When it comes to row-by-row seed distribution, let’s just say there’s room to improve the accuracy of bulk metering systems on many air seeders.
“Right now in the marketplace, with bulk metering that delivers the product through those manifolds, the deviation is approximately 20 to 23 percent throughout industry at this time,” says Owen Kinch, research manager with SeedMaster, the seeding equipment manufacturer based at Emerald Park, Saskatchewan.
As he explains in the video below, SeedMaster is working with European flow sensor company Digitroll to count and monitor seed flow on each product run. Using this information, SeedMaster has developed a tunable tower that allows the operator to balance product and air flow from the manifold through each line, reducing the deviation to 10 percent or less, says Kinch.
“If you have a single run that is reading high, you can lower that pin down and cause an interference to the product and reduce that flow down to the average of the tower,” he demonstrates.
The seed flow information from Digitroll’s BlackEye sensors is shown in real-time on a tablet in the tractor cab. According to the company, its seed count accuracy exceeds 98 percent. It’s the same technology that Vaderstad used for its “SeedEye,” which won “Machine of the Year” at AgriTechnica last fall and was featured on this RealAg TechTour episode from Germany.
While the cone and pins in the SeedMaster tower can be tweaked quickly using the seed flow information, Kinch says they’re already working on automating the adjustments.
Owen Kinch demonstrates how SeedMaster’s new tunable tower works in this video filmed at Canada’s Farm Progress Show ’16 in Regina: