Hydraulic Downforce Payback on Row Crop Planters

A number of different considerations play into the return on investment of adding hydraulic downforce, or ordering it as an option on a new planter.

1. Soil Types

The range of soil types on farm(s) where the planter is being used is of importance. When most of the ground is one consistent soil type from one end to the other, it is simpler to set the planter downforce pressure, than when a range of soil types may be encountered on a single pass down the field. When you have a lighter, sandier soil, less down-pressure is needed than when you have a heavy, loamy soil. The producer is required to make a compromise with traditional spring downforce and apply more force than needed on some areas, and less than optimum down-pressure on other areas.

2. Current Equipment

Another factor is whether the planter is currently equipped with spring down pressure or a pneumatic downforce system. The pneumatic systems are somewhat reactive to changing conditions, however not as effectively as the hydraulic downforce systems.

3. Conditions

Planting conditions also are a consideration. Generally, rougher field conditions found in no-till farming systems will result in faster payback than smoother, conventionally tilled systems.

4. Acreage

Another consideration is the amount of acres covered in a year with a planter. Covering more acres with a certain size planter will result in a faster payback on the cost of hydraulic downforce.

Dan Symington

Sales Representative

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