A Precision Planter for Large Seeds in Small Plots

in HortTechnology
Authors:
Andrew M. BirminghamDepartment of Bioresources Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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Eric A. BuzbyDepartment of Bioresources Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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Donte L. DavisDepartment of Bioresources Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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Eric R. BensonDepartment of Bioresources Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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James L. GlanceyDepartment of Bioresources Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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Wallace G. PillDepartment of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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Thomas A. EvansDepartment of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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Robert P. MulrooneyDepartment of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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Michael W. OlszewskiDepartment of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717.

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A mechanical planter was developed to sow seed of baby lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) in small plots. The mechanical seeder allowed small plots to be quickly and consistently seeded at a fixed spacing. Seeds were manually spread along a 10-ft (3.0 m) base plate containing 50 holes of slightly larger diameter than the seed length and at the desired seed spacing [2.4 inches (6 cm)]. Once all the holes were filled, a slider plate below the base plate containing holes of the same diameter and spacing, but which were slightly offset, was slid horizontally so that the holes of the base and slider plates aligned and the seeds dropped to the bottom of the furrow. Compared to manual planting, the mechanical planter increased the precision of seed placement and reduced the time needed to plant 50 seeds. The planter was easy to use and transport, and was inexpensive.

Contributor Notes

to whom reprint requests should be addressed. E-mail: ebenson@udel.edu
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