Planter Wide Automated DownForce Control

Planter Air Bags Made Smart

  • Knowing the correct pressure to set in downforce airbags is challenging
  • Incorrect downforce costs yield in late emerged plants or restricted root growth
  • AirForce works with 20/20 SeedSense & improves air bag function by automating their pressure based on changing field environments

Environments in Your Fields Change

As you plant your fields, you encounter changing environments.  Soil types change, drainage changes, elevation changes, and with each of these changes, the amount of downforce needed changes.  With springs or air bags, you are left guessing at the correct setting as well as having to remember to make the necessary adjustment.  Even worse, sometimes you would have to get out of the cab.  Often, your down pressure setting ends up being wrong.

The Cost of Wrong

Incorrect downforce settings cause one of two issues; compaction or loss of depth.  Compaction created by excess force carried on the planter's depth gauge wheels will compact soil and remove pore space in the soil.  This tight soil doesn't allow roots to grow like they want to, and either causes the roots to turn or become smaller.  When this happens, the plant sets a smaller ear because it is under stress.  If the operator sets downforce too light, the opposite problem occurs.  With too little downforce, the seed trench is not created at the depth that the row unit was set to, and the seeds are placed shallow, in dry soil, causing late emergence and smaller ears or barren plants.

Measurement of Gauge Wheel Weight

The key to getting downforce correct is to measure the amount of weight on the depth gauge wheels of the planter.  If there is weight on the wheels, then the row unit is planting at the depth that has been set.  Too much weight, and compaction occurs; no weight, and seeding depth, or ground contact is lost.  Once the weight on the gauge wheels is known, it becomes easy to get that weight correct.  A load cell is used on the planter to measure the amount of weight that is on the gauge wheels.


AirForce Manages Gauge Wheel Weight

AirForce uses the weight measured by the load cells along with an air compressor containing valves, to automatically increase or decrease the amount of pressure in air bags on the planter to get the average gauge wheel weight correct.  The pressure in the air bags on each row is the same.  AirForce does a great job accounting for large changes in the field, like slope or soil type changes.


For Row by Row Control, Select DeltaForce

DeltaForce takes the principles of AirForce and applies them to each row of the planter.  The DeltaForce system uses hydraulic cylinders on each row, and a load cell on each row, to manage the downforce on every row of the planter.  Where AirForce does a great job at changing for large zone variation in the field, DeltaForce adds to that control for small changes, foot by foot changes, such as wheel tracks and row to row variation.  Check out DeltaForce, the ultimate in planter downforce control