Broadacre growers looking to maximise their yields now have access to the latest in combine harvesting technology and productivity, via Case IH’s AFS Harvest Command, a flagship product of the brand’s Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) suite.
Introduced to Australia as part of the Axial-Flow 250 Series combine launch, which was held at the 2019 Wimmera Machinery Field Days with Case IH dealer O’Connors, the new AFS product has earnt the praise of local growers and set new benchmarks for efficiency and performance.
According to O’Connors’ Tom Sheridan, Group Sales Development Manager, combine automation is one of the most exciting and rapidly evolving sectors of precision farming technology, with broad-reaching benefits for individual operations. Tom explained:
“AFS Harvest Command is designed to improve grain quality and grain savings through sensing and optimising machine settings, and with this level of automation even less experienced operators can achieve a similar level of productivity and performance to their more experienced counterparts.”
Tom added that greater workforce flexibility is advantageous for growers but it’s not just about replacing skilled operators, rather it’s about maintaining a focus on consistency.
This new combine automation allows for settings such as rotor speed, rotor cage vane angle, cleaning fan speed, and sieve positions to be continuously monitored and adjusted as conditions change – without driver intervention. In fact, the AFS Harvest Command automation on the 250 Series uses 16 sensors to control a total of seven combine functions. Tom said:
“AFS Harvest Command automatically adjusts itself based upon feedback from sensors and targets the maximum ground speed and engine load as set by the operator. The additional advantage is there is no time required to establish a baseline as can be required on competitor machines. The results seen in the field and the feedback from our customers reinforces to us that this is the most impressive combine automation product on the market.”
As Case IH’s largest dealer network in Australia, O’Connors’ focus on staff training ensures they’re well-positioned to ensure customers maximise the potential of the technology. Tom said:
“We believe it’s vital – for us and our customers – that our product specialist, sales and service teams know the machines inside and out and can provide the most up-to-date information. And with 10 branches across NSW, Victoria and South Australia we have a large bank of knowledge available when it comes to problem solving.”
According to Tom, corn, wheat and canola are already supported by the technology, and a further version of AFS Harvest Command for barley would be introduced this year.
AFS Harvest Command, as the top level of automation, monitors everything from ground speed and engine load all the way up to feed rate control and sieve settings, which are based on the feedback received from the loss sensors, a grain camera and sieve pressure sensors.
These sieve pressure sensors are vital for ensuring the optimum performance of the combine. The sensors provide for the relay of data concerning the load on the sieve, which in turn allows the system to determine the difference between sieve overload and blow-out losses. A grain camera monitors grain quality, including cracked and broken kernels – as well as foreign material, allowing for the adjustment of settings as required. Tom concludes:
“What this technology can do is something we’ve never seen before, and what Case IH is currently developing and refining will ensure AFS Harvest Command remains a market leader, continuing to revolutionise the harvesting sector and redefining just what’s possible.”