John Deere Planter Answers Need for Speed

High-speed ExactEmerge rolled out at National Farm Machinery Show is designed for exact seed placement at speeds up to 10 mph.

Published on: Feb 13, 2014

The event was an attention getter as the National Farm Machinery Show opened. A curtain was raised and John Deere unveiled the new ExactEmerge Planter, a new planting system that combines a redesigned planting "system" that involves a redesigned seed metering system and a brush-style doubles eliminator that requires no adjustment. The system is designed to provide a crisp "handoff" of seed to an industry-exclusive brush belt that replaces the seed tube.

The company explains that the ExactEmerge units handle all seed shapes and sizes with 99% singlation with no mechanical adjustments, even over terrain with slopes up to 15 degrees. The two-motor system uses one to power the meter and another to power the brush belt.

UNVEILED: The big reveal at National Farm Machinery Show offered visitors a first look at the new ExactEmerge planter, with its new take on seed delivery and a promise of accurate results at 10 mph.
UNVEILED: The big reveal at National Farm Machinery Show offered visitors a first look at the new ExactEmerge planter, with its new take on seed delivery and a promise of accurate results at 10 mph.

A new seed meter also precisely tracks seed from meter to brush belt with higher precision. And the new brush belt does not need to be synchronized with finite meter speeds. "The systems are completely independent of each other, allowing the meter to turn at the right speed for the desired seed population, while the delivery system exactly matches ground speed," says Kelby Krueger, product specialist, John Deere Seeding Group.

That exact match to ground speed from the brush belt is the key to precise seed placement into the trench during planting. The speed-matching means that as the seed is released from the belt it is released at exactly the same speed as the planter is moving. The result is a "dead drop" which places the seed precisely. That brush belt is also dropping the seed just 2 inches above the ground, a significant difference from the height seed drops when released from a meter and dropped through the seed tube.

Krueger, during the press rollout of the new planter, showed an image with 36 soybean seeds placed precisely in the row, in a straight line. "When the planter is moving at 10 miles per hour it's covering about 15-feet every second," Krueger says. The image of a straight line of seeds placed on top of the ground as a demonstration showed planter precision.

The brush belt delivery system is teamed with active pneumatic downforce that helps make sure all row units maintain required ground contact even at higher speeds. Greg Smith, a Cummings, Kan., farmer told media that he didn't believe the planter story when he tried out a prototype in 2013. "They told me to run it like I stole it," he recalls, meaning to go faster. "But I only get one crop a year and I wasn't going to take chances."

Smith says he started at 5 mph with the planter and as Deere engineers gave him the thumbs up, he went to 6 mph. As he got another green light on operation he went to 7 mph. To run faster, he actually followed the planter in a Gator as it went 10 mph and dug seed himself to check precision placement. "When this planter goes on early order, my name is going to be on one of those order sheets," he says.

In fact, the new planter will be ready for use in the 2015 season and will be part of the 2014 Early Order Program from John Deere.

5th Generation row unit

John Deere also rolled out the new MaxEmerge 5 planter unit, which combines the best features of three different former models to create the new global design. The MaxEmerge 5 is the culmination of a lot of engineering work. "We are replacing two row units [in the line] with the MaxEmerge 5," says Elena Kaverina, product manager, John Deere. "We are taking the best advantages of specific row unit families and creating a totally new fifth generation of row units."

Kaverina explains the MaxEmerge 5 essentially takes the best features of the MaxEmerge XP and the Pro-Series systems, along with feature from a unit produced outside North America, and brings them together into a single "world" unit. "There is the impression that this may not be a big deal," Kaverina says. "But this is going to be a common design around the globe and we will be touching every planter in our line."

The new planter unit will offer a range of improvements including better side-hill performance, improved vacuum air source, a single elbow entry to the mini hopper to prevent clogging and other enhancements, she says.

Kaverina explains that the new row unit has a significantly easier cleanout procedure, which is a time-saver with a 24-row planter. And for 2015 all row units will be replaced with this new modular-design MaxEmerge 5 unit.

That modular design allows John Deere to offer the MaxEmerge 5 in a range of configurations including a mini-hopper design, a 1.6-bu. hopper, a 3-bu. hopper, a mini-hopper with insecticide, a 1.6 bu. hopper with insecticide and a 2 bushel hopper. The 1.6-bu. and 3-bu. hoppers also come equipped with a hopper shutoff that allows you to open the meter cover without the need to clean out the hopper - a real time-saver.

All work through that base planter unit module, giving buyers many options but maintaining more consistent adjustment for users. For more information visit johndeere.com.