Precision Planting announces it’s developing two new seed delivery technologies — a retrofitable multi-hybrid metering system that will let the planter frequently switch between hybrids, and SpeedTube, a system that will plant corn and soybeans faster than seed tubes.

Precision Planting demonstrates a new method of planting multiple hybrids within an existing planter row unit. The system uses the company’s vDrive electric meter control system to instantaneously switch seed delivery from the front meter to the rear meter, and back to front meter. The in-line meter orientation delivers seed from each meter to a single, standard seed tube.

The multi-hybrid metering system will use the vSet meter technology and new vDrive electric meter control system. Meters are positioned to fit within the existing row unit frame and deliver seed to a single, standard seed tube. The electric drive system allows for instantaneous switching from one hybrid to the other — including the ability to plant each hybrid and each row at different populations. The system utilizes the standard dual-bulk seed supply tanks available on most planters.

The new technology will be tested over more acres and environmental conditions throughout 2014. No schedule for commercial release has been determined.

SpeedTube works by controlling the seed all the way from the meter to the furrow. Feeder wheels at the top grab the seed from the disk and pull it into a flighted belt that deposits it in the bottom of the trench. The SpeedTube belt spins at a rate that increases and decreases with planter speed and seeding rates to ensure optimal seed placement.  

Development for SpeedTube is continuing and more details will follow after the spring planting season.