Give new life to old machines

The Crop Center 360 transplant attachment can be used to easily transport a planter. Photo: Supplied

The Crop Center 360 team, based in Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal, is a prime example of a group of specialists working to optimize the way their clients grow today.

They are located in the middle of the main summer and winter cereal regions, and their solutions could potentially be used in most of the cereal growing regions of South Africa.

The farms they consult are considerably smaller than those in other cereal-growing regions of the country, but feature high-intensity operational practices and a willingness of these farmers to optimize all the resources at their disposal in the constant fight against declining production. margins. They strive to improve results and return on investment.

The best way to challenge current practices is to present the benefits of the solution you are championing, under exactly the same conditions, on individual farms.

Using technology to fill in the gaps
Crop Center 360 rose to the challenge by defining the shortcomings of standard planting practices and tackling the root cause with technology.

To prove this approach, they fitted a 2013 model John Deere 2113 CCS eight-row, 76cm drill with Precision Planting and Agromac technology. The various components mounted on the planter included:

Generation 3 System 20 | 20: monitoring and control of planting operations; vSet / vDrive: electrically driven seed metering row by row; DeltaForce: ground pressure controlled row by row; vApply Granular: hydraulic driven granular fertilizer application; Keaton Seed Firmers: Low tack seed firmers with tail applicators for in-furrow or pop-up seed treatments; Smart Farms: for classification of seed furrow conditions, including temperature, humidity, organic matter and furrow debris; and Agromac FertiSystem: granular fertilizer distribution screw.

Each of the components deals with specific losses or shortages defined on the standard planter.

Since the attachments are fully modular and bolt-on, with no mounting modifications required on the John Deere 2113, an upgrade installation can be completed on site in just one day.

With the components, the planter is able to achieve exact plant populations, near perfect separation and uniform emergence on time. These are all fundamental building blocks for maximum ear training potential.

Fast travel on the road
An ideal planting date and the window around it define the mechanization capacity a farmer needs to have each seed in the ground as close to the ideal date as possible.
Travel time, filling, and other operational needs affect productivity, which ultimately influences performance. In this case, a solution had to be found to manage the journey time, as the tests had to be carried out on several farms in a short period of time.

Crop Center 360 has developed its TransPlant accessory, so that the planter can move easily. With a transport width of 3.5m and a travel speed of 45km / h, logistical accessibility (in a small window of the season) has proven to be effective and efficient.

The orientation of the machine between transport and planting mode is less than 40 seconds.
For the 2021 summer campaign, Crop Center 360 succeeded in planting more than 350ha of trials over a distance of 400km.

Complete data entry
FieldView from Climate Corporation has been widely used, enabling superior data capture and in-season analysis capabilities.

Using data from FieldView, the trials showcased advances in installed planter technology and simplified the process of defining seed hybrids, products and applied rates.

The trial work included many corn hybrids, populations, and product application trials, so it was important to record what was done in each case to ensure a fair comparison.

The results favored the CropCentre 360 ​​planter; increases in performance results ranged from 3% to 7%.

Farmers often only look at yield when they compare results, but calculating profitability does more than just high yield.

Yield comes at a cost, and because the trials were conducted on individual farms alongside the existing planter used on the farm, it is fair to assume that the direct input costs were the same.

Therefore, the other major contributor to overall profitability will be the cost of the technology installed on the planter, and this has proven to be cost effective, with a return on investment obtained from the first season of its use.

For more information, contact Crop Center 360 at [email protected].

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