Amazone has come out tops in the software category of the SIMA Farm Machine 2023 awards held in Paris last month.

The company’s GPS-ScenarioControl software, for automating headland border spreading operation is designed to establish a spreading regime for each particular field which can then be replicated in subsequent applications.

Spreader automation

Amazone suggests that there are two main reasons to more tightly control the application of fertiliser.

The first is the cost incurred in placing it where it is of no value, or may even be detrimental to the environment, while the second is to comply with legislation that demands a record is kept of where exactly it is applied.

Its answer to these issues is the GPS ScenarioControl system, which is used to automate certain functions on an Amazone fertiliser spreader based on a previous recorded application, which then acts as a reference for all further applications.

Setting a reference map

From the details released, it appears that a spreading regime, or scenario, is established by an experienced operator who knows the field.

GPS Switchpoint spreader
The software works within Amazone’s own Amaton 4 screen or its Amatron Twin app

All the points at which an action is taken to control the spreader, such as switching it on or off, are set down in the memory as switch points.

The action taken at these switch points is then applied to the spreader next time it is used in that field and passes that point.

Amazone eases the workload

Amazone claims that operator workload and the potential for operator error are reduced, alongside optimising fertiliser usage.

This does of course depend entirely on the first pass being 100% correct; if not, any errors will only be repeated in subsequent applications which could lead to irregularities in field fertility or the repeated pollution of water courses.

The accuracy at which the tractor passes over the switch points will also influence the usefulness of the system.

In a tramline situation, there should be little variation. However, on grassland, such precision is trickier to achieve without the use of an auto-steer system that likewise records a base reference route across the field.

Despite these drawbacks the ability to achieve a constant application pattern for fertilisers over a season or longer, will likely pay dividends in saving fertiliser costs in situations amenable to the software.