HIGH PRESSURE PLANTING. Susterre Technologies of Ontario, Can., is commercializing ultra-high-pressure water-jet technology to provide no-tillers with a method to plant in heavy residue with very little down pressure. After 10 years of prototype work and a season of commercial application, the company will be taking orders later this season.  Photo: Susterre Technologies

Industrial Water-Jet Technology Improves No-Till Planting

Susterre Technologies will be taking orders in 2023 for a retrofit ultra-high-pressure water-jet system that can no-till in nearly all conditions.

In late December 2019, we introduced you to a novel planter technology being perfected in Canada using ultra-high-pressure (UHP) water jets to cut through the toughest residue and compacted soil. After more than 10 years of testing and proof-of-concept research, Susterre Technologies plans to take orders this spring for fully functional retrofit systems for delivery in late 2023 across the U.S. and Canada

Water Jet Tech

Michael Cully, Susterre’s CEO, says the heart of the system is adopted from industrial manufacturing processes designed to make precision cuts through metal using water jets capable of 60,000 pounds psi targeted in a very narrow (.007-.010 inch ) stream.

“Susterre is providing a system to adopt these jets for use in agriculture, particularly for planting, and is offering new row units for any existing planter,” he says. “These row units feature water jets in front of the planter’s disc openers and seeding mechanism. They can easily cut through heavy crop residue with very little down force.”

A no-tiller could use water or a starter fertilizer like UAN 28% as the fluid. Cully says if starter fertilizer is used, not only does it serve as a cutting fluid, but it’s also injected 3-4 inches below the seed bed.

For a 6-row application, Susterre’s system can be installed using the PTO from the grower’s tractor. For 12- to 24-row applications, the company supplies power carts that provide a separate engine and pump assembly, along with water storage for the system. The system requires about an…

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Dan Crummett

Dan Crummett has more than 35 years in regional and national agricultural journalism including editing state farm magazines, web-based machinery reporting and has an interest in no-till and conservation tillage. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State Univ.

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