The ISARIA system enables spring fertilisation in rape that is needs-based and conserves resources. For rape cultivation in Germany – totalling 954,000 hectares in 2020 – this opens up effective possibilities for aligning nutrient levels with existing plant growth in an efficient, economical and environmentally friendly way.
Rape – yellow gold.
Bright yellow rape fields are characteristic features of the landscape from May to July. The plant belongs to the cruciferous family, and originates from a cross between wild cabbage and turnip. As an important agricultural crop, rape likes to settle on heavy, deep-rooted soils with good nutrient levels. Loamy soils are well suited to its cultivation. Loamy soils are well suited to its cultivation. The high oil content of the seeds makes this plant so valuable. Its intense aroma is reminiscent of cabbage.
Health-enhancing rapeseed oil, which is used in many kitchens, is just one example of products obtained from rape. In the form of rapeseed cake, the plant serves as a high-fat, high-protein feed for farm animals such as cattle, pigs and fattening poultry.
Information on rape cultivation.
In Germany, mainly winter rape is cultivated. Sowing begins in August. Rape plants are annual or biennial, depending on climatic conditions. They persist in the field for almost 12 months, which prevents soil-degrading fallow and erosion. After flowering, the plant dramatically changes its appearance The inflorescences give way to small green pods in which the rape seeds grow. The plant sheds its leaves. According to guideline figures from the Bavarian State Agriculture Agency (LfL), the maximum proportion of rape in crop rotation is 25%, as rape is not self-sustaining. Otherwise, the pressure of fruit follower pests increases strongly, and the risk of cabbage hernia is increased.
Uniform fertilisation problem.
At an expected yield of 40 dt/ha, the N requirement is about 210 kg/ha according to LfL Bavaria. All the parts of maps in a field differ however. There are high and low yield zones. Uniform fertilisation of a field leads to under supply and thus to a reduction in yield, while over supply pollutes the environment and is a waste of resources.
Site-specific fertilisation of rape with the ISARIA system.
This is where the ISARIA system comes in. Application agents are precisely applied at the point in the field where they are actually required. The result is even nitrogen balances and optimum utilisation of yield potential.
1. Recording the nutrient status in autumn.
Depending on the autumn weather and sowing time, a rape crop may already have absorbed considerable amounts of nitrogen before dormancy. In the best case, the winter rape has stocked sufficiently well in autumn after an appropriate vegetation period. The nutrient status of rape can then be recorded using the Scan mode of the ISARIA PRO Compact and ISARIA PRO Active plant sensors. This run does not have to be exclusively for data collection. A herbicide application in autumn for weed suppression or avoidance of emergence grain is possible in parallel.
The analysis of the rape scan can be uploaded in the intuitive data management tool ISARIA CONNECT, such as via a USB stick. As a user-friendly tool for the centralised management of georeferenced data, it enables site-specific work to be managed efficiently. In ISARIA CONNECT the scan is automatically assigned to the previously created field and interpolated.
The system is activated by simple registration using an ISARIA ID. As soon as the user has created the basic information for his farm, ISARIA CONNECT is ready for operation and application maps can be calculated or job orders created and transmitted to the tractor terminal, for example. In addition, extensive functions for analysing and documenting the measurement data from the field are available after the field work. The data from the measurement run in autumn and the application map for fertilisation in spring can be edited at any time in a user-friendly way.
2. Spring fertilisation
Based on the data generated in late autumn during the scan of the rape fields with the ISARIA PRO Active and PRO Compact plant sensors, application maps can be easily created in ISARIA CONNECT for site-specific and needs-based spring fertilisation. The maps can be integrated into the ISARIA terminal as jobs. It is also possible to process the generated application maps on other terminals.
The option is available to divide the total amount across two applications, and to determine the proportions of each application. A two-application strategy may be necessary, for example, so that the farmer can react to differing frost damage during wintering. If the damage is quite severe, the rape needs plenty of nitrogen initially, at the first application, so as to recover quickly. If the frost damage is less severe, the total fertiliser quantity can be distributed between the first and second applications. After the application map has been created in ISARIA CONNECT, it can be exported. If the farmer has chosen to divide the total fertiliser quantity into two applications, two application maps are exported.
The farmer can either integrate the application maps directly into a job order for the ISARIA terminal and then process them with it, or export them as ISOXML for further use with other terminals.
Due to the heavy leaf loss caused by frost, purely online-based fertilisation is often not possible, especially at the early fertilisation stages, because the plant leaves do not provide representative information on the nutrient condition after wintering. During wintering, above-ground parts are damaged by frost or regressed. This is a natural protective mechanism of the plant.
Accurate and user-friendly in every respect.
The area scan in autumn and the creation of the application maps enable exact, site-specific and so needs-based nutrient application in spring. Easy data management with ISARIA CONNECT rounds off the system. Billing for the service per hectare ensures a transparent cost structure. Fees only fall due when application maps are integrated into a job for the ISARIA terminal or exported for use via another terminal. By recording the autumn development, it is possible to react optimally to yield potential. In addition, resources are conserved.
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