How to Use Application Control Technology to Reduce Fertiliser Costs and Increase Crop Yield

A starter's guide by Ag Tech and Machine

As a farmer, you are always looking for ways to increase the yield of your crop, and looking for ways to reduce the costs of inputs such as fuel and fertiliser. With worldwide shortages of fertiliser impacting supply and pricing of fertiliser, you might be looking for ways to increase fertiliser efficiency and decrease costs. Application control technology is one of the best ways to increase the efficiency of your fertiliser use, and can also increase your crop yield. One of our favourite products we offer at Ag Tech and Machine is the Solsteer ISO-Section, which uses a combination of GPS positioning technology and hardware on the machine to maximise the efficiency of your fertiliser use.


How does it work?


An application control system for fertilising, such as the Solsteer ISO-section, works by connecting a piece of hardware to the fertiliser spreader or sprayer which controls the volume of product that goes out, and precisely where it goes. GPS positioning technology is used to map the field down to 20cm by 20cm square accuracy. The GPS data is used by the hardware on the spreader or sprayer to precisely control how much fertiliser is spread to every square of crop. This means that every single 20cm by 20cm square of your crop precisely receives the desired amount of fertiliser. With the use of GPS positioning, overlap is almost entirely eliminated, and waste is reduced. Solsteer’s ISO-section system is compatible with ISOBUS, meaning it can be used with a wide variety of machinery manufacturers, including John Deere.


What are the benefits?


Before the use of application control technology, an entire crop would receive the same delivery of fertiliser. It was difficult to control for areas of a crop that needed more fertiliser with areas that needed less. As a result, the use of fertiliser was not efficient and there was a lot of waste. With an application control system, such as the Solsteer ISO-Section, all the areas of the entire crop are covered with the desired amount of fertiliser. Areas with high fertiliser needs and low fertiliser needs are covered with the best possible fertiliser volume. This can result in an overall increase in crop health, and can ultimately improve the yield of your crop.



With traditional fertiliser spreading there was a lot of waste. Fertiliser spreading was inefficient, and there was overlap. While the farmer would be out driving around manually spreading fertiliser, there would be overlap in areas that were covered more than once, and some areas that would receive more fertiliser than was necessary. When using an application control system, the amount of fertiliser spread is controlled based on what is necessary for each area of the crop. With the use of GPS positioning, overlap is virtually eliminated. As a result, fertiliser waste is greatly reduced. In fact, farmers can expect to see a 16% reduction in fertiliser use by using an application control system.


Reduction of operator fatigue and errors:

With so many hours spent out driving around a paddock, it’s easy to see how a driver can become fatigued and more likely to make errors. These errors could be simple, such as driving over a single area twice, or they could be more serious and dangerous, such as crashing a tractor. With technology such as these application control systems, the cognitive load on the operator is reduced. Rather than completing every individual task and making many decisions throughout the process, the operator instead becomes a supervisor, monitoring the hardware instead of operating every element of it. Overlap is decreased, and errors can be avoided.


How can you get started?

If you want to purchase your own application control system, Ag Tech and Machine can assist you every step of the way. Ag Tech and Machine will first consult with you to find out all about your farm, your crops, and your individual goals. We can then make recommendations about the best system for you and the individual needs of your farm. We don’t just sell the products we have on our shelves, we order systems from our industry-leading suppliers to ensure we sell you the best system that will meet your needs. Once we have recommended a system for you, we source, supply, and install the new system for you. Ag Tech and Machine can also handle any ongoing maintenance, servicing, and troubleshooting you may have in the future.


Application control technologies for farmers can greatly improve the efficiency of your farm and improve your crop health. If you want to find out about getting your own application control system, give James at Ag Tech and Machine a call and get the best system for your farm.

Author Bio:

James Rovers is the owner and founder of Ag Tech and Machine. James is an expert at all things technology on farms. As a famer with over a decade of experience, James helps farmers to determine the best technology that will help with their individual farming goals. 

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