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Development of an Instrument to Measure Planter Seed Meter Performance

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 33(1): 31-40. (doi: 10.13031/aea.11974) @2017
Authors:   Yongliang Hao, Tao Cui, Ganesh Bora, Dongxing Zhang, Jiantao Wei, Xiantao He, Mantao Wang, Li Yang
Keywords:   Multiples, Performance measurement, Planter, Seed meter, Singulation, Skips.

Abstract.

A compact and portable device would be useful for the efficient measurement of the performance characteristics of planters. The performance measurement is accurately achieved by detecting and acquiring the data from a seed sensing component, as well as seed meter rotation by a motor control component. An instrument for measuring planter seed meter performance was developed to compute the percentage of seed singulation, skips and multiples along with the coefficients of variation of seed placement. The instrument was evaluated under laboratory condition. A seed detection test showed that the system did not miss counting any seed at the 25 cm seed spacing under any traveling speed, and the counting rate was 99.03% at the 15 cm seed spacing with the higher traveling speed of 12 km/h. A motor control test showed that seed meter rotation was very precise. There was no measurable angle error after 100 revolutions when traveling speed was 6 to 12 km/h, and only 1° angle error after 100 revolutions when traveling speed was 4 to 5 km/h, possibly due to gearbox vibration at lower speeds. The developed instrument was compared with an existing belt-based measurement system under traveling speeds of 4, 6, 8, and 10 km/h, and the results showed that the developed instrument had the same level of accuracy as the belt-based system but with much faster speed and better compactness. Finally, four types of seed meters (Precision Finger Meter, vSet Vacuum Meter, Hebei Finger Meter, Jiamusi Vacuum Meter) from different manufacturers were evaluated under traveling speeds of 3 to 12 km/h using the developed instrument, and the results were qualitatively analyzed and consistent with their published specifications.

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