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Great Plains Previews New Feeder Cup for Box Drills

Great Plains unveiled a feeder cup that will be at the center of a new line of box drills the company plans to introduce next year at the 2019 Agritechnica event.

“Keeping with the history of the Great Plains drill, we will continue the legacy of producing industry-leading drills with our new line of box drills, available internationally in 2020,” says Tom Bryan, president of Great Plains International.

“Producers will benefit from the continuation of our simple design, which also incorporates several new features, including the newly introduced feeder cup. The new feeder cup allows producers to seed a wider variety of seed types and sizes, providing the highest seeding performance in the industry,” he says.

Illustration of Great Plains feeder cup
Photo Credit: Great Plains

Two metering wheels are key to the design of the new feeder cup. One wheel is engineered for drilling small seeds including canola, alfalfa, and low-rate milo.

Two choices are available for the second wheel. Farmers can select a metal wheel for cereal grains, high-rate milo, soybeans, and similar seeds, or choose a plastic wheel for fertilizer and very large seeds including chickpeas and large peas. If necessary, a normal seed wheel and fertilizer/large seed wheels are removable and interchangeable with each other.

Meter wheels offered by Great Plains as part of the new feeder cups
Photo Credit: Great Plains

Technical Details

Every metering unit has staggered wheels and outlet seed gates arranged in a chevron pattern to deliver a consistent flow of seed. A divider between the wheel for small seeds and the other wheel keeps seeds from going in the wrong metering wheel.

The input gates have two seeding positions for different seed sizes. They can also be shut off completely for calibration, skip-row applications, clean out, or cup repair. These adjustments can be made both when the box is full of seed or empty.

The output gates can also be adjusted so it is accurate for any size of seed. A lever makes these adjustments to every seed cup in the drill section. The spring-loaded output gate protects the cup against damage from foreign objects. Small items like rocks and bolts can pass through the spring-loaded door without damaging the cups.

The cup has a removable bottom funnel for calibration. To start calibration, the funnel is taken off under a group of cups and a seed-catching tray is put in. After that, calibration is as easy as using a handle or pressing a button, depending on which drive type the drill has.


This new feeder cup and other improved features will be introduced on larger three-section and two-section box drills in 2020. Later, the new features will also be included on other sizes of the box drill line.

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