An alternative method for fertilizer spread pattern determination was developed based on predicting where individual fertilizer particles land on the ground, in contrast to the traditional method of collecting the particles in bins (ASAE Standard S341.2). A small broadcast granular fertilizer spreader (Lowery 300) was equipped with an optical sensor designed to measure the velocity and diameter of individual fertilizer particles shortly after they leave the impeller disc. The measured velocity and diameter of individual particles were input into a ballistic model that predicted where particles land on the ground. A total of over 1000 landing spots revealed the spread pattern. The results have shown that the optical sensor is capable of automatically determining the spread pattern of a fertilizer spreader on the fly. The sensor could be a key component in the development of uniformity-controlled fertilizer application systems.
|Journal||Transactions of the ASAE|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|