New Vacuum Planter Electric Row Shutoff from Ag Leader

Kurt LawtonGeneral

Insights WeeklyIf you’re thinking about adding precision farming planter row shutoff technology, you should look into the SureVac electric shutoff that AgLeader now offers, designed for John Deere vacuum planters.

Claimed to be easily installed, SureVac is designed for the Deere Pro-Series XP row units, but is compatible with any Deere vacuum seed meter made in the last 20 years. It works with all Deere corn and soybean seed disks, as well as the eSet vacuum disk from Precision Planting.

“We are excited to offer our customers another option for row-by-row planter control. SureVac allows for expanded seed meter compatibility, providing growers more flexibility in their operations,” says Roger Zielke, New Business Development Manager for Ag Leader Technology. “About this time in 2009, we introduced the SureStop electric row clutch for chain-drive planters. Due to its popularity and customer requests, we developed the SureVac option for the non-chain drive Pro-Series row units.”

Using GPS, Ag Leader’s SeedCommand or a compatible planter control system communicates with SureVac to turn planter sections on/off based on field maps and already-planted areas. The shutoff stops seed flow by cutting off the vacuum at the top of the seed disk. Planting is stopped and seeds fall back into the seed meter’s seed pool. When the shutoff device is pulled away from the seed disk, vacuum is restored and planting continues as normal.

Farmer tested. This week I spoke with Daren Lauritsen, who tested the SureVac system on his 24-row John Deere planter last spring on 1,900 acres of corn near Atlantic, Iowa.

“Row shutoff should be standard on planters, because you really don’t know how valuable it can be until you try it. The install was super easy; we just changed out the doors on the seed meter and installed the cables. I used my Insight monitor and WAAS GPS-correction and it worked really well,” Lauritsen says.

The biggest benefit he found is that he doesn’t have to worry about taking a big planter into small fields. “You just go in there and paint the field (like the monitor shows), and the planter takes care of not double-planting the point rows and headlands,” he adds.

“SureVac will provide growers with a tangible return on investment with reduced seed costs and increased yield potential in areas that are typically double-planted. However, growers will also appreciate the quick, easy installation,” Zielke says. “To install, you simply remove the manufacturer vacuum cover and replace it with SureVac. Its quick, clean and takes less than five minutes per row.”

SureVac availability will be limited through select dealers for the 2010 growing season. Full production is expected to begin in the second half of 2010.

To learn more about SureVac, see a video interview Chuck posted this week.