The new planter unit will offer a range of improvements including better side-hill performance, improved vacuum air source, a single elbow entry to the mini hopper to prevent clogging and other enhancements, she says.

This global planter unit will provide easier ordering for customers, using the same parts across all vacuum meter planters and it will offer the same adjustments for all row-units and vacuum meters. The new unit is designed for easier cleanout and external doubles eliminator adjustment.

Kaverina explains that the new row unit has a significantly easier cleanout procedure, which is a time-saver with a 24-row planter. And for 2015 all row units will be replaced with this new modular-design MaxEmerge 5 unit.

That modular design allows John Deere to offer the MaxEmerge 5 in a range of configurations including a mini-hopper design, a 1.6-bu. hopper, a 3-bu. hopper, a mini-hopper with insecticide, a 1.6 bu. hopper with insecticide and a 2 bushel hopper. The 1.6-bu. and 3-bu. hoppers also come equipped with a hopper shutoff that allows you to open the meter cover without the need to clean out the hopper - a real time-saver.

All work through that base planter unit module, giving buyers many options but maintaining more consistent adjustment for users.

The simplified approach to the standard planter unit John Deere will offer becomes the foundation for a revolutionary planting technology that will meet a growing need for high-speed performance in the field.

Going faster

There's a rising interest in getting more speed from a planter to boost productivity, rather than just making the planter bigger. Going faster without precision metering could impact yield enough to counter any productivity gains; hence the push toward electric metering, and other delivery innovations.

John Deere is tackling the need for faster planter operation with the new ExactEmerge row-unit which has been purpose built to meet the farmers need for speed as farmers work to get all their seed in during the optimum planter window. The challenge is to get accurate singulation, spacing and depth control with a row unit that's moving as much as twice the traditional preferred speed.

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"We're looking at uniform emergence," says Kelby Krueger, who works in planter development at John Deere. "It is a two-step process to achieve depth control and uniform emergence with this new planter. First is that active down force will be a required option on the machine."

He notes, however, that when there's poor emergence active down force is often blamed and that's not the case. Instead, there's a problem with the traditional seed delivery system where a tube is how seed moves from meter to ground. "When seed is coming out of the seed tube, the trench might be the right depth, but the seed is rolling and bouncing, and the trench could be closed when the seed isn't at the bottom."