One of the newest canola metering systems to hit the market is SeedMaster’s Ultra Pro. It’s designed specifically to place small seeds evenly in the row, eliminating bunching which can lead to clusters of plants in one location — all of which compete with each other for nutrients and moisture.
“Each kernel is in its own space in the row,” says company president Norbert Beaujot. “We decided to perfect a metering system that will give very good plant separation at two to three pounds (of seed) per acre.”
The Ultra Pro’s ability to offer precise metering for canola comes from the narrow meter rollers that turn five to six times faster than conventional types currently on the market. Beaujot says the company field tested the Ultra Pro system on his farm near Langbank, Sask., this past season. “The overall results were almost shockingly precise. Each kernel was in its own space in the row. It was very rare to see two plants together.”
And the firm will also eventually offer its own corn meter which can be used on SeedMaster drills. “It’s my feeling that corn will come into Saskatchewan strongly in the next couple of years,” he says.
Beaujot’s goal is to offer meter options that will allow farmers to use the same toolbar for a full range of small and large-seeded crops, which would make it unnecessary to invest in different types of seeding implements. That flexibility has the potential to significantly reduce investment costs for growers.
OTHER NEW FEATURES
Along with the meters, SeedMaster has a few other new features in store for 2011. For the first time it will offer electronic rather than ground-drive meter control. The company is aligning with DICKEY-john, a technology provider, to provide an ISOBUScompatible controller capable of applying variable rate technology. And the Zone Command feature that can stop product flow to individual drill sections, which previously could only be manually activated, will eventually be managed by the DICKEY-john controller as well. “DICKEY-john is working on making it compatible with their virtual terminal,” says Beaujot.
Other improvements for 2011 include what the company calls its TruLine skew prevention. Basically, the seed and fertilizer openers are reversed on the left and right sides of the toolbar, which helps keep it pulling straight. That improves a drill’s tracking accuracy behind an RTKequipped tractor, which is critical when seeding between existing stubble rows.
And both the seed and fertilizer knives now have a carbide coating for extended wear, something Beaujot says the company decided to add in order to improve the performance of drills exported to Australia. The abrasive soils there are much harder on openers than most types in North America; but Canadian farmers will reap the advantage anyway, as the company plans to make the carbide coating standard equipment.
Finally, the company plans to introduce a new, completely redesigned seed cart, which it hopes to have in production in time for the 2011 season. “We’re going to put out prototypes for spring,” says Beaujot. The new cart offers several features that set it apart from existing models. It includes three, 260-bushel tanks, each with its own load cell to calculate the amount of product remaining. Farmers could also use information from the cells to adjust seeding rates and ensure tanks are empty when a field is finished. That should minimize the amount of time required for clean out at the end of each season. The cart also includes a 50-bushel, small-product tank. All four tanks will use 10 independent metering sections capable of delivering from one to 20 pounds of product per acre. In addition, it will offer a truck-level loading dock for easy hand transfer of bagged product.
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