Aching back, ripped bags and wasted seed. It's one thing to say there's got to be a better way. Here are some tools to actually help you do something about it.
Bulk seed system
The Seed Titan is a bulk seed-handling system that uses a 5.5-hp engine to deliver up to 400 lbs. of seed/min. Seed capacities range from 5,000 lbs. on a two-box unit to 10,000 lbs. on a four-box unit. Quick-lock bars hold the seed boxes or bag rack in place.
The unit can be configured to handle most standard-size bulk bags or boxes and to include a seed-treater-compatible quarter-inch coupler. A low-profile design uses a self-centering loading system to avoid accidental seed box damage and keep loads balanced for safer transport. Torsion axels, brakes and tandem axel are designed for heavy loads on the road or in the field. A lift assist cylinder raises or lowers the auger. Prices: two-box unit, $5,445; four-box unit, $7,445. Contact Friesen of Iowa, 2897 Expansion Blvd., Storm Lake, IA 50588, 800/437-2334, www.friesenofiowa.com.
Cleated belt tube conveyor
This portable tube conveyor from KSi Conveyors uses a cleated belt wrapped within an 8-in. tube to move seed quickly and gently. High capacities with slow belt speeds are possible with a specialized 12-in. PVC belt. Notched vulcanized paddles spaced 6 in. apart are set at a compound angle to prevent seed damage and provide efficient transport up a 37° to 40° angle. An enclosed return improves cleanliness and safety for seed transfer and treatment applications. Collapsible canvas and 4- × 4-ft. galvanized hoppers are optional. Standard lengths of 17, 25 and 32 ft. sell for $5,400 to $6,200. Longer and custom lengths also are available. Contact KSi Conveyors Inc., Box 518, Cissna Park IL 60924, 888/868-8486, www.ksiconveyors.com.
Stop and start seed flow
Make loading and unloading seed a one-worker job. The Touch and Blow from Seed Stop attaches to Bruneumatic seed conveyors and other seed vac models to combine the power of a seed vac with a cordless remote. It also can be used to vacuum out seed hoppers. The remote control, with a range of 250 ft., lets you stop and start seed flow without the need for switches and wires. Price for the remote is $200.
A planter row shutoff kit, also from Seed Stop, allows a grower in the tractor cab to instantly stop planting seed on the left or right of an Advanced Seed Meter (ASM) planter (and some other air planter models) regardless of tractor speed. Instant shutoff helps save seed when planting point rows, waterways and field edges. Without modifications, the planter monitor automatically indicates which rows aren't planting. Shutoff units can be mounted on the manifold. Price: $500. Contact Seed Stop Inc., 20664 190th St., Allison, IA 50602, 319/267-2530.
Seed firmer update
Getting seed in the trench is just the beginning. The Keeton Seed Firmer is a planter attachment designed to firm seeds at the bottom of the seed trench. Whereas earlier models of the firmer attached to a planter's seed boot, a new model for John Deere 750 drills attaches directly to the row unit bracket for a solid, secure mount. The new firmer also is equipped with an application tube and splitter attachment for one-pass application of low-volume liquids.
The firmer with bracket and application tube costs $39. Replacement tails cost $25. Contact Precision Planting, Townline Rd., Tremont, IL 61568, 309/925-5050, www.precisionplanting.com.