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Drill Rate Calculator
If you've ever had problems setting your grain drill at the correct population rate without having to rust plant several acres, you'll want to take a close look at this "drill rate calculator" that lets you test population settings within a few feet.
The drill-rate calculator is available in two models, one for soybeans and one for wheat. It consists of a clear plastic tube with a plastic cone on top and a plastic cone-shaped base. It mounts inside the drill's seed hopper on top of any seed cup, and comes with a drill rate calculator chart.
"It lets you plant seeds per acre instead of pounds per acre for better population control and reduced production costs," says Bob Wells, Agri-Gauge, Inc., Sharpsville, Ind. "It should be used every time you change varieties or seed sizes. Switching to a different size of soybean seed can result in a 30% increase or decrease in the number of seeds per acre. The calculator allows you to compensate for the change in seed size and plant the correct population."
Wells, a Deere implement dealer, came up with the calculator after Ted Salsbery, a customer, bought a drill from him and complained about having to plant 20 acres of soybeans before he was able to set the drill correctly. The two went into business together to design, test, and market the product.
The calculator comes with a pair of springs that secure the base of the tube to bolts on either side of the seed cup. Then, using a chart, you match your row spacing with the desired number of seeds per acre to deter-mine a test distance. Next, you step off the test distance in the field and fill the calculator tube to the line representing the number of seeds per pound as marked on the bag of seed. After drilling the measured test distance, if the seed is at the base line of the tube, your drill is set properly. If seed is above the base line, reset the drill at a higher rate. If seed is below the base line, reset the drill to a lower rate.
"Our experiments show that planting speed doesn't appear to have any noticeable effect on test results," says Wells, who notes that the calculator is designed to work with most makes of grain drills. "If your drill isn't compatible with our drill-rate calculator, we can probably custom-make one that will work."
The soybean and wheat calculators each sell for $20 plus $3 for shipping and handling.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Agri-Gauge, Inc., Rt. 1, Box 181, Sharpsville, Ind. 46068 (ph 317 883-7700).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4