Today marks the beginning of fall and the colorful transition from summer to winter is just around the corner. No other time of the year has such an impressive display of colored forests and fog-shrouded landscapes.
Hikers are not the only ones gearing up right now: this is the most important time of year for the agricultural industry — harvest time.
The harvest ensures the supply of food and ensures that there is sufficient livestock feed. The moisture content is the main factor in the quality of the harvest. If this is too high in the ensilage, it can lead to rotting. But how do farmers know the best time to harvest? Until now, it was only possible to estimate the quality and meaningful samples could only be taken after the corn, clover and grass had been milled.
Measuring technology experts at Carl Zeiss and agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere have now put a stop to this guessing game. Together, they developed a new system that uses a near infrared sensor to calculate the dry mass of the harvest while harvesting. This enables farmers to precisely inspect the quality of the harvest while they are still out in the field. The measuring machine goes by the name HarvestLab and determines the dry mass with deviation of only two percent. Cows can now look forward to good feed and farmers save not only time, but also money thanks to the early information about the later quality of the silage.
September 22, 2009