Evolve your farm,” reads Seed Hawk’s new corporate slogan, which could be seen nearly everywhere around the company’s display during this year’s Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina. And as Pat Beaujot, the firm’s founder and director of strategic markets, pointed out during a presentation to dealers, customers and members of the media at the show, the equipment coming out of the brand’s Langbank, Saskatchewan, factory is set to undergo an evolution, too.
Seed Hawk used the Regina event to introduce its 2016 model year lineup to the marketplace. And the changes built into the new seeding equipment it is about to release are significant.
“We’ve got an all new tank, new metering system and new control system,” says Beaujot. “It’s been two or three years in testing. These things don’t come quickly.”
The company will stretch the working width of its 2016 drills to 84 feet. Behind (or in front of) those drills, the product tanks feeding seed and fertilizer to them will be much different. The new four-model line of tanks have capacities that range from 500 to 980 bushels. The two smaller ones (500 and 660 bushels) are available as either tow-between or tow-behind models. The larger two (800 and 980 bushels) come in tow-behind versions only.
These redesigned tanks are now all modular, and they include load cells on each compartment to weigh the contents, helping improve metering accuracy. They also supply the necessary data for the monitor to compute the number of acres that can be seeded before the compartments run dry.
“There are three load cells on each tank,” Beaujot explains. “The reason our guys decided three was the right number is that way there is always weight on each cell. We’ve also increased the resolution on the load cells to get more accurate metering.”
“We’ve been asked to put a fourth tank on for a number of years,” he continues. “And here it is. It’s a (40 bushel) canola or small-product tank. We have much bigger flotation tires as well.”
But under the carts at the meter is where things really look different. The redesigned modular metering system has gone entirely electric, with an individual motor driving each roller. Electric control provides instant stop-start control to enhance the brand’s Sectional Control Technology, and it makes immediate rate adjustments possible right from the cab.
- From Grainews’ Equip TV: Seed Hawk’s new electric, modular metering system
“There are a lot of things that can be done with an electric meter that can’t be done with hydraulic or mechanically driven rollers,” Beaujot adds. “It’s a lot simpler system to operate.”
Each meter section is an independent module made from a polymer (plastic) that is designed to withstand corrosion. Rerouting product between two different airstreams, installing any of three different metering rollers or taking the meter apart to remove an obstruction are now all very quick and simple procedures.
“It’s all plastic, so it will handle fertilizer or any products you want to throw at it.,” says Beaujot. “It’s easy to take apart and clean or check.”
When it comes to the in-cab monitor and controlling that meter, things are radically different there too. No longer will Seed Hawk equipment use Raven technology. Instead, the brand has moved to a system it calls iCon, which is its own wireless meter control created by U.S.-based Apario Systems. iCon has been designed specifically for Seed Hawk drills, notes Beaujot. Because its not an off-the-shelf, generic system, it’s highly compatible with the brand’s machines, easy and intuitive to use, he adds.
With data transfer and control going wireless, there is no longer a need to route an awkward harness into the tractor cab, and the system uses an ordinary iPad as a monitor. Wireless sensors also send blockage warnings to the same iPad.
“A good meter is nothing without a good control system, so what we’ve come up with is iCon,” says Beaujot. “We’re using an iPad for a screen in the tractor. You can use one or two iPads. You can set the rates with it, check your blockage or all kinds of good stuff. Or you can have it in your half ton and follow around the guy that’s operating if you wanted to.”
And Beaujot hinted Seed Hawk’s iCon system will allow for even more advanced precision farming features in the next generation of updates. “In the future there may be turn compensation,” he says.