In the last ten years, engineering advancements in sugarbeet planters have significantly improved seed spacing and emergence. Technical advancements have become more critical as plant populations, and seed cost has increased considerably. With high plant populations, it becomes more important to equidistantly space seed to minimize in row plant competition. It is equally important to have even emergence of seedlings for the same reason. Early emerging plants will have the competitive edge for water, nutrients, and sunshine. Planters now can maintain consistent depth control over a variety of soil conditions.
Advancements in Sugarbeet Planters
Sugarbeet planters and equipment have evolved and improved in many ways. Chain drives have been replaced by hydraulic drives allowing more consistent and smoother planting. Row cleaners have improved planting zone by removing crop residue, soil clods, and stones. Sugarbeet planters are now better able to singulate small seed which improves spacing and reduces doubles. Planter seed tubes have been shortened or redesigned to minimize interference from falling seed. The newest designs have replaced the seed tubes with segmented belts that deliver seed to the furrow perfectly spaced.
Pelleted seed coatings from Germains Seed Technology improve seed size and uniformity allowing the seed to plant more precisely. Equipment manufacturers have now introduced high-speed planters that will operate up to 10 mph/16kph and still deliver consistent depth control and spacing. This speed is more than double average planting speed.
With the adoption of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), monitors and sensor technologies, producers are better able to monitor and/or change every aspect of their planters on the go. The monitors inside the cab often look similar to airplane cockpits. GPS has allowed producers to be able to write a prescription for individual fields. A prescription can change the rate of seed, fertilizer and even varieties as a planter crosses different soil types or organic matter levels. Monitors display population, spacing and other parameters in each row.
Sugarbeet Planters Help Improve Emergence
Planters are now able to maintain a consistent seed depth by monitoring/adjusting instantly individual row down pressure. New on the market are seed furrow sensors that monitor soil moisture, organic matter and soil temperature. These sensors also can detect crop debris in-furrow which can cause “hair pinning” of seed.
When put into harsh environments the reliability of electronics on planters has been very good. However, it is important for producers to conduct a thorough inspection of planters before spring planting. Malfunctioning electronics can shut down the whole planting operation. Worn mechanical parts such as bearings and discs should be replaced. Planter boxes should be taken to test stands for evaluation. It is important to have the timely preparation of planting equipment to minimize downtime and take advantage of early planting opportunities.
As field equipment advances so do seed technology. Germains Seed Technology continues to adapt seed treatments so that they are compatible with the advancements that are being made with both equipment and planting methods. To remain competitive in the seed treatment market and to meet the needs of growers, our R&D team continues to research and develop seed treatments for both sugarbeet and vegetables that are in line with cultivation trends. Click here for more information about our seed treatments for sugarbeets and or vegetables.