Category: Precision Planting


Get the Seed Environment Right

While you are planting, you might dig a few seeds per field.  More than likely you are only looking at a fraction of the seeds, and guessing that all of the ones you do not look at are ok.  The rest of the seeds are left to crossing our fingers and hoping they are in the best environment to start their journey.

With SmartFirmer you will have confidence in the environment that every seed is in.

SmartFirmer Gives Confidence

SmartFirmer is a seed-firmer sensor that is measuring the furrow as it is firming each seed into the bottom of the trench.  SmartFirmer helps you know that the environment that the seed is being placed in is in good shape, but can also help you determine what type of variability you may have in your field.

Soil Moisture Sensing

Adequate moisture is needed in the soil for a seed to germinate.  If the soil does not have enough moisture for a seed to germinate, it will take a rain shower to get enough moisture for that seed to germinate.  SmartFirmer measures and displays soil moisture in the cab so you can make adjustments to get seeds into adequate moisture.

Soil Temperature Sensing

Seeds need sufficient temperature to germinate, but how does temperature fluctuate throughout the day as the sun shines on the field and as you plant from one soil type to the next?  SmartFirmer shows you real time temperature as you are planting so you can make the right decision.

Furrow Uniformity

A consistent environment is essential for uniform seed germination and plant growth. SmartFirmer identifies any irregularities along the furrow, such as soil clods, air space, and dry soil falling from the surface, so that you can have the insight to correct row unit performance and solve these yield-robbing problems.

Residue Sensing

In-furrow crop residue has negative impacts on seed germination and growth. SmartFirmer allows you to measure the quantity of in-furrow residue and adjust row cleaners accordingly, thus ensuring residue won’t limit seed moisture uptake or transmit disease.

Organic Matter Sensing

In any field, there are multiple yield environments that are determined by differences in the field.  One of the foundations of these differences is the amount of organic matter in different soils.  The more Organic matter in a soil, the more water and nutrients it provides.  By measuring and mapping organic matter, you can get a clear picture of variability in your fields, measured every planter pass.

Organic Matter Control

Variable rate applications can be an intimidating step to take on the farm.  Between cost, prescriptions, and time, many growers have not yet reaped the profitability improvements from the implementation of site-specific farming.  With SmartFirmer, you can begin variable rating with ease, using soil organic matter as the measurement that determines what rate of seed or fertilizer is applied.  From the 20|20 in the cab, you simply setup a rate that you want for a given range of organic matter, and as the SmartFirmer senses the different organic matter levels in the field, it will prompt the planter to change rates automatically.  Hybrid can also be changed on the go too.  Using the organic matter reading to vary seeding or fertilizer rates, as well as hybrids, is a simple way to begin to determine the best way to maximize the variability in your field.

SmartFirmer pairs with 20|20 in the cab and vDrive, vApplyHD, and mSet on the planter in order to control different variables by organic matter.


Nitrogen Application at the Right Time, in the Right Way

  • Broadcasting nitrogen on the soil surface doesn’t put it where the plant will use it
  • Many planter attachments for nitrogen interfere with other aspects of the planter
  • Conceal places nitrogen in a band in the correct relationship to the seed

Broadcast Applications Are Inefficient

Broadcasting nitrogen before planting is an inefficient means of getting fertility to the plant.  We only plant a row every few feet, so why spread fertilizer evenly across the entire field?  A more efficient way to place fertilizer is to band the fertilizer in the row, just like we place the seeds.  Banded nutrients can reduce the total amount of needed fertility by up to 30% while maintaining the same yield level.  These banded nutrients should also be placed under the soil surface where they will stay in the soil, instead of being prone to volatilization when spread on top of the soil surface.

Plants Need Fertilizer While They Are Growing

Plants don’t need fertilizer when the seed is still in the bag, they need the fertilizer while they are growing.  This means it needs to be available for the roots to uptake in the most important times of the plant’s life.  In the case of nitrogen and corn, that first important time is from V4-V8 while the plant is determining the maximum size of ear that it can produce.  Nitrogen needs to be readily available to the crown roots of the plant during this stage in order to maximize the yield that can be produced by that plant.  A band of nitrogen placed under the soil surface will move down the soil profile with rains that occur after planting and will be a few inches deep, right where crown roots can get it when they need it.

Conceal Puts Nitrogen Where it Should Be

Conceal is a simple nutrient placement device that places fertilizer in a band, incorporated into the soil, where the plant will be able to get those nutrients during the critical ear set stage.  Conceal can be utilized to put either a single or a dual band of nutrients down beside the row.  Conceal is a combination of a gauge wheel which has a groove in it, and a knife running in the groove.  The knife is guided by the gauge wheel so that placement is always the same distance from the seed.  Since the knife is mounted to the front of the row unit, it does not interfere with the critical function that the gauge wheel plays: consistent and proper seeding depth.  Conceal almost can’t be seen on the row unit, tucked away inside the gauge wheel, where it does it’s job without increased row unit length or bulk that typically comes with nitrogen attachments.

Consistent Placement Around Every Turn

Why is Conceal the most consistent way to place nitrogen with the planter?  It’s all in the design of the knife running beside the seed, in the groove of the gauge wheel.  Since the knife is placing the fertilizer directly beside the seed and not in front of or behind the seed, the distance from the fertilizer to the seed is always consistent.  Also, since the knife is running in conjunction with the gauge wheel, it will be placing the fertilizer at a consistent depth relative to the seed.  Around curves, over uneven seedbeds, and on each row, the fertilizer is always where it needs to be relative to the seed.


Liquid systems are usually confusing

Making fertility applications at planting as well as in season makes sense in order to feed the crop exactly what it needs.  The problem is that putting together a good system to get the correct visibility of rate, and actually apply the correct rate, is pretty confusing. Many growers have made the decision  not to make the jump into one of these systems, or have made the jump, but are frustrated with the one they do have.

Variability in your system

As Precision Planting engineers spent countless hours on planters and sidedress bars looking at application equipment, it became apparent that even the best systems still had variability of rate based on speed, as well as row to row variability.  FlowSense is a Precision Planting tool that measures flow rate on a section or row and illuminated these problems.

Variability with speed

This map, with the rate being measured with FlowSense, shows a definite change in rate on the east portion of the field.  When placed beside the speed map of the same field, it is easy to see that the control system on this planter was sensitive to speed, applying 37 gpa at 3.5 mph and 30 gpa at 5 mph

Row to row variability

This map shows that this 24 row planter has 27% variability from the lowest to highest rate being applied, even when there was only one target rate across the entire field. Unexpected things, like whether the roll of hose was laying vertically or horizontally on the planter toolbar can affect the rate on that row, and may not even be seen.

Solving problems with simplicity

While FlowSense illuminated many of the problems above, we knew that only seeing an issue and not fixing it is frustrating.  vApplyHD is that fix. Instead of many components to meter, swath, measure, balance, and divide, the vApplyHD system uses a pump control module and then control modules on the toolbar. The modules on the toolbar control flow, measure flow, and swath all in a single device. These same modules can be configured in either section control or row by row control. Whichever way you decide to go, the result is your liquid fertilizer is applied at the correct rate and the 20|20 display in the cab gives you knowledge of how that application is occuring.

Flow measurement, flow control, turn compensation, variable rate prescriptions. All of this done by the on row vApplyHD module.

One module can be moved between machines

The same vApplyHD module that controls 5 gpa of in-furrow starter or 20 gpa of 2×2 nitrogen on the planter can be moved to the sprayer or the sidress bar to control the 70 gpa application of nitrogen. Make the investment of each module pay in multiple ways by moving the module and the 20|20 display from the planter to the sidedress bar or sprayer. A simple way to get the accuracy that you want without investing in multiple control systems.


Save Time

At Precision Planting, we know how important it is to get your planter ready for the spring.  The problem is, that even with the most fine toothed comb, there are still problems that can crop up during planting.  A bearing that was good in the shop can go out in the field.  A tensioner can break.  These issues cost you critical planting time and leave you feeling frustrated because you knew you had done everything you could pre-season.  We understand that when conditions are fit, your planter has to be rolling. Add vDrive to your planter and experience a planter drive system that just works, because it’s simple.  Save time, money, and frustration and  keep your planter rolling with vDrive.

Remove Complex Drive Systems

vDrive replaces the mechanical drive system, simplifying your planter.  A vDrive motor mounts to each vSet meter and makes that row a single row planter, because that row is controlled individually.

Save Seed With Row Shut Off

vDrive allows the seed and insecticide meter to turn off at a boundary or where you have already planted, making sure that you don’t overspend on inputs.

 Get Population Right on Curves

When you plant around a curve with a typical drive system, the population on each row varies because all meters turn the same speed while the inside row units of the planter travel slower and the outside faster, resulting in a large variation in population

With vDrive on your planter, each meter turns the speed that matches the speed of that row unit, so the plant population is correct on each row of the planter.  Gone is the yield loss from wide population variances.

Variable Rate Done Flawlessly

Changing seeding rates based on the yield potential of different areas of the field makes sense. To have confidence that you are getting the most out of variable rate, you need a planter that gets the rate correct in each zone in the field.  vDrive hits the rates because each row can change population independently, rather than all rows planting the same population.

Get Insecticide Right, Too

You need to deliver insecticide to the row to protect your seed, so how do you accomplish that without the mechanical drive system on the planter?  vDrive handles that too, by driving a vDrive insecticide meter.  The vDrive insecticide meter takes all the great features of vDrive and does them for your insecticide; proper rate regardless of speed, swath control, and variable rate capabilties.  Get both seed and insecticide right with vDrive.

Combine With mSet For Multi-Hybrid Capability

vSet meters + vDrive allow you to have a stress free planting season making sure that your singulation, population, and drive system are working correctly. But if you have variability in your field that calls for different seeding rates, could two different hybrids also help you be more profitable in the different areas of the field?  vSet and vDrive can be combined with the mSet Multi Hybrid system in order to vary not only population rates across the field but also change hybrids on the go as well.


Data drives decisions

Each step of the crop cycle must have accurate data to provide insights into what decisions should be made.  Whether you’re stopping in the field to make a fix, evaluating your approach for the next pass, or choosing your purchases for next season, you need the right data for the job. When you make better decisions for your next pass, you make better decisions next season, and throughout the future of your operation

High definition agronomic technology

High definition data enables high impact decisions. The new 20|20 monitor provides the most advanced agronomic picture you’ve ever seen. Optimize planting, harvest, and application decisions with a smart, intuitive interface that visualizes performance and field conditions in real time; seed by seed, plant by plant, drop by drop. Customize display configurations, add sensors, and discover things about your field you may have never known.

From knowledge to ultimate control

20|20 can be utilized as a monitor to help you simply set the planter to maximize planter perfomance in each crop, each day of planting. That same 20|20 also powers the most agronomically advanced systems on the market that control population, down force, liquid, multi-hybrid planting and high speed planting, all while sensing the furrow.  20|20 does all this and more to allow you to not only have the accurate data to make those crucial decisions, but also gives your equipment the powerful automation to make decisions as it passes through the field, optimizing every pass.

For the sidedress bar

Utilize 20|20 on the sidedress bar to capture rate by row, and pair it with vApplyHD to control the rate on each knife.  The same display provides you with the clearest agronomic picture available.


Work With Weather, Not Against It

Every spring, you want to get your acres planted in a timely fashion, in the best conditions possible.  But more often than we wish, the weather messes with our plans, and causes us to make trade offs.  Plant ahead of the cold front, and sacrifice stand?  Plant in soil that is a day or two away from being fit because the calendar says I am behind?  Stop making these tradeoffs, and be ready to beat the weather that comes your way with SpeedTube on your planter.

Think Agile, Not Cumbersome

Many growers try to solve the acres per hour question with a larger planter or more planters, which turns into costly equipment payments along with manpower and logisticaly challenges.  Upgrading the planter that you currently have to be able to cover more acres an hour, accurately, is the smart choice for hitting your ideal planting window.

Speed Doesn’t Have to Kill

Think differently about planting speed.  We know that planting too fast will cause row units to bounce, seeds to bounce in the tube, and a poor stand.  SpeedTube eliminates this issue because the seeds are controlled all the way from the vSet meter to the ground.  If there is row unit bounce, it doesn’t affect seed spacing because the seeds are contained within a flighted belt, keeping them in place.  When seeds are under control, speed can be increased without sacrificing performance.  And when you increase speed, you can have a smile on your face when that late spring rain comes because you know all of your crop is in the ground, accurately.

Controlled Speed Wins

SpeedTube combines with other systems from Precision Planting as part of a high speed planting system that ensures that as you speed up, yield potential is not going down.  SpeedTube uses two feeder wheels to pull seeds off of the vSet disk, into a flighted belt, and into the seed trench.  The seeds don’t bounce in the tube because they are under control, and they also don’t tumble in the furrow because the seed release is matched to ground speed.  The result is properly spaced seeds, and more acres covered in the ideal planting window.

A Complete High Speed System

SpeedTube is one component of the high speed planting system from Precision Planting.  Row by row downforce control, accurate metering and drive, row cleaner control, and fertilizer rate control that doesn’t compromise accuracy over changing speeds all are part of a system that ensures that as speed increases, accuracy remains the same.  High Speed planting is not just a delivery system, it is a complete package.


Variability – You Have It

Is every area of your field the same?  Is each row of your planter in the same environment, or are there differences?  Variability in fields exist, from soil type to drainage to moisture, and plant variability exists simply because some rows are near tires and some are not.  When setting a downforce airbag or spring, how can a single setting for the field ever be correct?  The reality is that it can’t always be right, which means that whenever the setting is incorrect for that spot in the field, that seed’s yield potential is lost due to too much or too little downforce.

See What Isn’t Seen

When there isn’t enough weight to maintain depth, late emerged plants are the result and they can easily be seen.  But what about when too much downforce is applied?  Compaction is created by the gauge wheels, leading to restricted root development and yield loss, but it is only seen by getting a spade in the ground and looking at roots.  Fields could be full of yield loss that has never been seen.

Gauge Wheel Weight is the Key

In order for every seed to be at the correct depth and also be placed in an environment free from compaction, the planter needs to measure the amount of weight on the gauge wheels of the planter, and carry that weight consistently.  If there is weight on the gauge wheels, then seeds are at depth.  If there is not excessive weight on the gauge wheels, then compaction is not occurring.  This is more than a one time setting because of the changes in the field, in the planter, and in the environment in general.  The gauge wheel weight must be continuously measured and made right.

DeltaForce Solves Variability

DeltaForce replaces the springs or airbags on your current planter with hydraulic cylinders and load cells that measure how much weight is being carried on the row unit gauge wheels and keep it consistent.  The operator sets a weight that should be carried on the gauge wheels, and DeltaForce does the rest, maintaining the same weight on the gauge wheels of every row, even across the variation of a field or from equipment.  With DeltaForce, the hidden yield loss from compaction is eliminated, and each row is planting at the depth that was set.  Great roots, great emergence, great yields.

Row by Row Accuracy

If one row of your planter is in a wheel track from the tractor or from the combine last fall and needs more downforce in order to maintain depth, the cylinder on that row applies more force.  If at the same time, another row is in very mellow ground and the weight of the row unit is all that is needed, the cylinder on that row applies no force.  And if a third row on the planter is carrying too much gauge wheel weight in mellow ground because the weight of the cast iron row unit is more than enough, the cylinder on that row will lighten that row unit, so that it is not creating compaction.

Every second, these reactions are happening multiple times, making sure that every seed on every row is at the depth that has been chosen, and in an environment to thrive.  Stop being blindsided by compaction and get the control that only DeltaForce provides.


What Environment Should The Seed Be In?

What is the ideal environment that seeds should be left in when planter is finished with its work?  The environment should be one where there is no evidence that the planter ever created a furrow, placed seed, and closed the furrow.  This environment should have no air pockets, should be mellow so that as the seed germinates it can emerge, while at the same time being firm enough that moisture does not quickly leave the soil.  It’s a delicate balance that needs to be achieved, and there is significant yield opportunity in getting it right.  Getting it right means that the variability in the field has been accounted for and adjusted for, and that germination of each seed has happened at the same time.  When seeds germinate and emerge at inconsistent times, yield loss occurs.

The Struggle With Getting The Environment Right

Since getting the seed environment right is so important to the profitability of your farming operation, what is preventing us from getting it right?  Most of the time it comes down to knowledge.  When planting, do you know how much weight is on the gauge wheels and if they are maintaining ground contact without compacting?  Do you know that the closing system is ensuring the soil is placed optimally around each seed?  The answer is many times we don’t.  Specifically, with closing systems, there are so many options for wheels, staggering, and spring pressure setting; which is best?  And the bigger question is: how do I know?  Digging a few seeds per field gives you some level of insight, but is a fraction of a percent of the total seeds planted.  There has been no way to sense that the closing system is doing the right job.  But now, you don’t have to plant with your fingers crossed.

FurrowForce Gives You Visibility

FurrowForce is an automated two stage closing system with integrated sensing.  FurrowForce works fundamentally different than other closing systems.  The first stage notched wheels work to close the seed furrow from the bottom up, eliminating air pockets.  The second stage stitch wheels carry weight on them to firm the soil over the seed to retain moisture.  But the real magic of this system is the load cell that measures weight on the stitch wheels.  From the 20|20 in the cab, the operator will set a certain amount of weight that they want to carry on the stitch wheels.  When the load cell measures more or less weight on the stitch wheels than has been set on the 20|20, the FurrowForce system automatically adjusts the force applied to the unit row by row, with sub second response.  When the stitch wheels are carrying weight on them, you can be confident that the first stage notched wheels are cutting into the soil at the correct depth, fully closing the trench.  As you are planting in the cab, you have confidence that your closing system is doing the job you want, instead of having your fingers crossed and hoping that the furrow is properly closed.

Manage Soil Density

Many growers think about proper closing as having the seed covered.  But putting soil over the seed is only part of the equation.  Managing soil density to maintain moisture is a key component of creating the best environment for the seed.  In conventional tillage and easy to close environments, growers look behind the planter and when they don’t see an open trench, they are satisfied.  But in this environment, tillage was done ahead of the planter which introduces air into the soil and dries it.  If the soil density over the seed is loose, the soil continues to dry out and moisture that is needed for quick germination is quickly lost.  FurrowForce solves this problem by maintaining a set amount of weight on the stitch wheels to firm the soil over the seed, remove air out of the soil, and retain moisture for a longer period of time to give each seed the chance to germinate consistently.

Confidence In The Cab

FurrowForce is controlled by the Precision Planting 20|20 monitor.  The 20|20 gives the operator in the cab a complete picture of planting performance, now including closing.  The weight that is being carried on the second stage stitch wheels is adjusted from the 20|20.  There are also closing performance metrics shown on the 20|20, such as closing margin, good closing percent, and closing uniformity.  If you are running in very dry conditions, you can increase the weight carried on the stitch wheels with just a few button presses in the cab.  Never before have you had the confidence to know how your closing system is performing throughout the entire field

Pair FurrowForce With DeltaForce For The Best Soil Environment

In order to have the ideal system for creating the perfect seed environment, pair FurrowForce with DeltaForce.  FurrowForce is sensing the weight carried on the stitch wheels and adjusting the applied force on the closing system to keep the stitch wheel weight consistent.  DeltaForce works in a similar way to control row unit downforce.  DeltaForce uses a load cell to measure the weight carried on the depth gauge wheels and adjusts the applied force on the row unit to ensure that the weight on the gauge wheels is consistent, automatically adjusting row by row in less than a second.  The pairing of DeltaForce with FurrowForce provides the seed the ideal environment to germinate and emerge, as well as allowing roots to grow without obstruction to set maximum yield.