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Canadian Air Seeder Makes Great No-Till Row Crop Planter
After searching across North America for "the perfect planter", Illinois farmer Tim Scheetz finally ended up on the prairies of Western Canada. That's where he found an air seeder that he felt would plant no-till narrow-row corn, beans and wheat with more efficiency than any planter he'd ever seen in the Midwest.
  Seed Hawk one-pass air seeders are built in Langbank, Saskatchewan. After watching a 40-footer at work, Scheetz bought one and hitched it up behind his pickup for the 1,400 mile trip home. He used the planter last fall to plant 300 acres of wheat in 12-in. rows and plans to use it this spring to plant corn and beans, also in 12-in. rows.
  "I looked a long time for a high-capacity, one-pass rig that would plant all my crops in narrow," says Scheetz. "The great thing about the design of the Seed Hawk is that it gives you narrow rows under true no-till conditions without plugging up."
  The air seeder is equipped with three rows of widely-spaced, hydraulic-operated row units that simply clamp onto the frame. Each row unit mounts on a 7-ft. arm fitted with a hydraulic cylinder. The cylinder applies downpressure to a pair of 1/2-in. wide "fracturing knives" that place seed and fertilizer in the ground with minimal sidewall compaction. A 4-in. wide packer wheel mounts behind the knives.
  A split tank mounts on top of the frame. It holds up to 7 tons of fertilizer and 180 bu. of seed. The material is augered up to six Valmar air meters mounted on front of the rig's frame and from there it's blown back to the knives.
  "The designers of this planter solved a lot of the problems common to conventional no-till planters. It's also a high capacity machine that lets me plant up to 80 acres per hour without having to stop," says Scheetz. "Even though I plan to put all my crops in 12-in. rows, I could easily switch to 15 or 30-in. rows by simply rearranging row units.
  "The direct hydraulic downpressure allows each row unit to follow the terrain much better than row units on conventional planters. Each cylinder constantly adjusts to ground conditions, keeping seed and fertilizer depth uniform. The rig's frame always remains at a fixed height without moving up or down.
  "I can adjust hydraulic downpressure on-the-go from the tractor cab by looking at a gauge mounted on the frame that's visible from the cab. I usually apply about 1,200 lbs. of downpressure per cylinder. The fracturing knives go right through mud without plugging up like disc openers do. I've even blown seed right into standing water. The seed tubes are self-cleaning and you can see that seed is flowing by looking through clear plastic panels on front of the air meters.
  "Seed and fertilizer are augered from the tank to the air meters at the front of the planter where they're blown to row units by a hydraulic-driven fan. This design requires only about 2 lbs. of air pressure compared to 15 lbs. for Case-IH air planters and results in very little seed bounce.
  "The fertilizer knives place the fertilizer 1 in. from the seed and 3 in. deep. The knives are equipped with stainless steel shank protectors and titanium carbide tips. They can easily go 7,000 to 8000 acres before they wear out. By switching tanks I can apply either liquid or dry fertilizer.
  "The planter came with metering rolls for small grains. I had to make my own rolls for corn and beans."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Seed Hawk, Inc., P.O. Box 123, Langbank, Sask. S0G 2X0 Canada (ph 800-667-4295 or 306 538-2221).
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tim Scheetz, 2141 N. Co. Rd. 900 E., Nauvoo, Ill. 62354 (ph 217 453-2599).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #2