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GROWING AN EVEN stand starts with consistent seed drop and accurate seed placement. In the old days, you had to get out of the tractor every once in awhile and do some digging behind the planter to see if your row units were doing the job. That kind of ground truth check is still a good idea, but it becomes less practical and timely as ground speeds increase and planter toolbars widen. Dickey-john offers several new electronic monitoring systems to help monitor planter accuracy in real time from the tractor cab.

Variable-rate control center

The ISO11783-compatible Dickey-john Virtual Terminal monitors and controls row planters, granular fertilizer applicators, grain drills and air carts. The terminal hooks into a tractor's CANBUS system to interface with seed sensors, shaft sensors and hydraulic valves without the need for extra wires and harnesses. The terminal screen monitors performance while easy-to-use buttons and a scroll knob let the operator change views and vary rates on the fly.

Data are stored in nonvolatile memory. The terminal can receive input from a hopper level sensor, shaft RPM sensor, ground speed sensor, implement lift switch and seed sensors. Functions are expandable by adding additional software modules.

Price ranges from $4,000 to $5,000 without seed tube sensing. Adding seed tubes costs $80/row. Circle 192.

Planter monitors

To allow the driver to simply monitor seeding rates from the cab, Dickey-john offers several planter monitor options that will keep track of as many as 36 rows at the same time. The units detect seed flow to alert the operator to row failure.

For $535, the PM100 base model uses a simple LED indicator readout. Deluxe models such as the PM300 ($795) and PM400 ($995) offer multiple seed flow display options, including bar graphs, gauges, flashing bar segments and text enlargement. These deluxe models give ground speed and accessory input such as fan, shaft or flow. Circle 191.

For more information, contact Dickey-john, Dept. FIN, 5200 Dickey-john Rd., Auburn, IL 62615, 800/637-3302, or visit or

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