There are two types of meter drive systems: hydraulic and ground. “Ground drive systems offer simplicity and reliability,” Blunier says. “But they do not permit on-the-go changes to population to match yield zones or soil types. Hydraulic drive systems are more expensive and complex, but offer the advantages of variable-rate population control and a smoother drive system, which can improve meter performance.”

If switching from ground drive to hydraulic, make sure your tractor has the hydraulic capacity required. Some planter manufacturers offer a PTO pump as an option.