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Researchers from Aarhus University have provided input to development of an Agromek three-star New Product

One of Agromek’s three-star European New Products in 2016 was developed with input from researchers from Aarhus University. The new product is a system that automatically controls sowing depth with the aid of sensors.

2017.08.10 | Janne Hansen

The intelligent sowing system was presented as a three-star European New Product at Agromek in 2016. Photo: AgroIntelli

When Agromek opened its doors to the public in Herning at the end of November 2016, the doors were also opened to a three-star European New Product that was developed in collaboration between researchers from Aarhus University and the commercial company AgroIntelli. The new product, which was one of only 22 that were given three stars by Agromek out of a total of 247 new products, is a system that can automatically control sowing depth.   

The system, called UniDepths, is a fully automatic control system that can adjust and maintain a uniform sowing depth. This is done with the aid of sensors. 

The system measures the current depth of the individual sowing furrow using position and soil surface sensors. The measurements are used for dynamic regulation of the pressure on the sowing furrow, which ensures the desired sowing depth and thereby more uniform germination. The system maintains sowing depth independent of variations in the terrain, soil, amount of seeds or driving speed. 

Some sensors measure the individual sowing furrow’s position in relation to the sowing frame, while other sensors measure the distance to the soil surface. 

- The system has been tested on the island of Zealand and is currently being tested in Jutland in order to test performance on various soil types. Since the system detects sowing depth, it really does not care if the soil is sandy or clayey, which is why the machine just adapts the pressure on the sowing furrow in relation to the furrow resistance, explains Søren Kirkegaard Nielsen, R&D engineer with AgroIntelli and PhD student in the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University. 

UniDepths can be used even on simple sowing machines and can be mounted either at the factory or afterwards on all types of sowing machines where the sowing pressure is normally adjusted manually. 

The system was developed by AgroIntelli in collaboration with the Department of Agroecology and Department of Engineering at Aarhus University. 

- At Aarhus University we have a lot of focus on collaborating with the industry. This is a good example of how research and business can go hand in hand in developing new products that benefit agriculture, says Senior Researcher Lars J. Munkholm, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University. 


For more information please contact:

PhD student and R&D engineer Søren Kirkegaard Nielsen, AgroIntelli/Department of Agroecology, e-mail: skn@agrointelli.com, telephone: +45 9189 4700 

Senior Researcher: Lars J. Munkholm, Department of Agroecology, e-mail: lars.munkholm@agro.au.dk, telephone: +45 8715 7727, mobile: +45 2515 2716

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