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In addition to the first screen display, second and third level screens allow the user to pinpoint areas by row or measured details. Bar graphs and running averages show each row's performance. Color-coded alerts identify problem areas based on tolerances determined by the grower. Green means performance is good; yellow and red indicate there is a problem.
Improved accuracy, consistency and increased productivity are the benchmarks for the new generation of no-till planters and tools.
It's one thing to plant a straight row; it's an entirely different matter placing seed precisely and consistently where you need it to take full advantage of the newer and more costly hybrids.
While auto-steer technology moved planting operations ahead by leaps and bounds, the rapidly escalating cost of inputs coupled with the demand to improve crop yields and planting productivity is keeping the pressure on no-tillers to further streamline their operations. As always, growers are looking to equipment manufacturers to move planting systems forward.
If the planter innovations announced so far are an indication of where the equipment is heading, the 2008 season should see some significant breakthroughs in planting technology. Here is some of the newer seeding equipment — ranging from complete planting systems to attachments for no-till —being rolled out for 2008.
It used to be that to tell how well a planter operated, a row-crop farmer would have to wait until his corn emerged. No matter how well seed was selected, meters were calibrated…