In order to help farmers optimize their seed hybrids and increase their yields, Kinze Manufacturing, Inc. announced the world’s first electric multi-hybrid concept planter. Multi-hybrid technology provides farmers with the ability to change the seed hybrid they are planting automatically as the planter moves through the field. Instead of selecting an average seed variety for use across an entire field, seed hybrids can be selected and automatically planted to suit different field management zones. 

For example, in parts of the field with high productivity soil, a “racehorse” seed variety can be utilized, whereas a “workhorse” seed variety can be used in the less productive areas. In fields with poor drainage, a variety that can handle moisture can be planted in the lower areas, with a more productive variety used in field locations with a higher elevation.

“The electric multi-hybrid planter will allow farmers to maximize yield in every part of their field, and not have to make compromises,” said Rhett Schildroth, senior product manager at Kinze Manufacturing. “The yield gains in our trials varied from 2 bushels per acre to more than 10 bushels per acre by utilizing multi-hybrid planting. And unlike other crop practices that seem to have good results one year and negative results the next, every trial we’ve conducted with multi-hybrid planting has resulted in a yield increase.”

The new Kinze electric multi-hybrid concept planter has new row units that incorporate two meters for every row. The meters feed a single seed tube, so the row unit gauge wheels, openers, and closing wheels are identical to a standard Kinze 4000 series row unit.

“This was only possible by using the new electric drive option on the Kinze 4000 series meters. By eliminating the drive chain and clutch, we were able to orient the meters close together so that they feed a single seed tube,” said Schildroth. “It is a very elegant way to add the multi-hybrid planting capability.”

Kinze will be partnering with Midwestern farmers during spring 2014 to showcase the technology in the field on several electric multi-hybrid concept planters.