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Effect of Seed Tubes on Corn Planter Performance

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 32(6): 783-790. (doi: 10.13031/aea.32.11274) @2016
Authors:   Arzu Yazgi
Keywords:   Corn, Performance, Planter, Planting, Precision, Seed spacing, Uniformity, Vacuum.

Abstract. This research was conducted to study the effects of planter seed drop tubes on seed spacing uniformity. A precision metering unit for corn was used in a controlled laboratory with five seed tube treatments including: no seed tube (NST), the original seed tube (ST-I), and three alternative designs (ST-II, ST-III, and ST-IV). Experiments were conducted at three forward speeds (1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 ms-1) and three seed spacings (67, 103, and 172 mm). Seed spacing accuracy was evaluated using five uniformity parameters: quality of feed index (Iqf), miss index (Imiss), multiple index (Imult), coefficient of precision (CP3), and Precision. Statistically significant differences were found in all five seed spacing parameters due to the use of various seed drop tube treatments. The Iqf value for the NST treatment was 89%, while the best and worst performing seed tubes had values of 85.6% and 67.2%, respectively. The study pointed out that design of the seed tube is important since the results revealed that the seed tube geometry had a significant impact on seed spacing uniformity. The reason why certain seed tubes performed better could be explained by their design/curvature that prevented planter performance degradation. Based on the data found in this work it would be expected that enhanced seed tube design could potentially be achieved.

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