Precision Planting announced this month that it is developing a "retrofittable" multi-hybrid metering system that uses vSet meter technology and the new vDrive electric meter control system to allow for instantaneous switching between hybrids as a planter moves from zone to zone.
Meters will be positioned to fit within the existing row unit frame and deliver seed to a single, standard seed tube, the company says.
The set up includes the vDrive electric meter control system, which can instantaneously switch seed delivery from the front meter to the rear meter, and back to front meter. This means having the ability to plant each hybrid, and even each row, at different populations.
The system utilizes the standard dual bulk seed supply tanks available on most planters, Precision Planting says.
After successful concept testing, the new technology will be tested over more acres and more environmental conditions throughout 2014, however no schedule for commercial release has been determined.
'SpeedTube' means faster planting
In addition to the multi-hybrid system, Precision Planting is also developing "SpeedTube," a new seed delivery system that is intended to speed planting.
According to Jason Stoller, Precision Planting Engineering Product Manager for the new SpeedTube, time for planting is limited, and larger planters aren't the answer for larger farms.
"Planting speed is limited by the constraints of the seed tube, because high speeds lead to poor spacing," he explains.
The SpeedTube will control the seed all the way from the meter to the furrow. Feeder wheels at the top grab the seed from the disk and pull it into a flighted belt that deposits it in bottom of the trench.
The SpeedTube belt spins at a rate that increases and decreases with planter speed and seeding rates, ensuring that the seed placement is optimal, a Precision Planting statement said.
Like the metering system, development continues. Stoller says more details will be available after the spring planting season.
Source: Precision Planting