For the last generation of planter designers, the goal has been clear. It’s been to achieve ever-higher ground speeds while still seeding the crop with perfect uniformity of depth and spacing.
The dream is understandable. A machine that goes faster will cover more acres in a day, which in turn has got to be a huge sales advantage. But that doesn’t make the challenge any easier. Can you really achieve perfection while bouncing across a field at something near 10 m.p.h.
Now, Case IH has come a big step closer with the introduction of the 2000 Series Early Riser planter and its all-new row unit design, or so says the company’s initial press release, adding “… these rugged new planters have been engineered to operate at higher speeds to deliver fast and uniform emergence.”
The new row-unit design has impressed a few in the industry. In fact, it has already won an ASABE 50 award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, which chooses the year’s 50 best ag engineering designs.
“After years of customer feedback and extensive engineering development, we are proud to announce a new generation of smart planting technology,” said Tony McClelland, planter marketing manager, in the same press release. “This new Early Riser planter series provides the first factory integration of Precision Planting components in North America, resulting in what we believe is the industry’s most accurate planter. But make no mistake, we didn’t just put a new meter on our current toolbars. This is an all-new row unit designed by Case IH with toolbars engineered to deliver top accuracy at higher speeds.”
The 2000 Series toolbars provide for 66 centimetres (26 inches) of ground clearance, and the row units have 60 per cent more vertical travel than previous designs. Row units are equipped with the brand’s proprietary Earth Metal alloy blades, which the company says provide long-lasting durability. An offset design allows the leading opener to slice through crop residue and ensures proper seed-to-soil contact, with the self-adjusting mud scrapers reportedly capable of handling heavy, wet soils.
Engineers have increased the size of the inverted closing discs with the aim of providing gentle and consistent soil coverage back over the seed. An in-cab adjustment option can fine-tune down pressure on the closing discs to suit different field conditions, and row-unit depth adjustments are made in 1/8-inch increments with a T-handle.
An all-new electrically driven seed meter is capable of handling a variety of crop types. Additionally, the new minihopper and its single air-intake screen is easy to access and clean.
The Advanced Seed Delivery option on the 2000 Series includes the brand’s new SpeedTube. Available for corn and soybeans, it uses a flighted belt to control seed travel from the meter down to the furrow, eliminating the free fall and tumble typical of gravity drop tubes.
“Every row unit reacts automatically to its own particular conditions, from curve-compensated spacing to an automatic up-down force system for precise depth control,” added McClelland. “In addition, row-by-row shut-offs for seed, liquid fertilizer and chemical can greatly reduce input costs.”
When it comes to in-cab controls, producers can choose between Advanced Seed Information, which is available on a single screen through Case IH’s AFS Pro 700 display, or FieldView with the 20/20 SeedSense options.
The company also says 12-, 16- and 24-row, 30-inch front-fold Early Riser 2000 Series planters will be available in time for the 2017 seeding season.
If, however, you don’t want to fork over the cash for all this sophistication, Case IH will continue to offer a lower-cost alternative.
“Case IH will still be producing… the cost-efficient Early Riser with ASM (Advanced Seed Meter) technology,” said McClelland. “In addition, there will be the option to order the current Early Riser planter factory-ready for integration with Precision Planting components.”