A model to analyze as-applied reports from variable rate applications


During variable rate operations, controller systems report information (as-applied files) about desired rates and real applied rates on georeferenced points along the machine tracks. These reports are useful for operation quality control but they have not been widely used to their potential. The goal of this study was to create a model to help analyzing as-applied files based on quantifying and locating off-rate errors and their probable related sources. The model calculates off-rate error at every point and classifies them as less than target rate, acceptable or over the target rate. Possible error sources are classified regarding three aspects: vehicle path position (inward, middle or outward), high rate change (step up or down) and vehicle acceleration or deceleration. A pulled type applicator (application 1) and a self-propelled applicator (application 2) were analyzed. An average of 30.6 % of the recorded points was considered application errors (10 % off the target rate). 70.5 % of them occurred on high rate change points on application 1 and 69.7 % on acceleration/deceleration points on application 2. The self-propelled applicator performed better during high transition rate than the pulled type which performed poorly when transition rate exceeded 10 %. The model determined the major and minor factors related to application error. It provided means to assess equipment limitations and its impact over the quality of application. The trials demonstrated its flexibility and how it can improve the use of as-applied files.

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Correspondence to José Paulo Molin.

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Colaço, A.F., de Andrade Rosa, H.J. & Molin, J.P. A model to analyze as-applied reports from variable rate applications. Precision Agric 15, 304–320 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11119-014-9358-5

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  • Variable rate
  • As-applied files
  • Off-rate error
  • Application error sources
  • Model