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

Illinois Researchers
FertilizerMeasure Of Age In Soil Nitrogen Could Help Precision Agriculture
July 26, 2016
What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentAgronomists, CCAs, Custom Applicators Invited To FSR Agronomy College
July 19, 2016
Agronomists, Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and custom applicators can stay current on agronomy issues on the grounds of the Farm Read More
SprayersCNH Industrial Extends Miller Nitro Sprayer Distribution To Case IH
July 12, 2016
CNH Industrial announces an additional distribution channel for its Miller branded high-clearance sprayers in the U.S. through its Case IH Application Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgSix Reasons Senior Executives Must Attend The First-Ever PrecisionAg Vision Conference
July 11, 2016
As I made a West Coast swing this spring to visit companies including The Climate Corp. and Planet Labs, there Read More
Trending Articles
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Latest News
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesSpecial Issue Of Weed Science Explores Human Aspects Of…
July 27, 2016
Weeds that evolve resistance to herbicides are a serious threat to global agricultural production. In this Special Issue of Weed Science, Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100CHS Businesses In Washington, Idaho Combining For Great…
July 27, 2016
As full-service ag retailers, CHS Primeland and CHS Farmers Co-op collectively serve farmers and other customers in 15 counties in Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
Crop InputsNACHURS Joins Field to Market
July 27, 2016
NACHURS announced today that it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a leading multi-stakeholder initiative working Read More
Illinois Researchers
FertilizerMeasure Of Age In Soil Nitrogen Could Help Precision Ag…
July 26, 2016
What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems Read More
Kochia
Crop InputsNufarm Launches New Herbicide for Resistant Kochia
July 25, 2016
Nufarm introduces Scorch herbicide for U.S. farmers and ranchers combating a broad range of troublesome broadleaf weeds. A unique premix Read More
ManagementNew Rabobank Report Calls for Farmer ROI Focus
July 25, 2016
As U.S. row crop farmers brace themselves for a third year of negative margins, Rabobank believes farmers must lower the Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsBloomberg: Syngenta-Chem China Deal on Track for Regula…
July 25, 2016
Syngenta AG, which has agreed to be taken over by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion, said talks with Read More
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Shareholder Proposes Monsanto ‘Host…
July 20, 2016
One of Bayer AG’s top 20 shareholders said Wednesday it may make sense for the life-science company to launch an Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsNew Leaf Symbiotics Snags Former Monsanto Microbials Le…
July 20, 2016
NewLeaf Symbiotics, announced today the appointment of Dr. Janne Kerovuo as Vice President for Research and Discovery.  Dr. Kerovuo comes Read More
Corn and ditch
ManagementStudy: Saturated Buffers Reduce Nitrates From Subsurfac…
July 19, 2016
The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentAgronomists, CCAs, Custom Applicators Invited To FSR Ag…
July 19, 2016
Agronomists, Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and custom applicators can stay current on agronomy issues on the grounds of the Farm Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of…
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Latest Monsanto Rumors: A Game Of Tones
July 18, 2016
When companies are engaged in the back-and-forth of the acquisition game, the tone of their various announcements is always important. Read More