AS NEW planters are getting larger, the market for equipment to deliver bulk seed to the field is heating up.

Equipment companies have noted a groundswell of interest in a variety of systems, each designed to deliver seed more conveniently to the planter. “The seed tender market has been a growth area for us,” says Todd Smith, sales manager for Patriot brand equipment, manufactured by Minden Machine Shop. “A lot of seed dealers are moving away from bags and moving to mini-bulk systems, so we're seeing more seed tenders in the field.”

Although seed companies and seed dealers are purchasing a good portion of the systems, more and more producers are also adding seed tenders to their equipment lineup. Newer seed tenders can be equipped with a variety of options, and many can double as weigh wagons in the fall.

“All segments are moving to bulk seed delivery, and the volume that producers are handling today means more producers are looking at seed tenders for their operation,” says Don Murray, sales representative for Convey-All.

For producers with bigger planters and a tight planting window, the time savings can be tremendous. “Bulk systems can unload seed faster,” says Shawn Gerdeman, product manager for Unverferth Manufacturing. “Our systems can unload 25 bu./min., so a planter that holds 100 units of seed can be filled in less than 10 min., rather than an hour. That time gain can be spent in the field planting.”

Producers can expect more seed delivery products in the coming years as the market grows. “The bulk seed concept is still in its infancy,” says Ted Stansbury, Grain Weigh sales manager. “There will be a big boom for bulk seed delivery systems in the next three to five years.”

Patriot

Patriot offers seed trailers and seed tenders for bulk seed handling. The 100 two-box and 200 four-box seed trailers each feature a 5.5-hp Honda engine, electronic variable-speed throttle control, direct drive, a ground folding auger, and a three-stage telescoping spout to deliver up to 5 bu./min. Prices start at $7,628 for a Patriot 100 two-box unit with electric start.

Patriot has three bulk seed trailers: the 110, 220 and 330. The 110 bulk seed trailer holds 100 units of seed and comes with a 5.5-hp Honda engine, electronic variable-speed throttle control, direct drive, ground folding auger and three-stage telescoping spout to deliver up to 5 bu./min. The 220 delivers up to 5 bu./min. from two 100-unit seed compartments. The 330 bulk seed trailer has an 8-in. folding auger, an 8-hp Honda engine, and a two-stage direct telescoping spout to deliver up to 25 bu./min. from two 150-unit compartments.

Options include electric start engine and seed treater. Prices start at $10,677 for a 220 with electric start.

Contact Minden Machine Shop Inc., Dept. FIN, 1302 K Rd., Minden, NE 68959, 800/264-6587, visit www.mindenmachine.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 101.

Unverferth

The dual-compartment Unverferth Seed Runner comes in two models. The 3750 features a capacity of 375 seed units, and the 2750 features a capacity of 275 seed units.

The Seed Runner features a patented rotating conveyor for self filling or filling between two units, a conveyor with 60 in. of hydraulically operated vertical height adjustment, a choice of a 6-in. tube with 8-in. cupped and cleated belt, or an 8-in. tube with a 10-in. cupped and cleated belt, and steep-sloped box sidewalls for complete unloading. A loading stand at the bottom of the conveyor allows the hopper to be planted 3½ ft. off the ground for self filling with seed from pro boxes or bags.

Options include a scale to verify the quantity of seed delivered or to allow the tender to be used as a weigh cart at harvest, a downloader kit for transferring scale information to a personal computer, and a wireless controller to handle all functions remotely.

Prices start at $19,655 for the 2750 Seed Runner with 6-in. conveyor. Contact Unverferth, Dept. FIN, Box 357, Kalida, OH 45853, 800/322-6301, visit www.unverferth.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 102.

Par-Kan

The Grain Weigh 400C brings a 400-unit-capacity seed delivery system to the field, with features that include an 18-hp Briggs and Stratton engine, electric start, toggle switch control, positive hydraulic conveyor lock, and a weatherproof operating compartment. Discharge rates can be adjusted depending on a producer's needs — from a 7- to 10-bu. rate for filling seed boxes, up to 40 bu./min. for central-fill units.

Optional equipment includes a 30-ft. seed tube extension, 12-ft. flexible seed tube, remote control, computer download module and remote display. Price: $28,500 net for a single unit.

The Grain Weigh 200C has a 200-bu. capacity, with specs that are similar to those for the 400C. Price: $15,000.

Contact Par-Kan, Dept. FIN, Box 219, Silver Lake, IN 46982, 800/291-5487, visit www.par-kan.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 103.

USC

USC says its Flxtor flexible seed delivery system is a complete bulk seed delivery and handling system. The system features the Transformer, a seed tender that includes a hydraulically controlled conveyor, triple-axle subframe, a hydraulic push that slides the conveyor under the bin for no-mess clean-out, a self-contained generator for out-in-the-field power, and encased operation controls.

Independent seed pods provide independent storage of seed and are available with 250- or 350-unit capacity. Seed pods have 40° corner slopes, retractable legs that are spring-locked into standing position, and a completely sealed containment with security latched lids.

The stem trailer allows easy delivery of fully loaded bins right to the field, better utilizing existing bulk sites by turning tanks when needed. Trailers are available for one-, two- or three-pod delivery.

Prices start at $25,000 for seed tenders, $7,000 for pods, and $15,000 for trailers. Contact USC, Dept. FIN, 2320 124th Rd., Sabetha, KS 66534, 785/284-0048, visit www.uscllc.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 104.

Convey-All

The BTS290 and BTS405 seed tenders from Convey-All each feature conveyor load-out. The BTS290 has a hopper capacity of 290 units, a deck-mount frame, a conveyor that transports to the front or rear with a 152° swing, a divided hopper, and an 8-in.-dia. conveyor with 10-in.-wide belt. The BTS405 has a capacity of 405 units with a split hopper, offering 400 units of seed or 200+ units of seed and 6 tons of fertilizer. The conveyor transports to the front and swings 152° to fill most planters with only one setup. The unit can also be used to fill center-fill planters.

Also available from Convey-All is the CST series of seed tenders that can be used to fill floaters, fertilizer spreaders, air seeder commodity carts and more. The units are available with two, three, four or five compartments for hauling a variety of products on the same trip and are manufactured in four sizes — from a 490-bu. capacity to a 1,100-bu. capacity.

Prices of the BTS290 without trailer start at $14,120. Contact Convey-All, Dept. FIN, Box 175, Hamilton, ND 58238, 800/454-3875, visit www.convey all.net or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 105.