November 22nd, 2012

Ann Vole

a new way to plant crops

As farmers seek to save fuel and maximize the soil quality, driving across the fields in the minimal number of times is the key goal. The best way to not disturb the soil is with what they call "zero till" seeding where the soil is disturbed the least amount to get the seeds into the ground. These are usually knife-like blades that cut into the ground. The machine has a high amount of drag from friction and to move the seeds, they usually use air to blow the seed to the point where the blade goes into the ground. To reduce crossing the field, the equipment is also made very wide. This increases the drag even more of course. The energy to blow the seeds is also coming from the tractor so the tractors need to be bigger then ever before. The best harvesting equipment is self-propelled as is the best pesticide applicators. This means that the tractor is increasingly being used primarily for the activity of seeding. My idea is to use points driven into the ground instead of blades but this would require more weight to force these points down. We can eliminate wheels and the tractor if these points become the traction that pulls the machine forward. I only found one company making self-propelled seeders and they were meant to seed vegetables and made in India. The tricky part of this invention would be a method to move the points from the back to the front after they complete the seed injection. The points would have to go straight downward. This contraption will also pull things like the seed and fertilizer hoppers, rollers to push down rocks for low-growing crops, harrows, distribution fertilizers (some fertilizer types need to be surface and others need to be near the seed), and pesticide application.