Auto Calibration keeps seed drill honest

Farmers know their calibration is off when they run out of seed and fertilizer 20 acres before the field is finished or too much product is left over when they’re done.

Either way, it’s costly and cuts into seeding efficiency, says Owen Kinch, field research manager at Seed Master.

“Our new Auto Calibration maintains one percent to three percent accuracy, regardless of changing conditions,” said Kinch.

“Most farmers are happy if they can dial in five to eight percent. Some people give up trying to tune their meters and go seeding when their machine is off by 20 percent. We get one to three percent by using real time data from the load cells. Weight information is generated by the load cells anyway, so we simply tap into it and feed it to the Raven Viper Pro in-cab monitor.

“The Auto Calibration software continuously reads the actual weight loss in each tank and compares that to how much weight should be lost if the calibration was perfect.

“Then it makes the necessary metering adjustments either up or down, spins the rollers faster or slower to move it closer to perfect.”

The program becomes more accurate with more acres because an increasing amount of ground-truth data is fed into the system.

A heavy bulky product, such as granular fertilizer going down at a high rate, gives the system enough feedback so that it self-calibrates quickly and accurately, while a light weight product, such as canola seed going down at a low rate, takes more acres to dial in.

Kinch said the indicated weight shown on the in-cab monitor is not necessarily a real number because it is based on catch test calibration.

The farmer spins the meter roller and catches seed or fertilizer. Each revolution spits out a specific amount of product.

That measurement is used to adjust the metering system, but it’s seldom good enough for accuracy under eight percent.

“More acres, bigger samples and more data lead to greater accuracy.”

As well, Auto Calibration eliminates the need for farmers to do their own math, which can lead to errors.

“I know from my own experiences doing metering calibrations that it’s easy to mess them up. You think you’ve done it correctly, but then you go out and put down double the seed or double the fertilizer. Or you don’t put down enough. When you realize what you did, you wonder how much that mistake cost you so far today. It happens.”

Auto Calibration software feeds into the Raven Viper Pro, which is standard on Seed Master.

It will be a standard feature on all Seed Master Nova XP tanks next year and is available as a free upgrade on all tanks with load cells going back to 2011.

For more information, contact Kinch at 888-721-3001 or visit www.seedmaster.ca.

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