Precision Planting's SmartFirmer looks pretty innocuous — just a Keeton Seed Firmer attached to a planter unit. But when you see the bottom of the beaver tail-shaped firmer, there’s more than just plastic there. It’s an optical sensor. Spokespeople say the SmartFirmer will be able to map organic matter and also detect soil moisture levels. If you’re planting in moist dirt and the row unit hits dry dirt, you will know immediately. You will have the option of stopping and changing seeding depth.
You can’t buy the SmartFirmer yet. It’s in beta testing. As long as that proceeds well, watch out. This one is a game-changer!
Variable-rate ammonia applicator
Leave it to 360 Yield Center to come up with this one. The company is developing a new set of variable-rate orifices so you can vary the rate of anhydrous ammonia on the go, and do it precisely. This concept is still under testing, but the person responsible for putting it together is excited that he has something that could be really special.
Trench closer for tile installation
Why didn’t someone think of this before? I’ve seen a homemade rig that closes the trench left by a tile plow installing tile, but the new Shaper Pro from Soil-Max was designed from scratch to do the job.
It’s PTO-driven and leaves a level surface over the tile.
Diesel power for hardworking tools
Here’s another no-brainer idea that's now reality. John Deere introduces diesel engines for an air compressor and generator, and for a combination unit. Representatives say these units are ideal for a work truck going to the field. You'll need to carry only diesel fuel to the field.
Row fertilizer control unit
Now you can know you’re sending the right amount of fertilizer to each row. You’ve seen similar monitors for seed; now this Vanguard unit is available for row fertilizer.