SmartDepth and FurrowForce can help farmers achieve better planting results
By Diego Flammini
A planting technology company is planning a limited release in 2019 of two systems designed to make planting easier and more successful.
Precision Planting’s SmartDepth and FurrowForce technologies perform different functions but can help farmers achieve better planting results.
SmartDepth can “change planting depth in the field based upon furrow moisture levels,” Jason Webster, an agronomist with Precision Planting, told attendees of the FarmSmart Conference in Guelph, Ont. on Saturday.
Farmers can use the system to set planter depth with the push of a button from the tractor cab. When a producer uses SmartDepth with SmartFirmer, which measures soil moisture in the furrow, and the 20/20 display, he or she can set planting parameters while maintaining moisture levels.
Using SmartDepth gives growers control over every row of the planter, Webster said.
“This technology gives us the ability to calibrate once a season with the touch of a finger across the whole planter row by row,” he said. “If I realize I’m planting into dry dirt, I have the ability to plant deeper to get that seed down to adequate moisture” without getting out of the tractor cab.
FurrowForce, Precision Planting’s other new technology system, works with a planter’s closing wheels.
Traditional closing systems can’t change with varying field conditions. But the FurrowForce closing system measures several settings, Webster said.
“It gives us the ability to sense and measure the aggressiveness we need to close the trench quickly,” Webster said.
The system uses two stages to close the furrow and manage soil density.
The first-stage pinch wheels are set wider than other systems and move soil horizontally to remove air gaps. The second-stage stitch wheels create the proper soil density for moisture retention and quick germination.
When the stitch wheels feel pressure on them, the system sends a message to the pinch wheels to make sure they are cutting at a proper depth.