How Your Garden Grows: Agricultural Production 101

4 Ways Electric Planter Drives Are Transforming Planting

We can all think of myriad ways in which technology has transformed our lives. Gone are the hours spent driving aimlessly around city streets looking for specific and unknown addresses, thanks to GPS. Thanks to the internet, you no longer need to go to the library to research a topic. Most of the world's information is available at our fingertips. Technology has also drastically transformed the agricultural industry. A farmer from 50 years ago wouldn't recognize the industry today, thanks to the high-tech tools in use. One such tool is an electric planter drive like a Precision AG Suredrive system. Here are four ways electric drives are transforming planting.

Curve Compensation

The most attractive feature of an electric drive is its ability to avoid yield loss by compensating for curves, meaning you'll get the correctly prescribed seed population at a curve just as you would at an non-curved location. This is accomplished by using electric motors on each drive unit that allow for independent operation. The outside row units speed up while the inside row units slow down. This increases the productivity of every acre of your field and, of course, increased productivity equals more profit.

Individual Row Control

Another transformative aspect of the electric drive is the ability for you to precisely control individual rows with features like row shutoff and variable-rate population. Like curve control, this increases the productivity of every acre.

Retrofitting Ability

One of the most useful aspects of the electric drive is that it can be retrofitted onto your existing planter. A planter is a huge investment, and for most farmers, it's unrealistic to replace a planter just to increase efficiency by numbers that might not equalize compared to the cost of the machines. Consider that when buying a new planter, 73% of the cost goes toward materials, leaving only 27% for new technology. The average cost to buy 24-row high-speed planter is $315,000 while retrofitting a 24-row planter with precision agriculture technology will run you an average of $85,100.

Simpler Maintenance

One of the most time-saving and money-saving benefits of an electric drive is the massive reduction in maintenance. With an electric drive, it's no longer necessary to maintain sprockets, chain drives, and clutches. Considering that, in the past, maintenance could cost between $2 to $18 per acre, significant savings can be achieved by simplifying the maintenance process and the materials needed to keep the machine running.