Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334794

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

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Current performance of planter technology to support variable-rate seeding in the Southern US

Author
item VIRK, SIMERJEET - Auburn University
item FULTON, JOHN - Auburn University
item MCDONALD, TIMOTHY - Auburn University
item Balkcom, Kipling
item PONCET, AURELIE - Auburn University
item BROOKE, ANOORA - Auburn University

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2014
Publication Date: 7/13/2014
Citation: Virk, S.S., Fulton, J.P., Mcdonald, T.P., Balkcom, K.S., Poncet, A., Brooke, A.B. 2014. Current performance of planter technology to support variable-rate seeding in the Southern US. ASABE Annual International Meeting, July 13-14, 2014, Montreal, Quebec. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Advances in planting technology are expanding opportunities to vary seeding rates on–the-go. Variable-rate seeding can help maximize overall profits by matching optimal planting rates to field production variability. An important aspect of variable-rate seeding is ensuring peak performance of the planter to accurately place seed, perform rate changes quickly and verifying accuracy of as-planted data to reflect field performance. Correct planter setup includes choosing the optimum settings (depth, downforce and metering unit) to ensure peak planter performance. This paper will discuss the ability of current planting technology today to successfully implement variable-rate seeding. In 2013, research was conducted to evaluate planting technology with seeding rates, down pressure, seeding depth, ground speed, metering setup as treatments. A data acquisition system was developed to collect individual row-unit acceleration and meter speed which was coupled with DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) data. Field data collection included seed spacing, live population, seed depth, distance for rate changes, and location of rate changes. As-planted data was also captured from 2 commercially available displays recording population data. Current hydraulic drives have a quick response of well less than 1 second regardless of ground speed. Meter setup impacts planter performance. Acceleration or row-unit ride can vary between units and influenced by proper setup and maintenance. Seeding depth is important but can be varying across the field and between fields. This paper will further discuss the current limitations and future steps needed to fully support variable-rate seeding in the Southern US.