Since the 1970s the White Planter has carved its own niche in the seeding market with its positive-pressure air system. For the 2014 planting season the company is rolling out the 9000-Series row unit and will offer is first-ever center-fill 12-row, 30-inch machine.
The rollout that occurred April 10 had two parts - first was the new planter row unit which will be part of the entire 9000-Series line in 2014. Second, is the 9812 narrow-transport planter that brings together a range of features and innovations for the market.
Tom Draper, product marketing manager, seeding and tillage, AGCO, notes that White planters started in the past with three simple principles - accuracy, simplicity and reliability. "Simplicity was important and we have fewer moving parts," he notes. Key to that is a design that uses positive air pressure to "push" the seed into the singulation plate rather than "pull" it in with a vacuum - a feature that has been a hallmark of White Planters.
He notes that the 2013 9000-Series rollout rests on the same three principles today, which is typified by the row unit's redesign that uses few parts and requires much less field service to maintain uptime. That was important as Bob Boelson, senior product marketing specialist noted: "What's an hour to a farmer at planting time? It's a life-time especially if he's trying to plant and rain is coming," he notes.
The first eight images in this gallery take a look at the new row unit, which is the first significant upgrade for the White planter since 2000. The row unit will be part of every White Planter in 2014 and will create a range of 9000-Series machines. As Boelson explains: "The row unit gives the planter its model designation, so in 2014 all White Planters become 9000-Series machines with the new 9000-Series row unit."
The rest of the gallery is a look at that first-ever 12-row, center-fill planter - the 9812 - which features a narrow transport design. For AGCO, narrow transport is defined as 12-feet. Beyond being easy to move around, this new planter picks up a range of features from bigger planters and brings them to the 12-row class. For more information about the White Planter series, which will be sold by both Massey Ferguson and Challenger dealers, call 877/525-4384 or visit www.white-planters.com .
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1. Fine-tuning the row unit
The new White 9000-Series row unit was developed after field and market research with users to bring to market enhanced service and maximum uptime. The new cast-design unit -shown here in conventional hopper configuration - features 70% less moving parts, including no grease zerks for daily maintenance, says Gary Hamilton, product marketing specialist, White Planters.</p>
The row unit features a cast design that makes manufacturing easier, and enhances the durability and reliability of the machine, the company notes. It's also a heavier-duty construction, with a cast hub, with redesigned bearings that increase durability. Seed is picked up by a rotating plate, held in place by positive pressure air and the seed drops just 18-inches from unit into the seed trench - shorter than most competitive planters. That short seed-drop is designed to reduce "bounce" in the row to provide a more even stand.
2. More depth control options
We're starting at the ground - where the row unit preps the soil for seed placement. With the new row unit you can "go deeper" and with greater precision. With planting depth options up to 4.5 inches, the user can match most any soil or planting condition. The planting depth can be changed in quarter-inch increments for greater precision. To make the depth changes, you can raise then handle and by giving it a twist you can select half- or quarter-inch changes in depth.
3. Bigger opener offers options
Part of the reason for the "deeper" choices is an enhancement in the disk opener created by White's work in the international market. The company has boosted the diameter of the disk to 16 inches creating more options. However, for the North American producer, the key benefit of the wider disk opener is greater durability since the bigger disk should wear longer.
It's pretty obvious when you first see the leading edge of that disk opener that there's more there. More disk will add longer life to the row unit, but as the opener wears that can change the true depth you get at the ground versus what you selected. There's an answer for that - see next image.
4. Tweaking depth in season
A key concern for running a planter is maintaining proper depth even as disk-openers wear. The 9000-Series unit adds a unique feature that you can use to better match depth settings as the opener wears. Setting the row unit on blocks, Hamilton explains you can turn this bolt to match what the setting shows with in-field accuracy as the disk opener wears. It's a simple process that can be done quickly and adds to the accuracy of the seed unit. The adjustment bolt rests just below the height adjustment unit.
5. Redesigned seed handling
This is the business-end of the new row unit which features a few enhancements. Long-time White owners will notice that the brush on the left is longer, and that the air inlet for the positive-flow system is moved to a new position (it's the port just under the brush on the left). This longer brush works to break air flow, but keep seed in the plate just before it drops into the seed tube. That air inlet is better designed to keep seed on the plate as it rotates through the seed sump on the lower right. The seed drop happens at about 7-o'clock on the lower left and seed pickup begins at about 6 o'clock as the plate turns around in the planter unit. As AGCO's Hamilton notes, all the changes to this singulation system were driven by the customer to improve both on accuracy and to better eliminate the chance of dropping doubles.</p>
Agco also introduced a new flat-seed disk which can handle about 80% of the corn planting needs for most farmers. There are other disks as well to meet specific crop needs. The key is the positive-pressure system which uses more gentle air - about the air needed to blow out a candle - to keep seed engaged to the plate before it drops into the seed tube.
6. Easy cleaning design
The cast connection for the row unit now incorporates capacity to add optional mud-scrapers to keep those depth wheels clean. While White Planter folks know that planting in muddy conditions may not be the best idea, they know it happens. In addition to the optional mud scrapers, by simply removing that snap ring around the bolt, you can pop off the gauge wheel to quickly clear out any debris or mud that may have been packed into the unit. In some high-residue situations - even in dry conditions - this cleanout may be needed. It's pretty easy with this snap-ring construction.
7. Spring-loaded closing wheel
Behind the "business end" of the row unit is a spring-loaded closing wheel that's easily adjusted. The bushings that connect it to the row unit are the same as those used in the parallel arms at the front of the planter - which reduces the parts inventory a dealer needs to keep, and can help uptime. And those bushings have a maintenance-free non-metallic design for longer life.
8. Built for precision
Each 9000-Series row unit is outfitted with its own clutch which can be controlled in a number of ways depending on the system the operation selects in the cab. With the C1000 monitor the operator can do variable rate planting. Move up to the C3000 monitor and it's possible to disengage each row unit clutch as needed. In more precise settings, the design allows the operator to cut of rows one at a time, two at a time or whole sections at a time. This clutch design, which drives off a central shaft system, is linked to an ISO-compliant wiring harness for best control.
9. New for the 12-row market
<a href="http://farmindustrynews.com/planters/agco-white?intlink=rceoc" target="_blank">White Planters</a> has long been in the 12-row market, but this is a first - the 12-row, narrow transport with center fill. Says Bob Boelson, senior product marketing specialist, Seeding and Tillage, AGCO: "This planter with its higher capacity can be just right for the farmer that wants to do more but may not have enough acres to justify a much bigger machine." The positive-air-flow machine offers growers brings into the new machine a range of new features. from centralized hydraulics to high-capacity twin-bin center fill hoppers.</p>
The planter features two 45-bushel hoppers, offering 90 bushels of planting capacity for a single hybrid or the ability to change up hybrids on the go with precision tools. And it can be outfitted with a 300-gallon liquid fertilizer system (as shown) too. The planter can run as a ground-drive system or a variable-rate hydraulic-drive seeding-rate control.
10. Air-power design
The positive-flow air system pushes a column of air into each row unit. The fan on top of the toolbar links to the frame by those big black tubes. White Planters use the frame to transport air to each row unit, a positive-flow design is a little more forgiving allowing this approach - and it eliminates a lot of plumbing that can cause problem. The same approach is already a proven part of the 36-row planter, it's a reliable design. The white tubes deliver seed to each row unit also using positive pressure.
11. Centralized hydraulics
AGCO engineers thought about the 12-row market and the tractor power options that may be in the field today. They designed the hydraulic power for the row unit fans and the central fill fans to have added capacity over past designs. The new design features a PTO-driven 24 gpm pump that can power all the fans as needed, but works on its own 25-gallon reservoir. The only hydraulic capacity the tractor needs to offer is for raising and lower the planter and to deploy the markers. That allows this planter - even with center fill - to be used with a wider range of tractors in the field. And the big, easy-to-read gauges are visible from the cab.
12. Handling heat
In a closed hydraulic system dirt and contaminants can't get in, but heat can cause a breakdown of the fluid. AGCO designed the new 9812 planter to manage that heat - which can be generated when a motor is disengaged. This control box, which can be found on larger White Planters, helps pull the fluid back into the central sump as needed. That 25-gallon reservoir has its own radiator and fan as well to keep fluid cool, boosting reliability and preserving fluid life.
13. Easy shutoff
The row units on the 9812 are on 30-inch rows, so shutting off individual units may not be necessary, but if need it's pretty easy. You simply twist the white tube and remove it, then lock it to the "post" just behind it. That disconnects the seed flow to that hopper. Note the black air-supply tube to the row unit that comes from the frame to the row unit. Another innovation that allows for more versatile use of the machine.</p>
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