Your GPS Guide: GPS Guided Silage Compaction

By Matt Kurmas

Your GPS Guide logoAMW’s Compact™ software has been used in landfill waste compaction successfully for many years. We are working diligently to apply and offer the same revolutionary concepts for GPS guided silage compaction. In fact, the technology can be applied to any circumstance where a material needs to be compacted. Precise GPS measurements and innovative software combine to give an operator the ability to visually track compaction progress, working area and elevation targets.

Proper compaction in an open silo is crucial to silage production. Inadequate compaction of material can result in major loss of profits due to poor fermentation. The job of the operator is to remove oxygen by spreading even layers of material, and driving over just enough times while not missing any area.

Our Compact GPS System can help ensure all parts of the silage compaction process are performed:

Layer Thickness

Silage is commonly spread at a 6-inch thickness. The Fill amount indicator on our system control panel will show when the implement has raised another layer.

Proper Coverage

The operator sees as their current position as the system “paints” the wheel tracks on screen. By seeing where the implement has been, the operator can feel confident that no spots were missed.

Proper Compaction

The same on-screen wheel tracks also change color depending on the level of compaction. If the material has been driven over enough times that it is not pushing down anymore, the wheel tracks turn green, thus indicating good compaction. Ultimately, the operator will have a real time indicator of area worked and compaction achieved, eliminating the excessive fuel and time spent on unmeasured compaction. Silage CompactionOther benefits of GPS guided silage compaction include target elevations and recorded data for future analysis. The software can be set to indicate a cut/fill amount to a target elevation or shape of pile. Additionally, a design model with tipped surfaces and outside slopes can be created, loaded and built precisely to the specifications. The recorded data will store a history of machine activity, compaction and finished elevations. This digital record of work performed will prove beneficial to any business for a variety of reasons, including operator liability, fuel conservation and timing of preventative maintenance.

To learn more about silage and the opportunities to introduce GPS guided silage compaction to your farm, I recommend these resources:

Cory Jantzi at Pulsar Mechatronics, Waterloo, ON

The Five Most Common Silage Mistakes

The Silage Triangle: Four Important Practices

Matt Kurmas has worked in the GPS machine control industry since 2008 and is a Product Manager for AMW, focused on waste management applications. He has extensive experience developing and implementing GPS systems for construction, agriculture and landfills. Matt’s previous experience includes 10 years as a Land Survey Crew Chief and Instrument Operator.