Canadian ag tech company Clean Seed Capital aims to revolutionize planting with its SMART Seeder MAX, a 60-row planter described as an inkjet printer for the field.
The no-till planter allows the operator to control up to 5 independent products as well as 6 in-ground placement options per row, providing prescription input accuracy on an almost plant-by-plant level.
Colin Rush, chief operating officer of Clean Seed Capital, says the 60-foot toolbar combines the large-acre efficiency of an air seeder with the precision of a planter. It uses 300 different electric meters to apply herbicides, nutrients and more at a field speed of up to 5 miles per hour.
The SMART Seeder MAX system is built around being able to handle massive amounts of data. Rush says the base level standard can handle changing rates every square foot, which would equate to 1.2 billion changes in a half-mile square field. That amount of data would only use 15% of the machine’s CPU. The data can be exported for high-resolution prescription maps.
The company is opening up pricing in March for the 2023 production run and anticipates selling out by mid-summer, as its customers seek more sustainable and precise planting solutions. Rush says the company signed up Canadian dealers for its 2022 pre-commercial run, and this year will be announcing dealers in the Dakotas and Minnesota.
Clean Seed Capital is a publicly traded company, which allowed it access to capital to fund the development without the short timeline for return on investment often required by Silicon Valley venture capital firms.
“Agriculture has a long lead time for innovation. You're talking 5-10 year development time for, for something as significant as this, so we took the company public for access to capital. What's interesting is even though we're publicly traded, we call ourselves a privately held publicly traded company because 75% of our investors are farmers, are people in the ag industry and insiders in the company that want to see this technology develop.”
Rush estimates the company has invested nearly $25 million in R&D over the past 10 years to get the SMART Seeder MAX to where it is today.
Hear more from Rush in Precision Farming Dealer’s two-part podcast interview airing this month. Click here to listen.