Finger Meter Test Stand Results

In 2012, I wanted to test my corn planter units to see that they are working properly without paying $30 per row just to have them looked at. Two years before I spent over $800 to have my Precision ™ units tested and repairs made. So…this is what I wound up with - a test stand built from an old row unit. The finger meter is driven with a chain run by a gear motor. The speed of the drive mechanism is comparable to running a planter at 5 mph with a population of 28,000 seeds per acre.

Here's what I found out:

- Precision ™ finger meters definitely singulate better than standard OEM meters. I tested meters from a couple of other farmers. Used OEM finger meters will singulate in the range of 75 - 85% (bad). Well adjusted Precision™ meters will singulate in the range of 90 - 97%, sometimes higher.

- Adjusting the brushes on the Precision™ meters for seed size and shape will vary the singulation 5% points or more. It's definitely worth the effort to test each seed variety you are going to use in the test stand to see how the adjusting brush should be set. At least go by Precision's suggested setting chart. While planting, several times I stopped and adjusted individual rows. Having a good planter monitor can make a differnece.

- Medium round seeds will singulate much better than flats of any size. Enough better that I would not buy any other seed size or shape.

- Replacing old brushes will make a difference if they are worn OR IF THE BRISTLES ARE NOT STRAIGHT. After the planting season it is a good idea to remove the corn meters and rotate the mechanism so that the flipper things on the drive belt are not at the bottom of the hole where the seed falls out of the meter into the seed tube. I didn't catch that for a couple of years.

- Sometimes even a meter with new parts will not perform as good as a newer meter. Another farmer and I bought 16 Precision™ meters that were just a year old. His planter had terrible OEM meters. I ran all the meters through my test stand. The newer ones singulated at least 3+% better than my older Precision™ meters. I took my old meters and the new meters apart and compared all the parts. They had identical part numbers. I could see no difference in wear. I replaced 4 of my 8 meters with the newer ones. While planting that spring I could visually see on my planter monitor that the rows with the 4 newer meters were performing better. I could not adjust the meters to be even. I replaced the 4 older ones.
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