A new planter add-on that’s getting a lot of buzz this year is Precision Planting’s WaveVision seed sensor. It is a replacement seed tube and seed sensor designed to ensure that seeds are evenly spaced without doubles or skips, which would otherwise lead to yield loss.
Steve Nokleby, farmer and Precision Planting representative, gave me a preview of the product last November from his office headquarters in Montevideo, MN. (See video at http://bit.ly/fDsY2Z.) He says unlike standard seed tubes that use a light beam to monitor for seed singulation, WaveVision seed sensor measures the density of the seed as it passes through the seed tube. This allows a more accurate reading of individual seeds as they pass through the seed tube because it can tell whether one or two seeds (doubles) are being dropped. Doubled-up seeds result in yield loss because the two seeds have to compete for nutrients. Nokleby says another advantage the new seed sensor has over standard light beam sensors is that it is not affected by dust, again giving a more accurate reading.
Nokleby also showed me two other planter add-ons that Precision Planting introduced in the last couple of years. One is the 20/20 AirForce, a downforce control system that uses air to keep each planter unit in the ground at just the right depth. Nokleby says it adjusts for different planting conditions to avoid applying too much pressure on the ground, which could otherwise result in soil compaction, another yield robber.
The other product is called CleanSweep. Using the same principle as the 20/20 AirForce, it uses an air cylinder to control the downpressure on either a Martin or Yetter floating row cleaner. It also allows you to lift your row cleaners out of the ground on-the-go when planting conditions change throughout the day.
For more information about these products, go to http://www.precisionplanting.com.
For my next blog post, I’ll walk you through Nokleby’s own innovative planter setup.