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Design of a GPS/GIS-based Variable Rate Irrigating Hill-seeder

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  071086.(doi:10.13031/2013.22907)
Authors:   Qing Yang, Shuming Yang, Chenghai Yang
Keywords:   GPS, GIS, Variable rate irrigating hill-seeder, Control system

Sowing failure or poor emergence due to limited rainfall is a serious problem for crop production in arid and semiarid regions in north China. The objective of this study was to design a variable rate precision irrigating hill-seeder, which could change the amount of irrigating water automatically according to the soil moisture content of the field. A control system integrating single-chip computer, Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS) and variable rate application (VRA) technologies was developed. The system employed a high speed single-chip W78E58 unit as the control center, a high capacity U-disk for GIS data transfer, and a GPS receiver as the locating device. The system could detect a falling seed through a photoelectric sensor installed inside the collector of the seeder and then open an electromagnetic valve to control water delivery so that the seed and water could fall at the same time and place. The amount of water was determined by the minimum soil moisture content required for seed germination. The control system was adapted to a maize hill seeder. A static calibration experiment showed that the controller had very good linearity. The detection rate of the photoelectric sensor for maize seeds reached above 99%, indicating that the control system had high control accuracy.

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