A punch planter for conservation farming
A planter was designed to plant corn in an untilled soil with residue from previous crop on the surface. The planter punched holes in the soil and then dropped a seed into each hole. Soil punching and seed dropping were performed in one operation;Field tests showed that satisfactory punching was achieved in a field with up to 75% residue cover (at 5522 kg/ha). Both the spacing and depth of planting were independent of travel speed. An average depth of 4.31 cm (1.70 in) was achieved when the planter was adjusted to drop the seeds at a depth of 5.06 cm (2.00 in), and the average spacing was 25.72 cm (10.13 in) instead of the designed value of 25.4 cm (10.00 in). The percentage of punched holes with a seed was affected by the travel speed. Ninety-one percent of the punched holes had a seed in them at a travel speed of 3.22 kph (2.0 mph). The percentage of the holes with a seed decreased as the travel speed increased. The percent emergence was not affected by planter performance. An overall percent emergence of 81% was obtained. The percent germination under laboratory conditions was 82% for the seeds.