John Deere seeding product line manager Bryan Anfinson (left) is surrounded by curious onlookers as he discusses the new ExactEmerge planter at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. Scheduled for release in 2015, the system gives corn and soybean growers the ability to plant at speeds up to 10 miles per hour, while maintaining superior seed placement.
John Deere seeding product line manager Bryan Anfinson (left) is surrounded by curious onlookers as he discusses the new ExactEmerge planter at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. Scheduled for release in 2015, the system gives corn and soybean growers the ability to plant at speeds up to 10 miles per hour, while maintaining superior seed placement.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Not that you would litter, but imagine throwing a pop can out the window of your truck and watching it tumble down the road.

Now imagine sitting in a parking lot, dropping that can and seeing it fall directly to the ground.

That is a way to visualize seed tube technology at speeds above 5 miles per hour, said Bryan Anfinson, a John Deere seeding product line manager.

Such accurate placement, but at moving speeds – even up to 10 mph — is the goal of new planter technology by John Deere.

“Today’s conventional planter, you lose your seed control about 2 feet above the ground. As soon as it comes off that disc, you’ve lost your control,” Anfinson said.

“What this system does is you lose your control about an inch off the ground, but as this system is moving, say you want to go 10 miles an hour, this system is ejecting the seed rearward at 10 miles an hour. What that does is give you a zero drop.”

John Deere unveiled its new ExactEmerge planter and a new generation of the MaxEmerge 5 row units at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville.

The ExactEmerge planting system features a bowl-shaped meter and brush-style doubles eliminator that requires no adjustment. It is designed to provide a crisp handoff to the brush belt, which replaces the seed tube.

The system handles all seed shapes and sizes with 99 percent singulation and no mechanical adjustments, even over terrain with slopes up to 15 degrees.

ExactEmerge row units are compatible with 1775NT and 1795 model planters with central commodity systems in 15-, 20- and 30-inch row spacings for corn and soybeans.

“The reason we wanted to go to a bowl design and not a flat disc, we didn’t want to try to utilize any sort of knocker wheels or additional parts that may affect the timing of being able to do this,” Anfinson explained. “We wanted the geometry that would support the brush taking it just clean off the meter.”

The same knockout wheels are used for both corn and soybeans, and soybeans now are singulated. The meter hands off the seed into the middle of the brush, not a belt with cogs.

“If you have cogs in there, you have concern about how that seed is going to engage with that belt,” Anfinson said. “It allows that seed to be trapped on four sides – can’t move left, can’t move right, can’t go down and can’t go up. And the reason that’s important is that is what ensures we hit the bottom of the trench every single time.”

The seed is taken around the curve, beyond the sensor.

“The seed sensors today in the seed tube, you understand what happens when it passes the seed sensor, but you don’t understand what happens when it gets to the ground,” Anfinson said. “Because we’re controlling the seed all the way now to the ground, what that seed sensor is showing you for your spacing is very realistic to what you’re actually getting in the ground.”

“I call this the Paul Harvey ‘rest of the story’ – there’s always been singulation and the metering story, but nobody’s ever really gone after the delivery side,” he added. “This is really the rest of the story.”

The system uses two electric motors. One runs the population, and the other runs the brush delivery, which provides the speed match – if the machine is moving 10 mph forward, the seed is ejected at a 10 mph rearward velocity, which prevents seed bouncing and rolling in the trench.

The brush is designed to last about the same length of time as the openers, Anfinson noted.

“The only wear component on this is the brush, and then you’ve got some metal liners and one glass piece that can be replaced, if needed,” he said.

The vacuum is about the same as today, but has been made to be less sensitive, Anfinson explained.

“So in today’s planter, if you’re running 5, you see the storm clouds coming, so you start running 7, 8, 9 miles an hour, you have to constantly crank the vacuum up, depending on your speed,” he said.

“What we’ve done is try to make this as least sensitive as possible, so if that if you’re running at 5 miles per hour or 10 miles per hour, you’re running at the same vacuum levels. You’re not having to increase while you’re trying to go.”

The electric drives are 56-volt drives with a generator on the back of the planter.

“We’ve tried to make that generator as efficient as possible. What it is — hydraulically-driven generator, but it’s only putting out enough power that the planter says it needs,” Anfinson said.

“We actually tell that system, hey, you’re running X-number of rows at X-number of rate at X-number of speed, you should be limiting your speed to X-amount. And it gives it its starting point, and it allows it to adjust itself according to whatever the power draw is on the system.”

To help lubricate the system, 100 percent talc or a mix of 80 percent talc and 20 percent graphite is recommended for both corn and soybeans.

“We’ve run this in good conditions, we’ve this in mud, we’ve run this in 8 inches of water before to prove that we’re not pulling a bunch of debris in,” Anfinson said.

He stressed that growers still must drive according to their field conditions.

“We don’t recommend going through washouts at 10 miles an hour. We don’t recommend if you have boulders in your field that you try to hit them at 10 miles an hour,” he said.

“We do say that normal field conditions, whether it’s no-till, conventional till, minimal till, we can support 10 miles an hour.”

The equipment will be available through the company’s early order program in June, Anfinson said.