The 111 VRT leaf-stripper has been devised to enable controlled working in the vineyard, not removing leaves in a uniform way, as with all the previous equipment, but controlled depending on the higher or lower presence of vegetation in different parts of the same vineyard. The process we are putting forward uses a telemeasuring system to create index maps of vegetation, to be used as a guide to identify areas for high or medium levels of leaf removal, as well as a total lack of leaf removal for areas with low vegetative vigour. The electronics on both the SAME DEUTZ FAHR tractor and our equipment use the new ISOBUS communication standard.
It is a revolutionary machine that primarily brings its job closer to the manual one, where the worker (with an expenditure of 40-80 hours/ha against 2-3 hours/ha for the work done mechanically) chooses the leaves to be removed according to the more or less excessive covering of the bunches.
Together with the machine and the tractor with the ISOBUS virtual terminal, there is a supply packet of telemeasured data, index maps and management software.
Developed in collaboration with SAME DEUTZ FAHR (responsible for tractor isobus electronics), who shares the award, and Marchesi Antinori of Florence.
The machine in detail
In the video you can observe the huge difference in work between the different areas, the sounding of the tractor’s horn indicates the passage from high vigour to low vigour.
This machine uses the new ISOBUS electronic communication standard and can be controlled from a tractor already equipped with a virtual monitor, that can be supplied with the SAME tractor, or with the DICKEY-john IntelliAg 10” virtual terminal, distributed by us and which can be applied to any kind of tractor. This terminal is also able to run all the other general ISOBUS applications and particularly the VRT fertilizer spreader, produced by us, with an appreciable lowering of production costs.
The term ISOBUS refers to the ISO 11783 standard “tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry: serial control and communications data network.” Thanks to the ISOBUS system, a single graphic terminal (defined by the standard as a Virtual Terminal) placed on board the tractor can control all the compatible ISOBUS tools and handle maps at a variable rate, automatically sending the indications of change in dose to the ISOBUS part on the side of the machine, when the machine moves from one area to another with a different prescription.
Our leaf-stripper has been created to remove leaves in a controlled way and to be able to handle the quantity of leaves eliminated according to the actual needs of different areas within the same vineyard.
The prescription maps of the vineyard are created in this way (easily obtainable from vigour maps) expressed in kg of leaves removed per hectare. These maps are managed by the ISOBUS electronics and by appropriate actuators, enabling us to carry out high levels of leaf removal where there is high vigour, moderate leaf removal in the intermediate areas, arriving at a total absence of leaf removal in areas of low vegetative vigour. As the tractor reaches the different prescription areas, recognised according to the geographical position picked up by the GPS antenna, the way the machine works changes, coming closer to how an expert operator would work when manually removing leaves.
In the following images you can see the machine at work. The vineyard has been charted from flight and a vigour map in NDVI (Normalized Differential Vegetation Index) has been reconstructed, from which the prescription map has been made in terms of kg/ha of leaves removed.
It is a georeferenced map where the winery’s technician has indicated the level of leaf removal to be done. Maximum levels of leaf removal have been assigned to the most vigorous area, medium intensity of leaf removal (with respect to the maximum) to the intermediate area, while for the least vigorous area (which normally tends to lose leaves spontaneously during more advanced phenological stages) it was established that there should be no leaf removal.
This revolutionary technique sees to it that the work of the machine emulates man’s wisdom and enables it to intervene in the vineyard while respecting it at the same time, distinguishing its site-specific needs and treating them individually. This makes it the first machine ever created to work on the canopy, endowed with geographical intelligence.
- Working width: 500 mm.
- Requested oil flow: from 35 to 45 l/min at 180 bars
- Weight: 150 kg.
- Hydraulic vertical regulation: 500 mm.
- Hydraulic horizontal regulation: 300 mm.
- Hydraulic trasversal tilt: ± 35°