Precision Planting Rolls Out New Products, Updates

Precision Planting's FurrowForce system.

Precision Planting, LLC announced the launch of two new products and updates to the 20|20 display that growers can add to their existing planters to create an “intelligent planting system,” giving them greater control over most row unit functions. The new products and updates were announced during the company’s 2019 Winter Conference held at the company’s headquarters in Tremont, Illinois.

“With the new products and updates launched today, growers now have the ability to have precision sensors and control systems controlling most aspects of row unit function, from seeding and fertilizer rates, to downforce, and now depth and closing performance, as well,” said Bryce Baker, Marketing Manager, Precision Planting.

“The two new technologies integrate smoothly with the electronic control system currently used with other Precision Planting products to allow growers to continually build their planter control system customized to their farm —an intelligent system.”

Closing the Furrow

Closing of the furrow is critical to good emergence and in great need of improvement. With most closing systems on the market today, guesswork is involved with determining how much force is needed to close the trench. Most current systems focus only on getting the trench closed, not managing soil density across conditions. FurrowForce is a completely new closing system for planters that utilizes a sensor to allow automated control of the closing system.

“The Precision Planting FurrowForce pinches the furrow closed and then stitches the soil, which is different from the traditional practice of forcing the soil downward,” said Jason Stoller, R&D Product Manager at Precision Planting. “The system closes the trench for improved emergence in tough, no-till environments, as well as manages soil density to preserve moisture in looser soils. FurrowForce automatically adjusts to changing conditions in the field, row by row.”  

AgFax Weed Solutions

The first stage uses notched wheels to close the furrow by shifting the soil inward to ensure proper seed-to-soil contact. Next, stitch wheels firm the soil around the seed to the proper density in order to maintain moisture in the soil after planting. A closing load sensor links the two stages together, sensing weight carried by the stitch wheels and providing visibility to the closing performance on the 20|20 display.

A control module on each row automatically adjusts the force applied to that row’s closing system to ensure that the seed furrow is being properly closed and firmed for consistent and speedy germination of the seed.

“This new product adds bushels because it enables optimal germination and emergence conditions,” Stoller said. “Our research has shown this new technology drives increased yields in both tough-to-close and conventional-till application.”

Precise Depth Control

Numerous studies have shown that planting at the right depth is critical to obtaining uniform germination of seeds. The same research also shows that based on the amount of moisture present in the soil, the correct depth is not the same in each field, or even within areas of a field.

The new SmartDepth system brings a unique set of features to row-crop producers around the world, allowing planter operators to change planting depth from the cab as they plant through the field. This change can be made manually or made based on a moisture reading from the Precision Planting SmartFirmer, a device which measures how much moisture is available for the seed to uptake in the furrow.

Pairing SmartDepth with SmartFirmer allows a grower to set a moisture target for seeds to be planted within, and the SmartDepth device will adjust the actual seeding depth of the planter to ensure that each seed is placed in adequate moisture for germination, either in sections of the planter or on a row-by-row basis.

SmartDepth allows for easy depth adjustments and can control the depth of each planter row individually based on moisture when paired with a SmartFirmer. Both FurrowForce and SmartDepth will be tested in the 2019 growing season by select growers around the globe and can be viewed at farm shows throughout the year, as well as at the Precision Technology Institute this summer.

20|20 Connect Mobile App

Precision Planting also announced the launch of the new 20|20 Connect phone and tablet application. This new app equips operators with an ability to connect their mobile device to the 20|20 display to perform frequently used functions, such as diagnostics and health checks, from outside of the cab.

“When an operator has fixed an issue on the planter, they need assurance that the system is plugged in and functioning correctly before getting into the cab,” says Ryan Allgaier, R&D Product Manager with Precision Planting. “With the 20|20 Connect app, a grower can now command the meter to turn and verify that all components are detected from their mobile device before going back to the cab.”

Updates to 20|20

The company also announced that the 20|20 display, a product launched in 2018, has had additional updates, including WiFi connectivity in the cab through pairing to a mobile hotspot. Connection to a hotspot enables the operator to view background satellite imagery behind their planting, harvest or side-dress maps and also update software directly on the display without the need for a USB stick to transfer the software.

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