Here is the official press release from Ag Leader, I will add my thoughts at the end –

Ag Leader AnnouncesPlanter Down Force Monitor and Control 

AMES, IOWA,December 9, 2011 – Ag Leader Technology is excited toannounce the INTEGRA™ display will soon feature planter down force monitor andcontrol capability, allowing the display to monitor and adjust down force basedon field and soil conditions.  Planting seed at the optimum row unit downforce is an important factor in good crop germination, and ultimately,yield.  The system will be available for the 2013 spring planting season,with field test systems in operation during the spring 2012 plantingseason. 

Theheart of the system is a hydraulic down force actuator, engineered by DawnEquipment. The actuator is the fastest on the market, allowing the INTEGRAdisplay to make quick row unit down force adjustments.  Ag Leader will beselling and supporting a branded version of the actuator.

“Soilconditions encountered by the planter change fast,” says Ag Leader ProductManager Roger Zielke.  “Other down force pressure systems that rely on aircompressors and air bags can’t respond like this hydraulic system. The plantercan be a long way past a different soil condition before air bags fullyrespond. The hydraulic system reacts as soon as the planter enters a differentsoil condition, providing consistent seed depth without seed trenchcompaction.  Plus, hydraulic systems hold up better in dusty, rigorousfield conditions compared to air-compressor systems.”

AboutAg Leader
?Ag Leader Technology, Inc. is apioneer and recognized technology innovator of precision agriculture hardwareand software. Located in Ames, Iowa, USA, the company manufactures and marketsindustry leading precision farming technology designed to help growers makesmart, profitable business decisions. Founded in 1992, the company has achievedconsistent growth and expansion by providing value-based products that helpgrowers and agricultural professionals achieve and maintain a successful,profitable operation.

Formore information visit: www.agleader.com

AboutDawn Equipment
Dawn EquipmentCompany is a Sycamore, Illinois-based manufacturer of ground engaging row croptools.  Since 1993, the company has built top-quality products out ofAmerican made components.  Working always from first concept, the companydevelops innovative precision agriculture systems that adapt to constantlyevolving farming practices.

For more information visit: www.dawnequipment.com 

(End of press release)

Finally, we have a system available that shows potential to do exactly what we have wanted without having to wait for air bags to respond.  This opens the door to so many opportunities, all around us as farmers doing a better job in the field, and in turn raising a better crop!  My thoughts are, tractors already have hydraulics, and maintaining an air compressor in a high dust environment becomes quite a task.