Perfect Seedbeds Made Easy
Monitor and adjust tillage depth, tool leveling from the cab with new Sunflower® Till Control.™
By Boyce Upholt | Photos By Jason Jenkins
Seedbed preparation is a delicate task, and worth getting right—which is why it can often become a time-consuming chore. AGCO’s new Sunflower Till Control technology makes on-the-go tillage adjustments easy to perform from the cab of most any tractor, saving users time, energy and, ultimately, money.
“Agronomically, you want your seedbed to be consistent,” explains Larry Kuster, AGCO® senior marketing product specialist. “You want soil particulate size to be uniform, you want it to have no air pockets—so that when you plant the seed you get good seed-soil contact.” Consistent soil moisture content and temperature help ensure that seeds germinate simultaneously, a requirement for optimum yield.
But most fields contain a variety of soils, soil conditions and topography—which means small-scale adjustments are necessary to maintain a level finish throughout the tillage process. Using tillage tools without adjusting for uneven blade wear, or that are out of level front-to-rear or side-to-side, can result in uneven and rough seedbeds.
Until recently, the only solution has been to climb out of the cab to visually check soil conditions and adjust the implement settings manually. “And really, truly, you’d just be guessing at how deep you’re setting the tool,” Kuster says. “You can burn up time pretty quickly doing that. But with this system, once it’s calibrated, you know exactly how deep it’s running. It keeps the implement in the ground and working, and if an operator needs to make adjustments, he can make them on the go.”
The Till Control system uses animated graphics to quickly guide users through calibration. The system’s sensors ensure the same depth is maintained consistently, and with the touch of a button, users can make any needed adjustments—without ever leaving the cab. The graphic system was designed based on customer input, ensuring it is as user-friendly as possible.
Sunflower Till Control is currently available on three key seedbed-prep tillage tools: SF1436 Series disc harrows, SF6631 Series vertical tillage tools, and the 6830 and 6830NT (narrow transport) high-speed rotary finishers. The system is designed to work with any ISOBUS terminal task controller, meaning even a diverse fleet of tractors can make use of the tool. “It’s completely plug-and-play technology,” Kuster says.
More data means better decisions, and Till Control automatically records tool settings, produces field maps, acres worked and implement hours for each tillage operation. An operator can choose to replicate successful tillage settings for the next growing season or make adjustments based on analysis of yield results for part or all of a field.