Increasing seed costs are a concern to all growers as they try to improve planter performance for optimal plant emergence and potential yields. New technology from John Deere now allows more efficient use of seed with the Swath Control Pro system for planters.

“Leveraging the technology from our GreenStar 2 (GS2) Rate Controller, we are currently developing a new system to turn planter sections on and off according to GPS coverage,” says Seth Crawford, marketing manager, John Deere Ag Management Solutions. “This system will work automatically to help growers minimize double planting in headland areas.”

Seed savings could be substantial with the new system and a reduction in double planting will lower input costs and optimize the potential for increased yields.

“Because all of our GS2 systems are integrated, Swath Control Pro for planters will work with many GreenStar components our customers already own,” explains Crawford. “This includes the StarFire iTC position receiver and the GS2 display. The system can be adapted to John Deere, Kinze, and Deere-Bauer-built planters.”

John Deere will be partnering with Tru Count, Inc., www.trucount.com, to ensure compatibility with their planter clutch systems. Tru Count has developed a system of row unit air clutches that will allow individual planter units to engage or disengage. With the combination of the GS2 Rate Controller and Tru Count clutches, up to 16 sections of the planter can be controlled to turn on and off automatically. This provides substantial improvement over using only the existing half- or third-width disconnects on the planter.

Swath Control Pro for planters will be thoroughly tested on select farms throughout North America during the 2007 planting season. The system will then be available for purchase in time for the 2008 planting season.

Contact your local John Deere dealer or visit our Web site at www.JohnDeere.com for more information.