The Tempo planter – a machine gun in the corn fields

The Tempo planter

Tempo plants twice as fast with better precision. Globally, there are larger areas of row planted crops established with planters, than broad drilled areas with seed drills without a precise distance between the seeds in the row. This fact was a major driving force for the birth of Tempo at the start of the decade.

15 years of preparation

But the story dates more than 20 years, to 1996. I was traveling in Argentina and saw huge acres of corn and soya beans with planters from the 1960s and 70s. It was so incredibly slow. I had an idea there and then – we could make something so much better. Back home in Sweden, I tried to convince those around me that little, Swedish Väderstad should develop a planter with much higher capacity , as well as much better precision than anyone else on the market.

Planting corn in the United States

For this vision, self-confidence, long-term plans, financial resources and a dose of risk awareness, were necessary. The development of Tempo is so far also the largest development project in Väderstad’s history. The job went to Gert Gilstring, one of Väderstad’s most skilled and experienced development engineers. He travelled to the US corn belt, worked as a tractor driver and interviewed corn farmers. In addition, he read up on all the patented and ingenious designs of existing planters to understand the problems and then figure out possible solutions.

Cunning solution

The result was that Gert Gilstring developed a metering system on each row unit in order to solve problems with vibration and lateral tilting. The metering units are pressurised and the seed is shoot down into the ground. An ingenious solution. I usually compare the Tempo to a machine gun that shoots 10 shots per second, while the Tempo seed meter shoots 25-30 seeds per second straight down into the ground while driving forward at high speed. Once in the soil, the seed is then caught under the press wheel, due to the seed tube being curved. It will then be solidly anchored in the furrow with a precise distance to the next seed and at the exact depth required. This technology allows the Tempo to gain ground around the world among farmers who can now establish precision planted crops with greater accuracy and at higher speeds.

The Väderstad Tempo L planter

More than 3,000 units of the Tempo planter have, since the start of production in 2012, been delivered all over the world. In 2017 the Tempo planter set a new world record by planting 502.05ha maize in 24 hours.

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