Posted on May 12, 2014 at 3:47 PM by Iowa Corn
|Horsch, a German company, entered the U.S. planter market a couple years ago |
with Maestro models. Horsch offers standard electric drives on each row unit.
Planters are becoming more sophisticated as manufacturers offer new technology and models.
At the recent Iowa Power Farming Show, Brett Buehler with Ag Leader Technology, explained in a seminar for farmers how their hydraulic down-force system can improve planting depths.
“Improper seeding depth can have a negative effect on yields,” Buehler said. “With traditional systems using spring or air bag down force system, farmers have to set the depths for their entire yield. However, if they set it too heavy, they could be compacting seeds into the soil. If farmers plant in wet conditions like last year, it becomes a huge problem with seeds being unable to establish good root systems.”
Planting seed at the optimum row unit down force is a key factor in good crop germination and good yields.
Ag Leader’s hydraulic down- force system will adjust down- force pressure based on changing field and soil conditions instantly. The system is centered on the unique hydraulic actuator. An important feature of the actuator is the patented nitrogen accumulator.
When a row unit needs to make a rapid upward adjustment due to terrain changes and obstacles, the accumulator allows for this instantaneous movement and absorbs the pressure increase. Without an accumulator, the row unit is not allowed its natural movement and could result in damage vs. a hydraulic system that did not have this feature.
Planters often feature springs that are often non-adjustable or difficult and time-consuming to adjust. Air bags are simpler to adjust, but farmers often don’t know if they are planting too shallow or too deep.
The Ag Leader system adjusts pressure instantly in changing soil types without the inconsistency created by pneumatic systems that respond over a longer period.
It could take an air bag system up to 20 seconds to inflate enough to create the proper down force, compared with one second with Ag Leader’s hydraulic down-force system. The difference could equate to a quarter acre using a 24-row planter.
The Ag Leader system does not require the user to enter a target down-force setting or margin. Ag Leader’s Integra display is able to use data from gauge wheel sensors installed on several rows across the planter to determine optimal down force to achieve the desired planting depth while limiting compaction. Major pressure adjustments can be made as fast as one second, making it quicker than air bag down-force systems. In addition, there are fine-tuning adjustments that can be made per channel on-the-go by the operator. The default setting will provide ideal control for most growers.
“Last year was the perfect storm with wet planting conditions in the spring and dry conditions throughout the summer,” Buehler says.
This year will be Ag Leader’s second season offering the system.
Planter row units that support the system include John Deere MaxEmerge 2, MaxEmerge Plus, MaxEmerge XP, XP Pro, Kinze 3000 (non-Interplants), Kinze 4900 and White 8000 (limited release).
Horsch, a German company, entered the planter market a couple years ago with the Maestro. Horsch offers electric drives on each row unit as standard equipment and planting speeds up to 8 mph.
The electric drives create less vibration than mechanical systems using drive shafts, chains, sprockets or cables.
Less vibration allows for seed to be planted more evenly.
Travel speeds also can be increased. In 2013, the company introduced a model using a hydraulic-driven pump to control the flow of liquid fertilizer in different sections of the planter.
The planter is equipped with hydraulic down pressure as standard so it rides smoother than planters equipped with springs or airbags.
It also is ISOBUS-compatible, which means it is designed to operate with any brand of tractor.
The 24-row unit comes with 140-bushel capacity of seed and 1,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer.
The company also offers tillage tools.~ Article from Iowa Farmer Today ~