Effects of varying field geometry and machine configurations on spatial field traffic intensity: a case study for winter wheat harvest

Katja Augustin, Santiago Focke Martínez, Rainer Duttmann, Joachim Hertzberg, Michael Kuhwald

In: Soil Use and Management 2022 Pages 1-17 John Wiley & Sons 4/2022.


Increasing traffic intensities in agricultural work processes increase the risk of subsoil compaction. The objective of this study is to investigate whether the geometry of the field and size of the machine influence the traffic intensity. This study focuses on analyzing the influence of the machinery and field geometry on the traffic intensities in the field based on wheat harvest operations performed with one combine harvester. For this purpose, 177 routes on 59 different fields are simulated with a route planner and subsequently the tracks and traffic intensities are modeled. The structure of the field was specified using eight different shape indices. The analyses showed that the configuration of the machines mainly influences the total passed area and the wheel load distribution on the field. Independent of the machine, the geometry of the field has an influence on the area proportions in the headland with wheel passes above 5 and 10. The indices that highly correlate with traffic intensity are the mean interior edge ratio, the interior area ratio, and the mean fractal dimension. It means, that the larger the field area in proportion to the perimeter and the infield area, the larger the area fraction with more than 5 or 10 passes. Moreover, this area share increases with the complexity of the field geometry, expressed by the mean fractal dimension. Consequently, the size of the field mainly influences the traffic in the headland due to the removal of the crop.


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German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz