Development of an electro-mechanic control system for seed-metering unit of single seed corn planters Part II: Field performance


COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS IN AGRICULTURE, vol.145, pp.11-17, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Using single seed planters is important for a uniform distribution of plant growing area. Seed metering units of planters receive their motion from the drive wheel pass through various transmission members such as the chains, gears, shafts and belts. While the planter is being operated, the transmission system of the machine and drive system of the seed metering units naturally push the driving wheel. Because of this effect, the wheel experiences a loss of mobility or some sort of slipping. Consequently, all seed metering units are being affected due to the common mobility transmission system and changes in the desired plant spacing occur. In order to overcome these negativities, an electro-mechanic drive system (EMDS) alternative to classic driving system (CDS) was developed. Detailed information regarding the system design and laboratory simulation results of EMDS were provided in Part I of this study. In this part, it was aimed to investigate the effect of EMDS on the planting quality (plant spacing uniformity, variation among rows) and operational parameters (fuel consumption and negative slippage) in the field and compared with the CDS. While the quality of feed index (I-qf) 90.63%, multiple index (I-mult) 0.94%, missing index (I-miss) 8.44% and precision index (I-p) 17.63% were obtained in trials performed by the EMDS, I-qf 88.13%, I-mult 2.50%, I-miss 9.38% and I-p 17.81% were found in trials performed by the CDS. Plant spacing uniformity in the EMDS was found as "good" while it was "moderate" in the CDS, according to related criteria. Plant distribution uniformity in the EMDS were better than the CDS. Furthermore, the experimental plant spacing values obtained by the EMDS were closer to the theoretical (set) value than the values obtained by the CDS. The negative slipping in the planter's drive wheel was found as 1.33% at trials with the EMDS while it was 6.79% with the CDS. When the EMDS used in the field operations, it provided approximately 22% fuel saving compared with the CDS. The results promise that the developed system can be used as an alternative to the CDS for single seed planters. However, in order to provide a complete mechanical rapport between the EMDS and the planter, future studies, various structural improvements in the seed metering unit designs and optimization of the seed plate thickness, number of holes and connection methods may be required.