Planters Doing More

The technology that brings variable-rate (VR) planting to field is still evolving, but three companies have come on strong on this segment.

Ben Smith, territory customer support manager with John Deere, says the majority of the company’s new large-frame row-crop planters (16 rows or greater) are sold with factory-installed hydraulic variable rate drive. Seed VR drive provides “the ultimate planting productivity by utilizing one, two, or three hydraulic motors — which varies by the model — to turn the seeding drive shaft,” he says.

Hydraulic control of the seeding drive allows for on-the-go seeding rate changes right from the display mounted inside the tractor cab. “Combine this seeding flexibility with the map-based planting option, and seeding rates adjust automatically based on the prescribed map,” he explains.

Customers appreciate that the technology allows them to manage seed inputs more efficiently by optimizing their planting population for maximum yield potential, says Mike Brandert, product manager at John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group. “In many cases customers are finding a real reduction in seed costs while still achieving or exceeding their desired yield goals in those management zones.” And they’re seeing reductions in other input costs because Deere’s units can do variable rate application of seed, chemicals, and nutrients in one pass, using a rate controller in addition to the other controllers.

While Brandert says Deere’s VR equipment has not changed much in the past few years, the way customers create the prescriptions has. “They’re exploring the benefits of prescriptions off of elevation maps, soil type maps, and yield/production history,” he says.

Planter/monitors of the future will have even more channels for variable-rate control, says Gary Hamilton, senior specialist, seeding and tillage with AGCO. The standard ISOBUS model C1000 Terminal/Monitor currently provides variable-rate planting capability for all hydraulic-drive 8000 Series White Planters. “It provides the operator with the convenience of an infinite seeding rate adjustment as well as variable-rate prescription mapping and ‘as applied’ mapping when a GPS receiver is added,” says Hamilton.

Marlin Melander, senior specialist with Advanced Technology Systems, says AGCO’s consoles are getting faster and easier to use — one improvement is more internal memory built into the console itself. It provides data logging without the need for a memory card.

At Kinze Manufacturing, variable-rate planting equipment is factory-installed on the Kinze 3660 and 3800 models, and it can be dealer-installed on the 3600. One of the units’ newer developments: Hydraulic drives come as part of the company’s technology packages.

Kinze made headlines in August with the unveiling of its new precision planting technology: An autonomous planter that runs without an operator in the cab.

To begin, the grower loads a field map into a GPS system, including field boundaries and any predesigned non-field areas such as waterways. After being taken to an identified field, the system generates the most efficient method to plant it. The system then positions the tractor and planter at a designated starting point and begins planting until it encounters an obstacle. Grower intervention is required to maneuver around unplanned obstacles.

Kinze performed extensive obstacle testing to ensure the accuracy and safety of the autonomous equipment. Beginning in a laboratory environment and then in the field, engineers simulated real-world scenarios to ensure the equipment would detect objects often encountered in the field, such as fence posts, stand pipes, farm animals, and other vehicles.

The technology was originally developed in a laboratory setting using computer simulation. Kinze engineers partnered with Jaybridge Robotics, Cambridge, MA, to bring the technology from the lab to the field, and to test and refine the work. In addition to planting, the Kinze Autonomy Project could be used for a variety of other tasks, including applying nutrients and harvesting crops.

Leave a Reply

Equipment Stories

EquipmentMeeting Changing Liquid Storage Needs
October 10, 2014
Tank and containment choices are expanding with shifts in farming practices and the economy. Read More
Precision AgGoogle Glass: New Tool For Ag
October 8, 2014
New wearable smart technologies such as Google Glass show potential to greatly impact how we accomplish the business of feeding the world. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Precision AgPrecision Agriculture: Finding The Payback
September 6, 2014
Profitability in precision ag is not about any one technology, but the result of employing technology in a total system approach that is agronomically sound. Read More

Top 100 Articles

CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT, Verdesian Ink Distribution Agreement
December 9, 2014
The agreement grants BRANDT the exclusive right to sell and market Verdesian’s patented Steric chemistry in the Turf and Ornamental and eastern U.S. ag markets under the BRANDT Reaction product line name. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Colors Of Custom Application
December 5, 2014
Although many color spray rigs are in the yards of the nation’s top ag retailers, the majority of them still come in only a few shades. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Invests In Meridian Agriculture Distribution
December 4, 2014
Meridian will provide retailers with supplier-branded products and numerous opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: Entering A New Seed Era
December 4, 2014
The seed category has been re-vitalized during the past few years, and more good news (and varieties) are headed the industry’s way in 2015. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Depressed State Of Fertilizer
December 3, 2014
Following downright giddy growth earlier this decade, fertilizer sales have fallen back down to earth the past two years. Read More

Latest News

Seed/BiotechReport: China Approves Viptera Corn, U.S. Officials Awa…
December 17, 2014
Chinese authorities have informed some agriculture industry officials the government has approved U.S. imports of a type of genetically modified corn developed by Syngenta. Read More
FertilizerMonty’s Plant Food Brings In New Sales Rep
December 16, 2014
Monty's Plant Food Company has hired Warren Kearns as its newest Sales Representative for the South Carolina area. Read More
EquipmentHagie Wins 2014 CropLife IRON Product Of The Year Award
December 15, 2014
The self-propelled sprayer maker has a hit on its hands with the new STS Series model. Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Sees China Approving Contentious GMO Corn Soon
December 15, 2014
Syngenta will make an announcement when it receives official documentation from China that Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, has been cleared for import. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Life Sciences Names Vice President Of Communi…
December 15, 2014
Amy Bugg will oversee the execution of all promotional strategies for the corporate brand and the complete product portfolio. Read More
StewardshipFarmers, Retailers Attend 4R Certification 4U Workshop
December 15, 2014
More than 160 farmers and ag retailer attended the “4R Certification 4U” workshop December 12 to learn more about the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship, water quality research in the area and cost-sharing opportunities. Read More
Matt Hopkins10 Best New Agriculture Apps For 2015
December 15, 2014
These new agriculture apps are certain to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2015 and beyond. Read More
ManagementARA Learnings, Retail Buying Intentions: Welcome To Cro…
December 12, 2014
This informal video program puts news and events effecting retailers into context, and features Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Herbicide-Tolerant Technology Closer To Commer…
December 12, 2014
The final EIS moves Monsanto one step closer to the introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, paving the way to provide access to dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement On Her…
December 12, 2014
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a final environmental impact statement on varieties of cotton and soybeans that have been genetically engineered for resistance to several herbicides, including the one known as dicamba. Read More
CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
LegislationARA Applauds CFATS Passage Prior To Holiday Adjournment
December 11, 2014
The streamlined bill provides a four-year authorization of the CFATS program and guidance to DHS on key issues of chemical facility security Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer CropScience’s ILeVO Approved By EPA
December 11, 2014
EPA has approved ILeVO, the only seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the Sudden Death Syndrome fungus and has activity against dangerous nematodes. Read More
Biologicals in Emerging Markets Map.
Crop InputsBiocontrols Could Quadruple By 2025; Will Regulators Pl…
December 11, 2014
The European experience with GMOs offers caution — and a promise — for biologicals. Read More
Crop InputsBASF Donates $75,000 To Feeding America
December 10, 2014
The donation will support Feeding America’s National Produce Program, an initiative that helps with planning, transportation and logistics to ensure fresh produce deliveries to the 200 member food banks around the country. Read More
InsecticidesHow To Avoid Aphid Infestation In Winter Wheat
December 10, 2014
The best strategy for managing aphid infestations in winter wheat — and the potential yellow dwarf diseases that they transmit — is prevention, according to a South Dakota State University Plant Pathology field specialist. Read More
LegislationDufault Installed As New ARA Chair
December 10, 2014
Dave Dufault, Vice President and General Manager of J.R. Simplot Company's Retail Business, was installed as the 2015 Chairman of the Board for ARA on December 4. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
December 10, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More