New planter can ‘drastically’ reduce seeding rates

The Tempo L 24 has a 140 bushel on-board granular product tank and adjustable fertilizer coulters. | Robin Booker photo

REGINA — Vaderstad has tweaked its Tempo L planter to better fit broad acre and small oilseed producing farms.

Its latest offering, the Tempo L 24, is specifically designed for small seed capacity and is offered up to 40-feet wide.

“The small seeds kit was a redesign of a Tempo metering system that permitted the meter to accurately meter small seed at a shallower depth then previously designed Tempo products,” said Kyle Herperger of Vaderstad Industries.

“So we’re targeting a much shallower depth of (a) half inch, three-quarters of an inch depth precisely while metering very small seeds.”

Vaderstad chose Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina to reveal to the public the Tempo L 24, which will be largely used for small seed production such as canola and sugar beets.

He said growers using the L 24 planter can reduce their input costs because they can reduce seeding rates and still get the desired plant population.

“We are able to reduce our seeding rates by having more precise placement of those seeds with much more even lateral spacing and distribution,” Herperger said.

“We’re able to achieve this by having a power-shoot technology that actually shoots the seeds down the drop tube at a high velocity, over 40 km-h, and then it contacts the ground with a stop wheel for very precise singulation at increased speeds.”

This spring Vaderstad seeded approximately 1,000 acres of canola on the Prairies with the Tempo L line and tested different seeding rates.

“Results so far show the lower rates have been the most successful in field development, showing (seeding) rates can be drastically reduced,” Herperger said.

He said the canola was seeded at approximately 12 km-h on average, with the limiting factor being plots with high target plant populations.

“The seed meter at seven plants per sq. foot or 311,000 seeds per acre was maximized at about 7.5 m.p.h. (12 km-h),” he said

“As we cut the rates and we went down to the five and four plants per sq. foot, we were able to achieve speeds of nine and 10 m.p.h. (14.5 and 16 km-h).”

An optional 140 bushel on-board product tank uses eight Fenix III meters, the same ones used on larger Seed Hawk air carts.

“Each of the motors individually feed three of the fertilizer coulters, so one meter feeds the three with capacity of rates around 350 pounds per acre,” Herperger said.

If “there is no tank, you can remove the fertilizer coulters from the machine, which opens up the possibility of custom application of liquid or some other kind of variation if someone would want that.”

The planter box bins have a 25 litre capacity, which is two-thirds to three-quarters of a bushel.

“With a 140 bin, if you’re running around an 80 lb. rate, which is a common rate of a 11-52 starter fertilizer, you can expect just over 100 acres, so a 100 to 120 acre fill time, roughly in that neighbourhood,” Herperger said.

“If you’re sowing at two lb. of canola, which is the lower end of what we did and we were having success, depending on the TKW (total kernel weight), you can get over 400 acres of capacity out of the row units for your canola, so that translates at about four fills of (phosphorus) to the single fill of seed.”

Beyond the fertilizer coulter option, there is also an optional 30 litre micro granule hopper on the row units for a starter fertilizer or a pesticide that will be applied either in the seed furrow or on the soil surface.

The 40 foot Tempo L24 has 24 row units with 17.7 inch spacing, but it can be adjusted for 18, 19 or 20 inch spacing.

The fertilizer coulters are often set with a two inch product placement from the seed row and two inches deep into the soil, but they can be adjusted if needed.

“These coulters can be moved,” Herperger said.

“If you’d like it one inch or three inch, you can certainly manipulate them individually to get that extra spread or closer separation to your fertilizer depending on what your needs are.”

There is an optional floating row cleaner and four closing wheel options for the Tempo L series.

To quickly adjust to uneven fields, the Tempo L series is equipped with hydraulic wing pressure that transfers weight from the inner section of the machine to its outer wings.

To fold into transport position, the cylinders underneath the commodity tank roll the row units up and forward until they stand vertically. The row units then swing forward, where they latch and carry on top of the product tank.

“All of our Vaderstad tempo line is all under a four metre transport width, so it makes it very efficient for storage as well as road transport,” Herperger said.

The Tempo L has a telescopic wheel axle that’s adjusted from inside the cab. This enables the wheels to be adjusted to run between multiple seed row spacings.

The iPad-based Vaderstad E-Control wireless control system keeps track of each seed that travels through the machine, including skips, doubles, distance in the row, and rates.

The suggested retail price for the 40-foot Tempo L 24 is $350,000.

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