Pilot Action ISOBUS Seedbed control

Soil roughness is a key factor to take into account during seedbed preparation.

On the one hand, a fine seedbed is needed for good plant emergence. On the other hand, a rough soil prevents soil erosion and can be prepared in a more energy-efficient way.

The control system based on an ISOBUS Class III application controls the tractor based on the measured soil roughness in real time. The pilot action led by our partner, HBLFA Francisco Josephinum focuses on testing the system, finding weaknesses and areas for improvement, and defining the integration in the process flow at seeding.


The aim of the Pilot Action is the further development of a system for the objective control of variable parameters during the sowing of cereals when using a power harrow - drill combination in order to achieve a homogeneous seedbed. This includes a deep analysis of the findings concerning the relations between soil tillage implement, driving speed and seed emergence, a further development of the camera (hardware and software), the optimum seedbed preparation, the determination of different soil structures (data recording using TC and creation of an application map).

Following main task are part of this pilot action:

  • Investigate relationship between the tillage machine, driving speed and seed emergence.
  • Operation with ISOBUS Class3 tractors in combination with a seed drill.
  • Investigate limitations and possibilities of new ISOBUS Class3 Tractor Implement Management (TIM) applications.

Pilot Action ISOBUS seedbed control

Transnational approach

Due to the need for expensive new ISOBUS equipment to investigate topics in the field of ISOBUS, this pilot action has been split up. Field trials with the TIM application will be done by HBLFA Francisco Josephinum in Austria and complementary field trials without the need for an ISOBUS tractor-implement-system are carried out by ARRSA in Poland.

HBLFA FJ will perform field trials with the tractor and seed drill. The tractor is controlled via the TIM application. Field trials include strip wise alternating seeding with and without the control system, as shown in the figure.

Pilot Action 1 Tractor seedbed
Simultaneously, HBLFA FJ provides ARRSA with a camera system for mapping of soil roughness after seeding at the local fields. The subsequent plant emergence is to be monitored by ARRSA through the SoilCover tool by HBLFA FJ. This makes it possible to investigate local differences in the roughness - plant emergence relationship. The generated roughness and plant emergence maps can be also provided to the farmer or integrated in other pilot actions.

Research Agenda: Seeding of spring wheat in Poland

Field fields (min. 1 ha) with different soil types
Main Tasks
  • Record soil images with provided camera system after seeding directly on the seeder or afterwards 
  • Record plant emergence RGB images (cyclic 3-5 days for 4 weeks after the first plants emerging)
  • Share Images/Results via Cloud Platform.