Argus Twin performance test – 13 February 2020 – Afgri South

 In Implements

This post has been contributed by Wessel Vosloo, our Regional Sales Manager in the Western Cape and parts of the Eastern Cape, following his training and testing of the Argus Twin system.

Our Falcon Equipment team spent the day in the  Caledon area testing the performance of the new Argus Twin system, which can now be retrofitted to any  Amazone ZA-TS or ZG-TS spreaders model built from 2016 onwards to optimise the lateral distribution of fertiliser at both spreading discs.

After a good theory session in the SAB conference center just outside of Caledon, we were ready to go and test the Argus Twin. After arriving in the Caledon area and taking in the hills, upon hills, upon hills, we thought that these farmers were mad to plant on these hills. But after the first harvest and a look at sprayers working here, it was soon obvious that you can quickly get used to this madness.

The actual retrofit of the Argus Twin is quite easy as you only need to tick the two check boxes on the terminal, but make sure to give yourself enough time to do the wiring. It is only two wires on each side, but it will keep you busy for the better part of a morning (and you need small hands for this).

With everything set up and ready: 24 m working width and spreading Urea 42% at 200 kg/ha

Firstly, we used the Amazone Fertiliser Service App to get info as close as possible to the fertiliser we were using so we could start with our testing and setting up the spreader using the 16‐tray mobile fertiliser test rig. And due to the special terrain just described, we did this test on more or less level ground, which is important obviously to get the best initial setup results. Do this wrong and Argus Twin will continue with these wrong settings when checking and regulating the lateral distribution of the spread fan.

Now, to prove the abilities of Argus Twin, for the second run and with Argus Twin still switched on we moved the trays to where we had a 30° incline from left to right and to top it all the wind started blowing at a steady pace from left to right. With all of that said the results can best be described in the below picture.

This result would surely have convinced any farmer that this is the best spreader on the market. But how do you test something that sees what you cannot see?

On the third run we were on the same incline with the wind still blowing at a fair pace. We then switched off the Argus Twin and remember the results that you have seen in the picture above! We changed nothing else, but only unchecked the two tick boxes for the Argus system to switch it off.

I trust you would agree that a picture can say a thousand words, have a look at the result!

It was clear to all that without Argus Twin a bad lateral distribution would have been the only result on these hilly terrains. It somehow also aided with the effects that the wind had on the spreading fan, but mostly due to the hilly terrain. For the areas where wind is always a problem, Amazone will in the very near future also offer WindControl as a supplement to Argus Twin. Watch this space …

To conclude our testing and to summarise the important selling points on Argus Twin from the results that we got:

  1. You can try your best to compensate for hilly conditions with other most probably complicated mechanical interventions, but getting it 100% correct like with Argus Twin will be impossible!
  2. With the Argus Twin it is not about savings but rather optimizing your yield potential by ensuring that fertiliser reaches the correct target area, which relates to the optimization of fertiliser cost.
  3. Most of our South African farmers start working at 6 am and will work till the job is done. With the Argus Twin it will do continuous online monitoring throughout the day to ensure appropriate adjustments are made via the delivery system to compensate for spread pattern changes due to the following changes:
    1. day temperature
    2. moisture content of the fertiliser
    3. fertiliser properties in batches
    4. the buildup of fertiliser on the spreading vane
    5. wear on the spreading vanes
    6. hard changes in speed by drivers (starting up and braking)

Now those are eyes worth looking into!

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