The Economics of Automatic Section Control Technology for Planters: A Case Study of Middle and West Tennessee Farms
Velandia, M., M. J. Buschermohle, J. A. Larson, N. Thompson, and B. Jernigan.  2013.  Computers and Electronics in Agriculture95:1-10 (DOI:

Reducing double-planted area in row crop production fields where planter overlap is unavoidable, such as end rows, point rows, and areas around internal field obstacles, can improve net returns by reducing seed costs and increasing revenue. The objective of this case study was to present a summary of results from 52 fields that highlight potential losses from double-planted areas and therefore potential savings associated with an investment in an Automatic Section Control system (ASC) for planters. Percentage of double-planted area ranged from 0.1% to 15.5% depending on field size and shape. Fields were classified into low, moderate and high double-planted fields, based on percentage of double planted area. Potential savings from adopting ASC system for planters were evaluated using this information. Savings from the adoption of this technology ranged from $4 per ha to $26 per ha depending on the distribution of field types in a farming operation. The results indicated that savings and the minimum period of time over which an investment in ASC on planters would have to be finance to guarantee a positive net cash flow every year was determined by farm size and distribution of field types in a farming operation.