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Planter drive provides space age control
Changing plant populations on-the-go can now be as easy as turning a dial thanks to a new automated planter drive add-on system developed by Hydraulic Control Systems, Inc., Monticello, Iowa.
The system first appeared last season on Buffalo planters. It's now available for Deere, Kinze, White and Deutz planters. Combining electronics with a precision-built hydraulic drive unit, the device lets you control and monitor planting operations in a way not possible with any planter on the market.
Marty Richards invented the new control. "With a touch of a fingertip you can change population on-the-go, reducing populations on hills and in sandy areas which dry out early and increasing plant populations in heavier soil areas for maximum profit. It's particularly useful on farms with differing soil types and on irrigated land where you might want to change populations in the corners," says Richards noting that the planter also provides constant readouts on ground speed, acres covered and has a long-term memory in case of power loss or interruption.
The planter drive fits planters with a common drive, mounting above the toolbar and taking its readings from a ground sensor mounted on a ground wheel mounted just ahead of the toolbar. The drive offers more than enough power to run a fully equipped 24-row planter, eliminating the need to change sprockets and handle greasy chains.
A control box mounted in the cab coordinates all impulses from the ground sensing wheel and transmits them to the hydraulic drive. The hydraulic motor is specially-built to react instantly to any of the over 32 plant population settings that might be picked by the operator on the control box-mounted dial. At any time you can check the number of acres planted as well as ground speed, which is constantly monitored.
"One big advantage of installing this system on your planter is that it lets you run your planter for pre-season tuneups. Lets you check seed, fertilizer, herbicide and insecticide rates in a stationary position in your shop," says Richards.
The new drive system sells for $3,300 when ordered as a retrofit to an existing planter. When fitted to a new planter that's ordered without a drive system, Richards says it adds about $200 to the cost of the planter in most cases.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hydraulic Control Systems, Inc., Rt. 1, Monticello, Iowa 52310 (ph 319 465-4122).


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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #6