A new, unique edge-drop vacuum seed metering system, designed to provide accurate seed singulation for multiple crops and many seed sizes and shapes, has just recently been introduced by Kinze Manufacturing, Inc., Williamsburg, Iowa.

The new Kinze EdgeVac Seed Metering System — considered an alternative to Kinze's mechanical Finger Pickup and Brush-Type Seed Meters — releases seed from the edge of the disc directly into the seed tube. According to Kinze, this new design is a significant improvement in vacuum seed metering since there is no interference in the drop of the seed.

The EdgeVac design minimizes the tumbling action or ricochet effect inside the seed tube, prevalent in other designs. (That occurs when seeds are released erratically from the uphill side or loaded inconsistently on the downhill side of other vacuum seed plates.) The end result is better seed spacing and population control with fewer skips and multiple seed drops.

The Kinze EdgeVac Seed Metering System uses 10.5-inch diameter seed discs. This accommodates more seed pockets around the perimeter of the disc and significantly reduces the rpm of the meter. It also means there's a greater number of seed pockets (at any given time) in the seed reservoir and a seed pocket design that agitates the seed for more consistent seed pocket fill.

Composition of the discs is also significantly different from other designs. They're molded from urethane-based, engineering-grade material, which is more effective at resisting buildup of seed treatments and increases the life of the disc.

Another key feature, according to Kinze officials, is the open-center, non-concentric design of the vacuum cover. Over time, most vacuum meters wear a groove pattern in the seed disc because they're always turning in the same circular pattern against a sealing surface. The Kinze design substantially reduces wear, because the pattern is constantly changing and self-adjusting. As a result, the EdgeVac Seed Meter, with its “floating disc” design, creates a consistently tight vacuum seal without friction or excess wear between the vacuum cover and seed disc or having to maintain extra meter parts, such as vacuum seals or spools.

In fact, since the EdgeVac Seed Meter vacuum cover captures the disc, you don't have to contend with any disc retaining devices or vacuum seals!

The Kinze EdgeVac Seed Meter has a very simple design and a much lower part count than other meters. As a result, inspection and adjustments are faster and easier, and the meter costs less to maintain.

It's also equipped with adjustable seed singulator brushes to sweep away potential doubles or triples. Settings (for aggressiveness of the brushes) are easy to change by turning a spring-loaded lever.

The meter consists of a die cast anodized aluminum housing with a wall vent that provides access to outside air and a brush that segregates the seed reservoir chamber from the seed release area. The 20-inch diameter vacuum fan is capable of handling up to 16 rows of corn or 32 rows of soybeans. The fan impeller is constructed of fabricated aluminum for maximum airflow without the added weight and inertia of cast impellers.

Approximate hydraulic requirement is 13 gpm at 2,000 psi from one SCV outlet and one low-pressure case drain connection.

With EdgeVac, and just one seed corn disc, virtually every seed size and shape from small flats to large rounds (35 to 70 pounds per 80,000 kernel count unit) can be handled, allowing specific genetics to be selected without worrying about seed size or paying a premium for specific sizes.

The new EdgeVac Seed Meter is offered with several disc options to handle a wide range of crops and seed size ranges (corn, soybeans, acid-delinted cotton, milo/grain sorghum and dry edible beans) and additional discs are currently in development. Changing the discs is quick and easy, by slightly rotating and removing the vacuum cover.

“What makes the EdgeVac meter different,” says Kinze Marketing Manager Dennis Whitehead, “is how it ensures consistent seed drop, even on hillsides, that it requires very few, simple in-field adjustments, and a unique floating seed disc design allows it to self-adjust to accommodate changes in the sealing surfaces between the vacuum cover and seed disc. The real benefit shows up when the seed is released.”

According to Whitehead, the metering system was four years in the making, having undergone thousands of lab studies conducted by Kinze, plus hundreds of field tests throughout North America. Whitehead said, “This meter is designed to easily operate within a speed range of 2 to 8 miles per hour. However, because higher ground speeds cause more variation in seed spacing, regardless of the metering system, Kinze does not recommend planting speeds exceeding 5.5 miles per hour.”

For the 2006 planting season, Kinze is offering the EdgeVac Seed Metering System on limited planter models/sizes. The system is available on 3110 and 3140 3-point mounted models and 3500, 3600, 3650 bulk fill and 3650 conventional twin-line models. Planter sizes range from 6-row 30-inch to 16-row 30-inch and from 11-row 15-inch to 32-row 15-inch on Interplant-equipped units. Additional model applications are in design stages.

For more information, log onto the Kinze Web site at www.kinze.com.