Fasterholt revolutionizes field irrigation with new controller concept from Conpleksarrow_backTo the overview
20 October 2022 | Conpleks Robotech ApS
Fasterholt and Conpleks have jointly developed a controller with a belonging app for irrigators that includes a number of new and groundbreaking features. These features secure a well-thought usage of nature resources, better ergonomics for the farmer and optimized crop growth.
The Danish company Fasterholt Maskinfabrik is Scandinavia's leading manufacturer of irrigators. A position the company aims to maintain through the cooperation with Conpleks and the development of the new controller and app solution for managing irrigators.
Even though the existing solution has been updated and modified during the years, it is still more than 30 years old. This makes it less advanced than other agricultural machines such as spreaders for slurry and fertilizers, which give the farmer innumerable options to adjust the effort to the field conditions. Based on this, the new controller concept has been very well received by the farmers, who have tested it.
- Our new controller concept has brought a lot of joy to our test farmers, as the controller and app are intuitive and give the farmer the possibility to set the irrigation according to a number of parameters such as zoning, time and quantity. One of the farmers literally said that this is a revolution within field irrigation, says a proud Danny Hansen, factory manager at Fasterholt.
Optimizing all parameters
Many factors, such as soil conditions and crop types, impact the planning of field irrigation. Additionally, too much water leaches the nutrients from the soil, while too little water effects the yield. Based on this both the farmer and the environment can benefit from a finetuning of field irrigation.
- Everything evolves around optimizing. With the new controller concept, we can optimize practically any parameter. By adjusting the quantity of water to the soil conditions, the farmer only uses the necessary quantity. He thereby saves water, which is one of our most important nature resources, and uses less fertilizer, emphasizes Danny Hansen and continues,
- At the same time, the farmer can save fuel and manhours, as we monitor the irrigators for him. From now on there will be no more fruitless trips to the field to change the setting or to see, whether the machine is done. We have even thought about ergonomics, as the number of times the farmer must step in and out of the tractor, will be significantly reduced.
The desire to offer the customers an optimized solution has been present at Fasterholt for a long time, and when the first farmers begun to show interest, Fasterholt followed the idea. Then Danny Hansen made some inquiries about potential collaborators and after a number of preliminary meetings with Conpleks, the development process began.
Season 20-21 has been used for internal and initial tests of the controller concept with farmers in both Denmark and Germany. The continuously feedback and modifications of the system has been very important to Fasterholt in order to reach the final solution. This leads to season 21-22 that includes testing in a larger scale with more farmers in Denmark and abroad to get the last fine-tuning in place.
- I expect that the new controller concept will be in our product portfolio from the beginning of season 2023. That means that we will begin to include the controller starting from august 2022 in all machines we assemble, and that the controller will be a standard component on all Fasterholt irrigators, states Danny Hansen.
Accurate zone irrigation
The new controller and app introduce a far more targeted and usable zone irrigation than ever seen before. This is due in part to the zones being set in the app, while the farmer drives in the field. In that way the irrigation can be adjusted to the specific field’s need for water and topography.
- Until now the farmer has had to remember, where to set the zones, while rolling out the hose, before he finally could set the zones on the machine itself. It resulted in pure guessing, which means that practically no one was using the feature. It was simply not accurate enough, explains Danny Hansen.
Besides the zone settings the farmer can chose between two different programs, time setting and quantity setting. By using time setting the farmer decides when the irrigator will be done, while the quantity setting determines how fast the machine goes depending on the needed quantity of water. One of the advantages of quantity setting is that it is very suitable for delicate crops, and one of the advantages of time setting is that it can be used on more hardy crops and when time is more important than the exact amount of water.
Furthermore, the additional features, which are available through the app, ensure that the farmer avoids going to the field to adjust the settings on the machine or to check, whether the machine is done irrigating. For an example the farmer can start and stop the pumps and set a so-called early stop through the app. Last but not least the farmer can choose to receive a number of notifications in the app about machine and task status, which is a great help in daily logistics.