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The absence of seed pieces due to mechanical deficiencies in potato planters has been sited as a major cause of reduced yields of potatoes. James et al. (1973) conducted field experiments to estimate the yield losses resulting from the removal of different percentages of plants at random from plots at emergence and/or later stages. They concluded that the average losses in yield for 10, 20 and 30% misses were 0, 5.6 and 11.1%, respectively. An additional study using aerial photography by James et al. (1975) indicated that the average potato crop in New Brunswick had 32% plant misses. A large portion of these misses were due to seed pieces being absent. Presently, the picker-wheel planter is the predominant planter being used in the Atlantic region. However, cup type planters are being introduced to the area in an attempt to improve the accuracy of seed placement. The cup type planter singularizes the seed by a series of cups that pass through the hopper of seed pieces and selects one piece per cup. The pick type planter utilizes a wheel with picks mounted on the periphery to singularize the seed. The picks pierce the seed pieces as they rotate through a hopper of potatoes and then release the seed above the opened furrow.
relative performance of cup and pick type potato planters
Misener, G.C. 1979. RELATIVE PERFORMANCE OF CUP AND PICK TYPE POTATO PLANTERS. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 21(2):131-134.
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