduce the yield to 3.5t/ac. Surely that tells us we are doing something wrong. Ok weather plays a major part but surely yields of 8t/ac are possible if we can precision apply inputs correctly?

  30. #30
    graybo
    Guest

    Re: Agleader/Topcon - N Sensor/SOYLSense

    Trimble Greenseeker uses six boom mounted sensors.

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