Jake Kraayenbrink’s AgriBrink technology is ready for the market in Europe – several years after he first headed there himself in search of a solution to soil compaction problems on his farm near Moorefield, Ontario.
Farmers need light, loose soil to plant crops, but the soil becomes hard – almost like cement – when heavy farm machinery passes over it. This means water can’t drain properly and plant roots are unable to get into the ground to get at the nutrients they need to grow.
With AgriBrink, a control box in the tractor cab allows the user to inflate and deflate the tires to match the ideal tire pressure for the weight and speed of the equipment being used.
Equipment tires can be deflated in about 30 seconds once a farmer drives into a field and re-inflated when entering a road, which is much faster than other systems on the market today.
This increases the footprint of a heavy piece of farm equipment, like a manure tanker, by about 60 per cent and keeps it from sinking into the ground.
Overall, deflating tires lowers fuel consumption, increases crop yields by easing soil compaction, and reduces tire wear.
Farmers can get into their fields earlier if their equipment is able to float over the soil more instead of sinking into wet ground. Farm equipment is easier to pull in a field when tires are deflated; this saves about 15 per cent on fuel costs, according to Kraayenbrink.
Kraayenbrink was a recipient of the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence in 2011 for his innovation.
A video posted on biotalk.ca provides more in-depth information about the AgriBrink system and how it works: http://biotalk.ca/news/categories/agriculture/item/163-oaft-game-changers-in-agriculture-profile-agribrink#.VFvecMntlSQ.