A walk around the National Farm Machinery Show floor can open your eyes to a lot of innovations, take the planter business. Major players in the market are now incorporating electric drives in their planters, but what about that vast inventory of planters in the field? Ag Leader sees a market opportunity had an early look at their new product available for show visitor.
Ryan Oehler, a territory manager for Ag Leader, explains that the meter is designed for simple installation and is “a true after-market product, you don’t have to change your meter to use this drive,” he notes. “This drive is compatible with most meters in the market on planters built in the last 30 years.”
Whether you want to go electric drive with your finger-pickup meter system or you have a vacuum meter with mechanical drives, this product is targeting your planter.
Oehler showed a picture of the drive mounted to a Kinze meter, and the bracket requires only two bolts through existing holds on the planter to be connected.
The drive powers a shaft that turns a meter. The electric motor can be controlled over ISO-compatible systems and offer farmers row shut-off capability for even older planters. Electric drives are also simpler since all the work happens in the row unit, there’s no need for hex shafts, chains or sprockets and changing speeds for different conditions is simple.
The drives will use a 12 volt system but development is still underway regarding total power requirement. That will depend on the number of row units for your planter but Ag Leader will offer an hydraulically powered auxiliary generator to add to your planter if needed for adequate power.
These computer controlled electric drives will be pretty simple to set up. Oehler says that process is now in development. It could be as simple as a pick list in the software to control the drive, or a simple calibration process before the first use. Once set, the drives should plant accurately.
The company has targeted the 2017 planting season for this product, so check with your dealer about potential order opportunities later this year. You can visit agleader.com to learn about other company products, the electric drive information is not online at this time. However, you can learn about the company’s other products for seeding.