By Cody Vanderholm, HTS Ag
Lots people have asked how the Ag Leader’s SureDrive with Row by Row Hydraulic Down Force system benefits your crop compared to a good ole fashioned ground drive planter with standard spring pressure, so we decided to show you. This year we took two planters that were as close to identical as we could get, put them in the same field and planted pass to pass. This will give us a great set of data to show you the difference it can make for your operation.
Let’s talk about the planters. The first planter is a Kinze 3600. This planter is bulk fill with SureDrives and Row by Row Hydraulic Down Force. It has wavy coulters and row cleaners added to the row units. The second planter is a Kinze 3600 box fill with two ground drive sections (8 rows and 8 rows). This planter has standard spring pressure with wavy coulters as well. This planter does not have row cleaners therefore we locked the first planter’s in the highest position. The first planter has individual row shut offs utilizing the SureDrives and the second planter has Ag Leader’s electric clutches tied together every two rows. Our goal was to get the planters as close to the same as possible.
Some of the differences that you will see as we go through the season will be in seed spacing consistency, seed depth consistency, emergence consistency, increased singulation, row by row turn compensation and yield differences.
While planting, we saw some seeds from the second planter that didn’t have enough down force to drive that row unit and seed to the desired depth and the seed was sitting on top of the soil in spots. We didn’t see any of that seed depth issues from the first planter with was utilizing the row by row hydraulic down force. The other things we saw was row unit bounce. In the videos we released to social media, you can watch as we follow each planter closely with the drone and can clearly see the row units on each planter going through the field. The first planter with individual row by row hydraulic down force maintains consistent contact with the ground and the units don’t bounce. At one point in the video, you can will the outside wheel on that planter bounce significantly but the row unit maintains consistent contact. If you watch the second planter, you will see the row units bouncing through the field. This effects the ability to maintain ground contact and created inconsistent seed depth and placement.
We scouted just 10 days after the planting date and already could see a difference in each planter as far as seed spacing placement and consistency of emergence. The other difference we saw was in the height of the corn from the first planter compared to the second planter.
This is going to be a trial to watch throughout the year. We will be reporting the results we find as we scout this crop going forward. Be on the lookout for lots of drone images as well as crop data utilizing Drone Deploy. We will have stand counts and crop health data that we will capture from our drone in this trial.
If you have any further questions on the planter set up or how things are going, please feel free to visit with us. Be sure to follow us on social media as we watch this crop very closely this season through harvest. We will post the videos for everyone to see as we are out scouting and looking at the corn with aerial imagery and data.
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1920 Philadelphia #105 • Ames, IA 50010