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Smart Planter

Kinze Manufacturing, maker of row-crop planters and grain auger wagons, is entering the precision agriculture market for the 2008 planting season with the launch of a rate control system designed for Kinze planters. The Kinze Vision planter system was previewed at the company's 2007 dealer meeting in July and is based on Ag Leader's Insight control system.

According to Matt Poll, precision ag marketing specialist with Kinze, the system will allow growers to both monitor planter functions and change seeding rates on the go from a single touch-screen display in the cab. Planters designed to work with the system will feature factory-installed air clutches that enable operators to engage and disengage individual planter sections at headlands, point rows, waterways and previously planted areas.

“We are taking a different approach in the precision agriculture market by developing a system that is specifically designed for planters,” Poll says. “We are utilizing proven technology from Ag Leader and applying it to Kinze planters. And because planters are our sole focus, we can become the leader in planting technology.”

Variable-rate seeding

“One function our planters have been lacking is variable-rate seed control,” Poll says. “Before, we used two contact tire-driven transmissions that applied seed at a constant rate using chains and sprockets. Now we offer planters that have only one transmission, which is a hydraulic motor.”

The hydraulic motor allows growers to vary seeding rates on the go from the cab. Growers who have a GPS receiver and mapping capabilities can preprogram the different rates based on site-specific information they have collected. “With the addition of GPS mapping, Kinze Vision gives you the ability to prescribe seeding rates exactly the way you want them before you head to the field,” Poll says.

Air clutches

Planters designed to work with the Kinze Vision feature Tru Count air-actuated clutches that are factory installed on each row. Poll says clutches that are pneumatically controlled require less power to operate than conventional electric solenoid clutches, which allows more clutches to be installed. Planter sections can be turned on and off in four-row sections compared to half-width disconnects found on most planters, Poll claims. When used with a seed coverage map and a GPS receiver, the system will automatically disengage planter sections as the planter enters a headland, waterway or previously planted area.

Planter monitor

Finally, the same display that is used to control rate also functions as a planter monitor. Growers can track, in real time, average seed population and seed spacing by row or by overall planter average.

With the addition of GPS, the same system can record and map seeding population, hybrid/variety locations (including split-planter configurations), and planted areas.

Kinze Vision will be available on Kinze model 3600V planters for the 2008 planting season. The hydraulic variable-rate seed control, single row air clutches and seed monitor functions will be offered as standard equipment. These planters will be priced around $15,000 higher than standard 3600 planters that have a base list price ranging from $55,975 to $69,750 for 12- or 16-row mechanical meter models, and $63,934 to $79,026 for 12- or 16-row EdgeVac vacuum metering. Other models are expected to be equipped with the system in the future.

Contact Kinze Manufacturing Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 806, Williamsburg, IA 52361, visit or, or circle 108.

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