From FCC Express by Owen Roberts
High-speed corn and soybean planting technology that will allow farmers to plant at about twice the speed they do now is about to take hold in Canada.
This spring, two companies, John Deere and Vaderstad (through the brand name Seed Hawk, and the model Tempo), are field testing or demonstrating wide-row, high-speed planting technology in Ontario.
The John Deere planters are slated to be pre-sold this summer and delivered in time for the 2015 crop year. John Deere is running limited trials on a handful of southwestern Ontario farms with its units, called ExactEmerge row units, says Steve Reynolds, company solutions specialist for southern Ontario. The company will offer 12, 16 and 24-row planters.
Reynolds calls high-speed planting “a real breakthrough. It’s a major advancement, because of the increased productivity.”
He says Deere’s brush-belt seed delivery mechanism is able to accurately deposit seed uniformly at higher speeds. Depending on soil conditions, those speeds could reach 10 miles per hour (16 kilometres per hour), which compares favourably to traditional five to six miles per hour (or eight to 9.6 kilometres per hour) speeds.
The ExactEmerge units debuted in North America at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky., in February. Since then, in Ontario, John Deere dealers have hosted several high-speed planter clinics. As well, an ExactEmerge row unit will be on display at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show late this summer.
For its part, Vaderstad is bringing 16- and 24-row models of the Tempo planter to Canada. It currently offers six- and eight-row models.
The company says the key to accuracy of the Tempo planter is constant pressure in the meter, to keep seed on the disc, as well as three singulators to prevent doubles and PowerShoot technology to actively move seed down the seed tube.
On May 12, the Tempo planter was used to plant a 4,000-square-foot corn plot at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. The plot is segmented by different planter speeds ranging from 10-16 kilometres per hour. When the show opens, producers will be able to view the various speeds’ planting effectiveness.
“We are proud to introduce this product into the North American market, consistent with focus on speed and accuracy across all product lines,” says Peter Clark, president and CEO of Seed Hawk.