I love the seeding monitor I installed this spring. I’ve been threatening to do it for a couple years, but the cost and the hassle of installation had thwarted those plans until this year. I’m sure there are lots of good blockage monitoring systems, but I went with Agtron, a Saskatoon company I’ve done some work with. I set mine up so that each of the seed runs is monitored along with one run on each of fertilizer distribution towers. As usual, we had a lot of blockage problems with the kabuli chickpeas, but now we knew just which run had a problem. There was also a problem with fertilizer lumps that we caught much sooner due to having the Agtron. As well, a hose to a distribution tower came off for some reason and we knew about it right away. There were also a number of unexpected benefits. With increased confidence that everything was working, we spent less time crawling under the drill to check each run. We ran the air speed a bit lower and that should have reduced seed cracking. On crops like canola and mustard, you can seed a long ways after the bin monitor says the tank is empty. With the monitors of the seed runs, you know just when the seed tank actually goes empty. The system allows you to display the pounds of seed and pounds of fertilizer you’re applying, so any major deviation in the numbers will alert you to problems. For instance, bridging of material in the tank could drop the application rate, but it might not be enough to trigger alarms if product is still dribbling out. I hate looking at a field with seeding misses all summer. This summer, I shouldn’t have to.

I’m Kevin Hursh.