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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324719

Research Project: Sustainable Production, Profit, and Environmental Stewardship through Conservation Systems

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Measurement of in-field variability for active seeding depth applications in southeastern U.S.

Author
item PONCET, A - Auburn University
item FULTON, J - The Ohio State University
item MCDONALD, T - Auburn University
item Balkcom, Kipling
item KNAPPENBERGER, T - Auburn University
item SHAW, J - Auburn University
item BRIDGES, R - Auburn University

Submitted to: International Conference on Precision Agriculture Abstracts & Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2016
Publication Date: 7/31/2016
Citation: Poncet, A.M., Fulton, J.P., Mcdonald, T.P., Balkcom, K.S., Knappenberger, T., Shaw, J.N., Bridges, R.W. 2016. Measurement of in-field variability for active seeding depth applications in southeastern U.S. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, July 31-August 4, 2016, St. Louis, Missouri.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Planting remains one of the most important if not the most important field operation with mistakes potentially impacting profitability. Planter performance is defined by the ability of the planter to accurately place seed into the soil at an adequate and pre-determined depth. However, planter performance can be affected by soil properties that varying across a field. The objectives of this study were to 1) characterize row-unit behavior and planter performance in response to planter depth and downforce settings compared to in-field soil variability, and 2) discuss needs for development of variable seeding depth and active technologies to effectively improve row-crop planter performance. The study was conducted in Alabama for corn and cotton. Gauge-wheel load was monitored in real-time to characterize soil/furrow loading, while planter performance was evaluated through measurement of achieved seeding rate and seeding depth. Soil electrical conductivity and soil moisture at planting were collected to quantify field spatial variability and correlate to planter performance. Data analysis revealed that planter setting selection, overall soil properties and in-field variability were all significantly affecting row-unit behavior and planter performance. Results confirmed the existence of a strong soil effect driving row-crop planter performance, emphasizing the need for active planting technologies. The existence of a significant interaction effect between all these parameters demonstrated potential value of actively control seeding depth and downforce planter settings simultaneously. Required response times for such planting technology could be as low as one second or less.