HarvestLab

Did You Know…

… that ZEISS Helps Out at Harvest Time?


Today marks the beginning of fall – the colorful transition from summer to winter is just around the corner. No other season of the year offers such an impressive display of colored forests and fog-shrouded landscapes. Hikers are not the only ones who are especially active right now: the agricultural industry is marking the beginning of the most important time of the year – harvest time.

The harvest ensures that there is an ample supply of food as well as sufficient livestock feed. The moisture content is the main factor affecting the quality of the harvest. For instance, too much moisture can cause silage to rot. But how do farmers know when to harvest? Until now, it was only possible for farmers to guess at the quality; meaningful samples could not be taken until after the corn, clover, and grass had been milled.

Metrology expert ZEISS and agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere have now put an end to this guessing game. Together, they have developed a new system that uses a near infrared sensor to calculate the dry mass of the harvest during harvesting. This enables farmers to precisely inspect the quality of the harvest while it is still out in the field. This measuring machine goes by the name of HarvestLab and determines the dry mass with a deviation of only two percent. Cows can now look forward to good feed, and – thanks to the early information about the subsequent quality of the silage – farmers will not only save time, but also money.

22 September 2009