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Design, Performance Prediction, and Validation of a Seed Orienting Corn Planter

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131620580,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Adrian A. Koller, Randy K. Taylor, Paul R. Weckler, Michael D. Buser, William R. Raun
Keywords:   Seed orientation precision planting corn planting canopy architecture light interception.

Abstract. Investigations into active control of corn canopy architecture through manipulation of seed orientation at planting have shown that specific seed orientations produce highly aligned leaf azimuths. Data obtained from hand planted field trials with across-row oriented leaves show that such canopies intercept more light and ultimately produce higher yields.

This study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of mechanized seed orientation through the concept of part orientation by pushing. 3D-scans of 15 “medium flat” kernels of the hybrids DKC-6342, DKC-6346, P0902HR and P1162HR have been computationally analyzed to determine stable seed orientations when subjected to pushing. These predicted results were compared to data obtained in bench tests. The concept was then refined and integrated into a prototype planter based on a standard off-the-shelf row unit. The prototype was tested in a soil bin at laboratory conditions.

The computational model was able to predict seed orientation by pushing very accurately. The analysis and subsequent bench unit and prototype tests revealed that orientation performance is dependent on seed shape with the kernels of DKC-6342 being the most and those of P1162HR the least suitable. Soil bin experiments confirmed that at least parity between seed and ground velocity must be achieved in order to maintain orientation during transition from the orientation mechanism to the ground.

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