Clarity pressrelease

Precision Planting Launches Clarity™, an Advanced Blockage and Flow Monitoring System

Precision Planting, most known for premier planter upgrades, today launched a new product for the air seeder and fertilizer market.

The Clarity™ system, a combination of advanced flow and blockage monitoring, gives greater detail into seeding and dry fertilizer application than ever before.

"Traditional blockage monitoring systems only tell the grower that product is flowing but gives no indication on the amount of product to each run,” said Will Frank, Research and Development, Precision Planting. “Clarity provides high-definition detail at a row-by-row level, to show variation and reduction in flow on a Precision Planting 20|20 monitor.”

Improved Performance + Vivid Mapping
Clarity improves the performance of air seeders, box drills, strip-till bars and dry fertilizer applicators in real-time. The Clarity system displays vivid mapping, product magnitude, uniformity and deviation that can be seen on the Precision Planting Gen 3 20|20 monitor in the cab.

“The attention to detail sets our product apart from others,” Frank said. “The 20|20 with Clarity can catch full and partial blockages from clumps of fertilizer, rocks or other debris in the system right away, so the farmer can stop and fix the issue as it begins to happen, rather than finding it after the crop emerges."

"The 20|20 with Clarity can catch full and partial blockages from clumps of fertilizer, rocks or other debris in the system right away, so the farmer can stop and fix the issue as it begins to happen, rather than finding it after the crop emerges."
‣ Will Frank, Research and Development

Update the Equipment You Already Own
The Clarity system uses DICKEY-john® sensors that farmers potentially already have on their equipment, paired with a module to relay data to the Precision Planting Gen 3 20|20 monitor. Visualizing product flow and distribution in the cab offers peace of mind that the equipment is always running at peak performance. 
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The Secret to Why Most Planters Still Don’t Achieve the Best Stands

Your Planter Wasn’t Designed for Your Fields
Your stock factory planter should be capable of creating a nearly perfect stand. Unfortunately, it was designed for the average field (not your fields), which means average profitability. Your tillage practices, fertility program, and soil variances are much different from your neighbors’. So why should your planters be equipped the same? We’re here to change that.

With a few component upgrades, you can customize your planter to fit your exact needs and even adapt to varying conditions across your fields. We have a few suggestions for how to save time and increase your profitability.

Metering & Drive
Traditional seed meters need continual adjustment to plant accurately which leads to skips, doubles, and ultimately, lost yield. vSet seed meters singulate seeds accurately without any adjustments resulting in perfect seed placement throughout your field.
vSet meters are compatible with a ground drive or hydraulic drive system and are a great entry point to upgrading your existing vacuum meters. To further enhance your planter, consider adding a vDrive motor to each meter for even greater seeding accuracy.
On a 16-row planter, there are at least 216 parts that make up a traditional ground drive system. That’s a lot of bearings, sprockets, chains, idlers, and tensioners that could go bad and need to be maintained every year. Even with good maintenance, there are still issues that can come up during planting.

vDrive is a low-maintenance, electric drive system that lets you breeze through planting without the headaches of a mechanical drive system. Go from 13 parts to just 1, simplifying your planter. Through a 20|20 monitor you can visualize the health of each individual vDrive motor, giving you peace of mind that each row is running at its best.
With the vSet meter and vDrive motor combined, prepare to save on inputs and prevent overplanting.  
Is the downforce on your planter relying on springs or airbags? What happens when your seed hopper is empty or when you experience planting in different soil conditions? Nothing happens unless it’s manually changed. Your springs will stay in the same position, or your airbags will stay right where you set them. This results in uneven ground contact and seed placement.
DeltaForce is an automated row-by-row downforce control system that measures and adjusts downforce every time there is variability in your field, improving emergence and giving you ultimate control. And you can add it to your current planter.  
In one pass with the planter, we can go through four different zones of soil types, that all need to be treated differently. The power of DeltaForce is that it automatically adjusts down force pressure according to the needs of each row, which are vastly different. Adding DeltaForce to our corn planter has been our biggest and fastest return on investment.
– Nathan Ring, farmer in Illinois

High-Speed Planting
Every season there’s an optimum planting window.  Have you ever been in the position where you couldn’t get all your acres planted quick enough and you had to settle for planting in less-than-ideal conditions? We believe you shouldn’t have to sacrifice yield potential because you can’t get enough acres in the ground when the weather is perfect. You also shouldn’t have to spend more money on a bigger planter or additional planters to make it happen.

SpeedTube guides seeds from the vSet meter to the seed trench, within a flighted belt, ensuring consistent placement and singulation. Proper seed delivery gives you the power to plant faster, saving you time and optimizing windows of good weather.
When farmers add SpeedTube to their existing planter, they’ve nearly doubled their planting speed without sacrificing performance.
We were able to increase the acres we cover per hour by 40% and not give up any performance. In one day, we planted 400 acres with our 16-row planter before the rain came.
– Grant Hannah, farmer in Illinois

Visualizing the Data
As you look for ways to increase profitability next season, remember that improving your planter performance is one of the quickest returns on investment you can make to your farming operation. But you cannot change what you cannot see.

Let the 20|20 system lead you to better decisions as it monitors, controls, and diagnoses your field conditions and equipment performance. The Gen 3 20|20 monitor provides the most advanced agronomic picture you’ve ever seen, showing high-definition data that fuels high-impact decisions. It can be utilized as a monitor to help you set the planter and power the performance systems listed above.

Not only does it give you accurate data in real-time, but it also gives your equipment the powerful automation to make decisions as it passes through the field, optimizing every pass. The 20|20 gives you the knowledge that you need to maximize the success of your equipment, your crops, and your farm. 

Your Seeder Maintenance Guide

Just like a high-performance car needs to be tuned before every race for maximum performance and to give that driver an edge, your seeder or drill needs to be tuned before every planting season to give you that edge to where you’re setting up each field for the maximum possible yield and the best profitability that you’ve ever had.

We want to give each seed that you place in the ground the best opportunity to win, so we've created an entire video series and a downloadable guide to walk you through 8 areas where issues can arise on your seeder or drill that lead to poor seeding.
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Why Retrofitting a Used Planter Was More Practical for Our Farm Than Buying New

Our farm bought a brand new 24 row, 3-bushel box planter in 2012. During the first few seasons of using our new planter, our farm was transitioning to no-till and implementing cover crops. We needed a way to make our planter more adaptable to varying conditions and crops since we grow corn, soybeans and various specialty crops. A few years later, in 2015, we had our first experience with Precision Planting products. 

Enter CleanSweep. No more screw adjust row cleaners refusing to stay adjusted. These floating row cleaners adjusted all at once from the cab which made moving from tillage to no-till and planting into cover crops a much simpler process. Add in DeltaForce and we quickly realized we should have been running the old air bags deflated when the 3-bushel boxes were full. Ever since we added those two products the applied downforce map has been my go-to on my 20|20 screen. I tend to leave it up all the time because it tells some interesting tales and spots problems quickly.

Fast forward to 2019. We decided it was time to try out electric seed meters and why not go to a central fill planter while we’re at it. We grow a few specialty crops such as waxy corn, popcorn and seed beans, which require frequent and thorough planter cleanouts. Pulling out two dozen 3-bushel boxes several times a year to get to the seed plates was getting old. We knew we could gain a good amount of springtime efficiency with open access to the seed plates while adding the convenience of central fill.

We priced new planters from our local OEM equipment dealer and a custom build on a new toolbar from a Precision Planting dealer. Roughly $350,000 for either option wasn’t a pill we were quite ready to swallow. I started shopping around for used planters that fit our specifications and what we ended up with was a planter three years older than the one we already owned.

I learned about Schlipf Precision Ag while searching for used planters. Rich Schlipf is a Precision Planting Premier Dealer who keeps an inventory of planters on hand to upgrade for customers. He had a 2009 planter, the same model as ours but with central fill. We liked CleanSweep and DeltaForce so obviously those were going on our “new” planter, too. We wanted vSet and vDrive as well, so they were added to the list. When the cost estimate came in, we were pleasantly surprised. 

The 2009 retrofit with all the Precision Planting products we wanted, an upgrade to the Gen 3 20|20 monitor, every wear part rebuilt, and a few other odds and ends, totaled just under $180,000. Quite a savings over the new builds! And we were still getting all the same technology we would have chosen for a brand-new planter. 

But there was one more thing that made the decision very easy. Since our 2012 planter was equipped with some Precision Planting parts I don’t think our local equipment dealer really knew how to price it on trade. Well, Schlipf offered to trade with us, too. The price they offered for our 2012 was $24,000 higher than we were offered elsewhere. Deal sealed at that point! We were getting a great planter with the latest technology for about half the cost of new.

We just finished our fifth season planting with the “new to us” planter. Filling the bulk central fill tanks has made life easier. We could clean out the rows and meters without taking any boxes off the row units. With our old planter we had small and large corn plates, soybean plates and popcorn plates. Now we just have a corn plate and a bean plate from Precision Planting. 

On our previous planter, I would go through all our corn and popcorn seed tags and match the seed sizes to a vacuum chart in the manual and make myself a spreadsheet to carry along in the tractor to adjust accordingly. Now, the same vacuum setting works for all our crops and seed sizes. The vSet and vDrive have simplified all of those processes greatly. 

Now I like to say I have 24 individual planters rather than one 24 row planter. Every row can do its own thing, if necessary, when it comes to seeding and downforce. vDrive has made our section control perfectly accurate by reducing overlap. Before we could only run two rates across the planter, so if 12 rows were splitting a prescription zone the planter would have to pick one zone or the other as the population. Variable rate prescriptions now get planted as written because every row can be a different rate. That old hydraulic drive was slow to change too, but the vDrives change very quickly.

The final proof that our planter upgrades were worth it comes from our seed dealer of over 25 years. He’s walked our fields for a long time checking up on his product. From the first season with our Precision Planting built planter, he said our stands were so much more even and uniform than they ever were before.

Retrofitting an older planter bar, rather than buying a brand-new planter, has been the most practical and economic decision for our farm. We are more than pleased with the job it has done and the customization that we could add to match our farm’s needs. I highly encourage other farmers to explore the idea of adding new products to your existing planter to increase your farming potential.