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A two-row planter was constructed for planting small potato research plots. For each row, seed pieces were manually placed on a cup conveyor belt system. Desired in-row seed piece spacings, per row, were obtained by controlling the speed of the conveyor belts using variable speed gearboxes. Micro-dial controllers, attached to the gearboxes, allowed for rapid adjustment of in-row seed piece spacing when required. Small fertilizer hoppers, similar in design to commercial planters, were attached to the planter when a uniform type or rate of fertilizer was required at planting. When planting required different types or rates of fertilizer, hoppers were removed and replaced by two Hege (model H80) belt cones. Fertilizer required per treatment row was placed in the cone prior to planting then applied as cones rotated. The rotation of the cones was controlled by a variable speed gearbox with micro-dial control to adjust the row length of fertilizer application when required. The planter performed well compared to commercial and other small plot planters. The coefficient of variation for seed piece spacings ranged between II to 15% and labour required for planting was 40 to 60% less compared to hand planting.
W.J. Arsenault. H.W. Platt. E. Pippy and A. Cannon 1996. A SMALL PLOT POTATO PLANTER. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 38(2):145-147.
Canadian Society for Bioengineering