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Customizing the planter

New models stretch planter capability and flexibility

Planters have long been at the centre of precision farming technology, and an ever-growing list of component options these days continues to improve their efficiency.

With so many options now to choose from, more and more farmers are looking to customize their purchase to exactly meet the needs on their particular farm.

Now, AGCO is catering to that demand with the latest release under the company’s White planter lineup.

Late in 2018, AGCO introduced the new 9500VER (Vacuum Electric Ready) precision planting-ready toolbar, designed to accommodate operations requiring narrow-row configuration, as well as the new 9700VER toolbar, a stack-fold model for wide-row configurations.

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Both toolbars come equipped with maintenance-free, all cast iron 9000 Series row units, but they don’t include the drives, seed meters or various other components.

This, claims the brand, allows producers to build a planter from the ground up that exactly fits their needs, and it eliminates the unnecessary need to pay for duplicate components when converting a White planter to include the latest precision planting components and other digital systems.

“AGCO developed these toolbars so growers can customize a White planter with the precision planting components they want in the row width right for their needs,” said Tom Draper, strategic marketing manager for seeding and tillage at AGCO, in a press release. “This is a cost-effective option to converting an existing White planter which can mean duplicating some components.”

AGCO has introduced two planter toolbars that can be customized exactly to meet a grower’s requirements.
photo: AGCO

The harness-free frame, 9500VER precision-ready toolbar is available in three sizes: 23-row, 15-inch row spacing; 24-row, 20-inch spacing; and 24-row, 22-inch spacing. The 9700VER toolbar is available in five sizes: 12-row, with 30-inch, 36-inch, 38-inch or 40-inch row spacing, and a 16-row with 30-inch row spacing.

The new 9500VER toolbar uses a three-section frame, a two-tank, 90-bushel, central-fill seed-delivery system (CFS); hydraulic lift and fold systems, and folding marker selection. Two 45-bushel polyethylene hoppers are standard for the CFS on all 9500VER toolbars.

The 9700VER toolbar also gets a three-section frame, which the brand claims helps to provide consistent toolbar height and maintain correct row unit depth control across the width of the planter in varying terrain.

Also introducing something new to the planter world this year was Sweden’s Vaderstad, which builds the Seed Hawk air seeder in Saskatchewan. Once again the brand chose Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina as the venue to introduce Canadian farmers to their newest offering, this time launching the Tempo L24, 24-row planter.

The new planter is designed to appeal to growers who want to take advantage of the accuracy of a planter for small-seeded crops like canola.

“This is the first (planter) edition from Vaderstad specifically for small seeds that is at the width and capacity that farmers in Western Canada need,” said Philip Korczak, one of Vaderstad’s product reps.

“For our (Seed Hawk) air seeders, we recommend canola at four to four-and-a-quarter miles per hour. This realistically means you’re going to be doing canola at seven, seven-and-a-half to eight miles per hour, depending on soil prep conditions. Our 35-foot wide Tempo is really a 70-foot wide air seeder in terms of productivity.”

The L24 uses 17.7-inch row spacing, and the company has been involved in field-scale trials to demonstrate the value of those wider row spacings in canola crops.

“We’ve done a number of trials this year,” explained Kyle Herperger, another Vaderstad product specialist. “We’ve put it against 10- and 12-inch spaced air seeders. We’ve gone against 15-inch competitive planters, with ours at 17.7 inches. What the results are showing so far in the planting season is we’re just taking one extra day to close the rows in, compared to a 15-inch spacing.”

Vaderstad claims growers can confidently cut seeding rates using the accuracy offered by, the L24 and save significantly on input costs.

Said Herperger: “If you’re going to save two pounds of canola (per acre)at, say, $15 per pound. That’s a savings of $30 per acre for every acre this thing plants.”

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