For all the new technology that has evolved for planters over the past decade, how to best close the trench over the seed has remained more art than science — at least until now. Various short-line companies have introduced a range of closing wheels other than standard rubber closing wheels, from those with spikes to others with serrated edges. Some work better than others, but all seem to have a fit in one type of soil or set of conditions or another.
What no one has successfully done, until now, is figure out how to control down pressure on closing wheels, no matter what type they are. Precision Planting is changing people’s thinking when it comes to closing wheels by introducing FurrowForce.
“It’s a system of first-stage and second-stage closing wheels per row,” explains Bryce Baker, marketing manager for Precision Planting. “We can control the pressure on those closing wheels row by row with compressed air bags. The pressure can change row by row based on a sensor that measures how much force is needed to properly close the trench. The beauty of FurrowForce is that it’s automatic.”
It’s like Precision Planting’s concept of controlling down pressure on row units with DeltaForce. To install the new closing system, you will need a source of compressed air on your planter. If you already have DeltaForce, the two systems can use the same source of air.
USES AIR: Compressed air helps control closing wheels in this new design from Precision Planting.
“FurrowForce worked successfully in beta testing in 2019,” Baker says. “We’re doing a limited commercial release in 2020 and expect a full commercial launch for 2021. We want to make sure the product is rock solid before we produce huge numbers of units.”
The 10.1-inch, Generation 3 20/20 monitor screen is now available, Baker says. Precision Planting is also working on a 16-inch screen for the monitor, but it’s still in testing.
Some farmers are buying two 10.1-inch screens for their planter tractor and hooking them together, Baker notes.
PAIR SCREENS: Several farmers are pairing two 10-inch Precision Planting 20/20 Generation 3 display screens to show more information and control operations more easily.
“It does two things for someone who has a lot of technology on the planter,” he says. “First, it gives you more screen space to display various maps and information as you’re planting. A single screen can get crowded if you’re trying to watch several parameters at once.
“Second, it gives you more room for control displays for various functions. For example, if you have SmartFirmers on the planter, they report information on five separate factors. You need space to display those, especially if you anticipate making changes based on what you see.”