Little planter busts record

A 16-row Vaderstad Tempo corn planter set a new world record putting down 1,240 acres in 24 hours, breaking the old record of 1,108 acres set with a 24-row planter.

The record run of the Tempo L 16 averaged more than 13 m.p.h., including stops for the crew to manually fill the hoppers. At the same time, the planter also put down fertilizer and pesticides on the entire 1,240 acres.

The 24-row planter that set the previous record had a central hopper delivery system. The L 16 is solely gravity delivery with individual hoppers for seed and pesticide. Fertilizer is placed separately with knives or coulters.

Vaderstad spokesperson Lars Ethylene said speed is good, but it’s of no value unless the seed is precisely placed.

“It’s one thing to plant with high speed, but to do so with high precision is something very different,” he said.

“Thanks to the patented seed metering technology, which benefits from a pressurized system blowing the seed down the seed tube, Tempo is able to combine a very high speed and exceptional precision very successfully.”

Godollo University monitored the planting, measured precision seed placement and will follow up with results on crop performance. The event was held in Hungary April 11-12. The tractor was a Case IH Magnum CVX 380.

Ethylene said the ability to precisely place seed at speeds higher than 13 m.p.h. is dependent on the company’s unique metering system. A seed drops from the hopper into the meter and is held in the hole by air pressure.

Three singulators at the top of the circle kick out extra seeds if two seeds try to occupy the same hole, thus preventing doubles in the field. The singulators are in the 11 o’clock, noon and 1 o’clock positions.

As the seed plate rotates to the 2 o’clock position, an open orifice in the meter cover releases the air pressure holding the seed.

Rather than simply allowing gravity to drop the seed into the airflow coming from the corrugated hose at the two o’clock position, overpressure in the meter shoots the seed down into the seed pipe. Vaderstad calls this power-shooting.

As the seed drops into the top of the seed pipe, an electronic sensor detects its position in relation to the seed before it and the seed after it.

The spacing between seeds at the top of the pipe determines the spacing within the row. The E-control allows the operator to fine tune that spacing to any desired distance between plants, thus determining plant population.

When each seed hole rotates into the 4 o’clock position, a small knockout wheel clears it of any debris to ensure it will be clean and ready when it once again approaches the 9 o’clock position to pick up the next seed.

The seed travels down the pipe at 50 km-h. The soft rubber packer wheel gently catches the seed and presses it into the soil before it has a chance to bounce out of the seed trench or roll along in the trench.

Seed Hawk, which is now owned by Vaderstad, has sold 11 Tempo corn planters in Western Canada. The Tempo models available in Canada use all the same components as the machine that set the world record.

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