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Running like a Deere

John Deere’s new high-speed planter maintains placement accuracy at 10 m.p.h.

John Deere is breaking the planting speed and accuracy barriers of traditional row-crop planting with the introduction of a revolutionary new seed delivery system,” reads the opening line on the company’s press release announcing the launch of the ExactEmerge row unit. At the same time, the brand also introduced the MaxEmerge five-row row units capable of highly efficient operation at more traditional planting speeds.

Deere used the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, in February as the venue to unveil the new planter technology to farmers.

When operated at high speeds, the ability of many planters to singulate seed and place it accurately within the seed trench suffers. Deere’s ExactEmerge row unit uses a completely new metering and seed delivery system to ensure both of those critical elements remain consistant at field speeds of up to 10 m.p.h.

To achieve that, ExactEmerge row units use a new, rigid bowl-shaped metre and brush-style doubles eliminator that require no adjustment. They work together to provide a reliable seed handoff to the all-new and pretty innovative brush belt, which replaces the traditional free-fall seed tube found on many planters. Instead of just dropping seeds from the metre into the seed trench, the brush belt carries them down and drops them just above the ground, which significantly reduces seed bounce and improves placement accuracy, giving the ExactEmerge its high-speed capability.

“This new design eliminates the long gravity drop and retains the seeds in the brush,” says Kelby Krueger a product specialist at John Deere’s Seeding Group. “This careful controlling of each seed from the metre to the trench and then releasing it at the correct rearward velocity allows the gentle placement of each seed in the trench without the normal bounce and roll that would otherwise happen at the higher speeds. We can do this with both corn and even with high-rate soybeans. And because we never let go of the seed until each one is in the trench, we’ve drastically reduced the ill effects of rougher planting conditions.”

According to the company, ExactEmerge units handle all seed shapes and sizes, achieving a 99 per cent singulation rate with no mechanical adjustments when switching between seed types — even over terrain with slopes up to 15 degrees.

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“Another important feature is that our new brush belt does not have to be synchronized with finite metre speeds,” Krueger adds. “The systems are completely independent of each other, allowing the metre to turn at the right speed for the desired seed population, while the delivery system exactly matches ground speed.”

If it’s necessary to stop in the field and start again, the new seed delivery system prevents any gaps. The combination of seeds retained in the brush and the new Fast Start feature eliminates skips. Operators don’t have to back up to restart planting in the middle of a row.

To keep the row units correctly positioned, the new planters use an active Pneumatic downforce system. “Active pneumatic downforce means all row units maintain the required ground contact, even at higher speeds,” adds Krueger. “The operator easily sets the downforce pressure and the brush belt delivery system delivers the seed accurately to the bottom of the trench at the desired depth.”

ExactEmerge row units are compatible with 1775NT and 1795 model planters with central commodity systems in 15-, 20-, and 30-inch row spacings for corn and soybeans.

But if you’re not into speed or you need more versatility from a row unit, the MaxEmerge five-row units may be the ones for you.

“For traditional planter customers, John Deere is also introducing an entirely new line of MaxEmerge row units, the MaxEmerge 5,” says Krueger. “These row units combine the best features of the existing MaxEmerge XP and Pro-Series XP units, which they replace. The MaxEmerge 5 features one common vacuum metre… And it offers the greatest versatility to customers needing a variety of different configurations.”

“These field-proven units have double eliminator adjustments, three times longer-life gauge wheel arms and easy-to-adjust downforce capabilities (spring, heavy duty or pneumatic) for more uniform seed depth control, regardless of field conditions. All adjustments and seed clean out functions are now much easier to access and faster to accomplish because of the improved design of the row units.”

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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