Ever since Kinze Manufacturing announced its partnership with agricultural electronics provider Ag Leader, industry observers have been waiting for Kinze's first precision technology planters. That wait came to an end in July at the company's annual dealer meeting in Williamsburg, IA. Dealers and ag journalists got their first look at three new planter models for 2008 — one of which is equipped with precision planting technology — and a new concept model that will be available in 2009.
“This past year has been very good for Kinze due to a revitalized farm industry and significantly higher commodity prices,” says sales manager Craig Harthoorn. “And our commitment to be a long-term player has never been greater as evidenced by the product introductions we bring you today.”
Model 3600V Twin-Line planters are the first wave of Kinze planters to be outfitted with precision farming technology. The “V” stands for the Kinze Vision planter control system that the company developed in conjunction with Ag Leader. It allows operators to monitor planter functions and change seed population rates on the go from a single touch-screen display in the cab.
The planters are available in 12-row, 30-in. and 16-row, 30-in. sizes with a choice of mechanical or vacuum seed metering. Production begins in December for 2008 delivery. Other planter models and sizes will follow in the next 18 months.
Base prices are $64,332 for a 3600V Mechanical Twin-Line 12-row, 30-in. planter, and $88,452 for a 3600V EdgeVac Twin-Line 16-row, 30-in. planter.
Growers wanting to switch from single- to twin-row planting to increase yield potential can now buy a Kinze planter designed for that function. “Over the last two years we had a number of dealers and customers cutting and welding their late-model 2600 planters and 3600 planters — our most popular models — to make twin rows fit on the machine,” says Bill Heick, manager of product planning and support. “So we decided to do it for them here at the factory.”
Model 3600TR Twin-Line planters are available in 12-row N and 16-row N sizes with mechanical or vacuum seed metering. Push row units are positioned to create narrow, 7.5-in. twin rows on 30-in.-row centers without causing residue buildup, the company claims.
Base price of a 3600TR Mechanical Twin-Line 12 R N planter is $73,919. Base price of a 3600TR EdgeVac Twin-Line 16 R N planter is $105,736.
Growers who plant in 20-in.-row configurations and want the convenience of bulk fill now can have both options. Model 3700 SDS front-folding planters feature the high-capacity central seed fill and delivery system that Kinze offers on other large-frame models but in a 20-in.-row spacing.
“This is really the last model that did not feature our bulk-fill seed delivery system [SDS],” says district manger Chris Madsen. “Now all of our large-frame planters will be available with SDS, which is what customers have been asking for.”
The bulk-fill system consists of two 55-bu. seed hoppers in place of 24 or 36 individual hoppers to cut seed-fill time. The seed is fed on demand from the central hoppers to individual seed meters mounted on each planter row unit.
Base prices of 3700 SDS Mechanical 16-row, 38-in. through 3700 SDS EdgeVac 36-row, 20-in. front-folding planters range from $89,994 to $148,377.
The 3660 Twin-Line prototype — designed in 12-row, 30-in. and 16-row, 30-in. sizes — will eventually replace the 3650. It uses air in place of a mechanical delivery system to transfer seed from a central hopper to individual row units.
Air delivery is perceived as easier than mechanical delivery systems and requires less seed to fill across the planter, according to Dennis Whitehead, sales and marketing manager. But the challenge with air delivery is seed stoppage.
“Air delivery systems work well if you can keep the seed moving,” he says. “But when seed stops — such as in a low part of a hose — it is very hard to get it to move again. In this case, the seed never stops. Instead, seed is recirculated to another row or back to the hopper when the hopper or seed meter is full.”
The toolbar allows for 13° of wing flex up or down as opposed to 7° before.
Whitehead explains that the weight of the two seed hoppers is distributed across the length of the planter with a closed center hydraulic system to maintain planting depth across all row units.