SALINA, KS – In 2020, Great Plains will debut an all-new feeder cup, which will be at the heart of a new line of box drills. This is an exciting development for the product line that launched the Great Plains story over 40 years ago. Agritechnica visitors to the company’s booth at B37 in Hall 5 will have the opportunity to see the feeder cup in action, thanks to a specially designed interactive display. The display will have four self-contained metering units that will be metering a variety of seeds and fertilizer.
Forty-three years ago, Great Plains founder, Roy Applequist, set out to develop a new grain drill for the Central Plains of the U.S. After months of interviewing area farmers about their grain drill needs, Applequist responded with a 30-foot folding press drill. The new unit offered high capacity and excellent field flexibility, and could be folded quickly for road transport, with boxes full of seed. With the development of the first box drill and several innovations over the years, Great Plains has become well-known for its box drill line.
Tom Bryan, President of Great Plains International, said, “Keeping with the history of the Great Plains drills, we will continue the legacy of producing industry-leading drills with our new line of box drills, available internationally in 2020. Producers will benefit from the continuation of our simple design, which also incorporates several new features, including the newly-introduced feeder cup. The new feeder cup allows producers to seed a wider variety of seed types and sizes, providing the highest seeding performance in the industry.”
The new feeder cup for the next generation of Great Plains box drills features two metering wheels. One wheel is designed for drilling small seeds like canola, alfalfa, low-rate milo and similar seeds. For the second wheel, customers have a choice between a metal wheel for cereal grains, high-rate milo, soybeans and similar seeds, or a plastic wheel for fertilizer and very large seeds like chickpeas and large peas. If needed, the normal seed wheel and fertilizer/large seed wheels are removable and interchangeable with each other.
Each metering unit features staggered wheels and chevron-shaped outlet seed gates to deliver a consistent stream of seed. A divider between the small seeds wheel and the other wheel prevents seeds from entering the wrong metering wheel. Input gates located below the main seed box slide to adjust the seed flow to the meter wheels. The input gates have two seeding positions to accommodate different seed sizes, or can be completely shut off for calibration, skip-row applications, cleanout, or cup repair. Such adjustments can be made regardless of whether the box is empty or full of seed.
Output seed gates are also adjustable, ensuring accuracy for any seed size. A single lever applies these adjustments to every seed cup in a box drill section. The output gate is spring-loaded to protect the cup against damage from foreign objects. Nuts, bolts, rocks and other small foreign objects are able to pass through the spring-loaded door without causing damage to the cups.
For calibration, the cup has a removable bottom funnel. To begin calibration, the funnel is removed under a group of cups and a seed-catching tray is inserted. Calibration is completed by moving the drill forward, using the calibration handle when stationary, or if optional hydraulic drive is chosen, by simply pressing a button.
Additional features include a clear shield for wind and rain protection, and feeder cups that completely disassemble without tools. The new drills will offer optional electric clutches for tramlines. The tramline feature will debut soon.
The new feeder cup, along with other improvements, will begin appearing on larger three-section and two-section box drills during 2020. In the future, the new features will extend to other sizes of the box drill line in succession.
About Great Plains
Founded in 1976, Great Plains Manufacturing employs over 1,400 people worldwide. It encompasses five divisions: Great Plains Ag, which manufactures seedbed preparation, nutrient application, and seed placement equipment, and other farm implements; Land Pride, which manufactures grounds maintenance tools such as mowers, rototillers, rotary cutters, and dirt-working equipment; Great Plains International, which sells the company’s products worldwide; Great Plains Trucking, which operates a nationwide fleet of flatbed trucks; and Great Plains Acceptance Corporation, which finances the company’s products. Now a Kubota company, Great Plains Mfg., Inc., is headquartered in Salina, Kansas, USA.
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