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Field Validation of Seed Meter Performance at Varying Seeding Rates and Ground Speeds

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 35(6): 937-948. (doi: 10.13031/aea.13132) @2019
Authors:   Simerjeet S. Virk, Wesley M Porter, John P. Fulton, Gregory L Pate
Keywords:   Field performance, Ground speed, Meter speed, Seed meter, Seeding rate.

Abstract. High planter performance requires achieving near-perfect seed meter performance in the field during planting. In-field meter performance can be impacted by several factors including meter setup, ground speed, seeding rate, planter vibration, and field conditions. A study was conducted to evaluate the field performance of two different seed meters (John Deere Standard and Precision Planting eSet) at varying seeding rates and ground speeds during planting. Study treatments consisted of planting corn at seeding rates of 49,000, 59,000, 69,000, 79,000, and 89,000 seeds ha-1 at four different ground speeds of 6.1, 7.1, 8.2, and 9.5 km h-1. These ground speeds and seeding rates were implemented in a strip-split plot design in the field with seeding rates blocked within the individual ground speed replications. Field tests were performed by uploading a variable-rate seeding prescription map into the planter rate controller and then travelling at the desired ground speed for each planter pass. Field data collection consisted of measuring plant population and plant spacing in the plots separately for each seed meter. Meter performance was evaluated by computing percent skips, multiples, singulation, coefficient of variation (CV), and crop emergence from the field data. Statistical analysis on field data suggested that the percent skips, singulation, CV, and crop emergence were significantly (p<0.05) affected by the seeding rate, and the ground speed did not have any significant (p>0.05) effect on these variables. The percent multiples and CV values also differed significantly (p<0.05) between the John Deere Standard and Precision Planting eSet meter at different ground speed and seeding rate treatments. The percent skips (0.5-3.8%) observed in the field data were, on average, higher than the percent multiples (0.0-1.8%) for both seed meters. The percent skips in general decreased with an increase in the seeding rate whereas no particular trend was observed in the percent multiples. The singulation values varied between 96.0% and 99.4%, and they were not statistically different between the seed meters. The percent CV values increased with an increase in the seeding rate indicating higher variability in plant spacing with increases in the seeding rate. The mean percent emergence for both seed meters ranged from 92.8% to 99.3%, and it was influenced by the seeding rate for the JD Standard meter. A weak association (R2 values between 0.2028 and 0.6587) between the meter performance parameters (percent skips, singulation, and CV) and the meter speed was determined for both seed meters. Results from the study suggested that meter performance was significantly affected by the seeding rate, and the type of seed meter had a significant impact on percent multiples and CV (plant spacing) values attained during planting.

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