Here is a look at four different systems to provide you with a framework on how these systems work should you decide to buy. 

Graham Equipment

Graham Equipment sells electric planter drive (EPD) kits for any planter make or model. The system uses direct-current brush motors that draw an average of 3 amps to drive each row unit. A tractor’s alternator typically has the capacity to power the motors on planters up to 16 rows. On larger planters, Graham offers a planter-mounted hydraulic auxiliary alternator. Motors are directly mounted to the seed plate, or mounted remotely with a chain drive to the seed plate. One EPD kit contains four motors (for a 16-row planter), a planter-mounted control board, a weatherproof harness, and an in-cab interface box that communicates wirelessly with the control board. Call 303/885-7428, or visit grahamelectricplanter.com.

Horsch

German planter manufacturer Horsch offers electric-motor-driven seed meters as standard equipment on its Maestro planter. Each planter row unit comes with a 12-volt brushless, direct drive motor that drives the seed meter. The electric-driven metering units place seed evenly and precisely in the row at speeds 20 to 40 percent faster than traditional planters, the company says.

Horsch says a key part of its system is that energy consumption per row is low, allowing the tractor to provide all the power necessary to drive each metering unit. Visit www.horsch.com.

Kinze

Kinze offers electric-motor-driven seed meters on its new 4900 Series planter. Each unit requires a high torque 24V motor that is powered by a separate alternator and hydraulic circuit on the planter. Kinze says the motors offer 99%+ accuracy at speeds from 2 and 8 mph when used in conjunction with its new 4000-series seed meters. Motors are fully sealed to keep out dust and water and can resist pressure washing.  Contact drive also is available on this planter. Visit kinze.com.

Precision Planting

Precision Planting’s electric drive system is called the vDrive, and it is designed to work only with Precision Planting’s 20/20 SeedSense monitor and vSet meters. The company says vDrive is a low-current, 12-volt system that uses the tractor's battery and alternator for power Electrical requirements for vDrive is 1.25 Amps per row. An alternator is available to supplement power on larger planters. For 2014, the system will support John Deere, Kinze and CNH planters with 1.6 bushel hoppers and mini hoppers. The motor assembly is dust- and moisture-sealed and includes an encoder. Visit precisionplanting.com.