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Transplanting multiple commodities: a demo of the versatile PlantTape system

PlantTape recently did a field demo to showcase the versatile nature of their system. They loaded six different commodities into our transplanter and planted them all simultaneously.

The commodities they chose for the demonstration were: romaine lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, leeks, broccoli, and cilantro. Prior to planting, each crop was sown at one of the sowing lines in Hollister, California.

 

After 30-45 days in the greenhouse, the seedlings of each of the six commodities were brought to the PlantTape demonstration field near our Salinas, CA headquarters. A PlantTape 3-point transplanter was loaded up with all six commodities, with a line of each commodity corresponding to a planting module for a six-line bed configuration.

Multiple crops loaded into the PlantTape automated transplanter 

Although this is unconventional, the commodities grew well together for 8 weeks until the bed became overcrowded with the different crop types. 

Switching between crops with PlantTape
PlantTape’s simultaneous planting of six different commodities was purely a showcase of how crop-agnostic their system is. While a grower will almost certainly not need to plant diverse crops simultaneously, many growers will need to plant different crops consecutively. PlantTape allows them to do so with unprecedented ease.

Changing plant-to-plant (or in-row) spacing
PlantTape offers growers a way to change the plant to plant spacing with ease via a simple touch screen computer located on the side of the planter. Spacing can even be changed while the planter is running if the operator chooses.

Planting consecutive commodities with different bed configurations
If two commodities have different bed configurations—for example, onions and broccoli—then a grower will need to make simple some mechanical adjustments to our automated transplanter.

Six different commodities planted into the same bed with the PlantTape system 

Line-to-line spacing can be altered in the field with standard hand tools in a matter of minutes. Planting lines can be added or removed by raising or lowering planting modules via a valve on the planting module cylinder.

If a crew is planting 6 lines of onions on a 72” bed and needs to switch to 2 lines of broccoli on a 36” bed, they would load the broccoli seedlings into the transplanter, raise up the two middle planting modules to take them out of action, and make any desired line-to-line adjustments. After a short time, they’re back in business, planting two 36” rows of broccoli at a 72” wheelbase.

Transplanting flexibility
Compared to other transplanters, which are often manufactured with fixed bed configurations and designed for a specific commodity, the PlantTape automated transplanting system brings unprecedented versatility to growers of vegetables, tomatoes, and hemp.

For more information:
PlantTape
planttape.com


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