Flexrow is the name of a concept that provides push-button control of drill and planter row spacing from the tractor cab.
Developed by Swedish company Landberg Solutions, at the heart of the system is a new and patented hydraulic actuator concept invented by the Saab aircraft company.
Integrated into a drill or planter tool bar, the tractor driver simply selects the crop on a display and Flexrow automatically sets the desired row spacing.
A 3.0m-wide four-row concept was tested this season, but it is possible to fit numerous units to a tool bar up to a maximum width of around 10.0m. The company says a drill/planter can be built with two folding sections for a working width of 20.0m.
The main focus is with trailed machines where the elements are located at the rear. It is envisaged that the arms will fold forwards for transport. Grouping all the seeding/planting units together will reduce the centre of gravity.
“The Flexrow technology has been successfully tested,” says Magnus Landberg, who started the Linköping-based company with fellow Swede Gustav Naslund. “The next step is to seek partners to develop it to the commercial stage. The goal is to have something to show at the next Agritechnica in November 2021.”
Landberg Solutions is also looking at a Flexrow seed drill/planter that can distribute seeds, fertilisers and/or pesticides to each row from a central unit. Other ideas for the future include whether the technique can be applied to push-off trailers.
The current project is the result of a collaboration with a number of partners within the Agtech 2030 programme, which in addition to Saab, includes the hydraulic research division at Linköping University.