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High Speed Seed Meter "Doubles Planting Speed"
Looking for a way to plant at higher speeds without loss of accuracy, Tom Heimbuch, Cogswell, North Dakota, designed a new seed meter with only one moving part that can be retrofitted to most planters. He says it allows planting speeds of 9 mph or more "with greater accuracy in seed spacing than most current planters can maintain at half that speed or less".
  Heimbuch filed for patents on two separate parts of the seed meter in July of 1999 and May of 2000.
  "The first patent is on what we call the placement wheel," he says. "The second patent covers the method of singulating the seed."
  Heimbuch's placement wheel accelerates the seed backward at the speed the planter is moving forward, giving it a negative speed. This means that when seed touches ground it stays where it hits. "I worked out the physics of this backward to come up with this concept," he says. "It allows the planter to be accurate to within plus or minus 1/4 inch."
  He says this is a standard deviation of less than .4, while the standard deviation on a typical new planter is 3.0 to 3.5. Once planters have been used awhile, the standard deviation on accuracy can go up to 5.0 or more, depending on the amount of wear.   Once he had the placement wheel perfected, he realized he needed a better method of singulating seed. "Current singulation methods aren't accurate at higher speeds," he says.
  His universal singulation disc can be produced to handle any size of seed. "There's a separate singulation disc for every crop. It will work with small-seeded vegetables or the largest dry beans," he says.
  Heimbuch is now looking for a manufacturer to produce the new planting units, with the idea of making them available for retrofitting existing planters. "We can make kits that take only 30 minutes per row or so to install," he says. "With only one moving part, it should be relatively maintenance free." He figures the cost will be about $1,000 per row.
  "One of the positive aspects of this idea is that if you're able to double your planting speed, you can use an 8-row planter to do the same job as a typical 16-row planter," he says. "The only thing that will keep you from going faster than 8 or 9 mph is the condition of the field. If you can drive faster and still control the tractor, this meter will still be accurate."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Heimbuch, 122nd Ave S.E., Cogswell, N. Dak. 58017 (ph 701 724-3785).

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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1