Precision planting and crop thinning

Scott A. Shearer, Santosh K. Pitla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Historically, the management of inputs to crop production, especially seed, on agricultural lands has been controlled by humans using “field-average” practices. This chapter presents an overview of technology, available today and in the near term, that is altering the accuracy and precision of seed singulation and placement during planting. Increasingly, the cost of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and biological and chemical seed treatments demands high-level accuracy and precision in seeding operations. Alternately, when it is impractical to singulate individual seeds because of seed size or shape, producers may choose to overseed a crop and then thin the resulting stand to achieve an optimal stand. In either event several enabling technologies are available to enhance the likelihood of success. Characteristics of the precision planting systems (tractor and planter combination) of the future will change in three key areas, including (1) precision seed meters and methodologies that deliver and position seed within the furrow, (2) individual row stepper motor drives that index seed placement in accordance with distance traveled, and (3) seed metering capabilities that support seeding of multiple varieties/hybrids within one field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAutomation
Subtitle of host publicationThe Future of Weed Control in Cropping Systems
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9789400775121
ISBN (Print)9789400775114
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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