Seed Drill Rate Calculator

What I have been thinking about is an easier way to calculate the amount of seeds/lbs per acre the drill is putting out.
currently I have a jd 750 20’ box drill, I have a scale and use a cheap FPV camera and Banggood special monitor in the cab to show me the acre meter.

but in order to calculate the rate the drill is dropping I need to stop and manually do the calculation (lbs/Acre=R). simple but can be frustrating as well as time consuming if great care is not taken to keep the numbers clear.

Is it possible to give an Arduino the scale data as well as a digital acre measurement and have a continuous calculation? probably connect to a tablet or monitor to have basic functionality eg start, stop,

My friend has a cheap digital acre meter he ordered online that I would assume would work as a input.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated

All this could maybe work.
But for the weight reading the drill should be not moving since the driving chain is pulling down on the box.

Last spring I worked with one. I had to exit the tractor to precisely read the acre meter but this let you to check the seeding quality to! My readout was precise at 5kg so I had to drive a few acres anyway before making a calculation.

Hi Pat
you are exactly right about having to stop, I always lift the disks so the tubes aren’t pulling down on the box as well.
The first year I had the scale I didn’t have the camera on the acre meter in the cab. So I ended up getting out of the tractor almost every round. even after I have it set I check it continually through out the day, things like the air humidity or even if it gets dusty can change the seed flow rate. One morning I started and it was damp and as the day went on it got really dusty, I think I had to slow the meter 5-6 notches.
You are also right about having to go a few acres, I will always check at 1 acre to see if its close but you get a more accurate reading at 5 or so acres. Also just a pro tip: never use the 1st acre after filling, it ALWAYS throws it out.

Just to add one more factor the 20’ jd drill have a wheel at the back to turn the meters and if there is loose soil the drill slows down by 10%. so adding 10% more seed then your desired seeding rate fixes that problem.
Thats all well and good until you write a number down wrong and throws it all out! lol

So if there was a display that showed at rate and you could check it by just stopping and looking at the monitor at each headland that would make make life easier. at least for me. lol

I was thinking about a button on this (future) monitor. So it would only calculate the rate when you press it at the headland, giving the last interval and maybe the average to(maybe an average of the last 2,3 10). With a reset button to for the beginning or after refilling.

For the weight reading this should be (relatively) simple? With codes or libraries available?
For the surface it could be a simple sensor giving a pulse from some shaft.

An Arduino for the calculation.
I am currently developing a nice project with this Nextion touch screen:

What library are you using for GUI development? I’ve got a winter project coming up that I want to make little GUI for it with a touch screen. I was thinking about using LVGL with a Teensy microcontroller which has plenty of power. LVGL also works great on ESP32.

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If it has a start button that remembers the acres as well as the weight then either it could continuously update the rate as your driving, but one would need to know that to be accurate need to look at it when stopped and disks are up. that way you wouldn’t need to press anything to see the updated rate on the headland. or
at the next headland you could press a refresh button that would then do the calculation. It would be less confusion if there was no updated info during the pass but I like the idea of not having to press any buttons until you want to start with a new calculation.
also I wonder if you start the calculation with the disks down it might possibly show a fairly accurate seeding rate as you make the pass.

As for the technical side I do not have any experience with coding and libraries and have only played with an arduino a couple times. I have lots of experience on the soldering and building from working on fpv drones as well as inav wings… so I would love to learn but I am a total noob.

@torriem I decided to go without library for the screen/arduino communication. I read that it was easy to implement. Sending to the screen was, receiving not!
I tried some codes from forums but ended with writing my own.

As you can see I do not have the skills and patience to make beautiful graphics! (at least yet)

I am still learing all this stuff, I never done any programming or coding before this spring.
This is for a grain bin fan control, reading the outside temp/humidity. Will probably post in a few weeks

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Oh I see. It’s a smart display that uses an HMI protocol. Very nice.

Hello the world

For those who (like me) don’t know anything about programming, I think App inventor 2 is very nice for making apps for Android and very easy to communicate in bluetooth with an arduino or other.
To program an Arduino or esp32, visual programming software (Visuino for example) allows you to quickly start in serial communication and sensors.

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Node-red is also very nice for very easy programming ( I use it to talk with my milking robot, agopengps, heater…) with no code.


I have found a little info on the Digi Star,

I use this it works great.

The problem with this system is that it is too slow and combersom, not to mention the seed rate changes as the days go on based on thing I mentioned earlier.
We have used seed tubes in the drill in the past, but there is no way of checking as the day goes on.

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Just found this, (I think it will help and now I can find it again in the future. Lol)

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I found this code from the link I will attach, Im going to need to try and reproduce this and see if it will read the what my scale on the drill says,
scroll half way down.


if anyone has a pointer or more knowledge please me know, But I’'m thinking this could be the base to build the formulas off of?

Weighing through load cells using Wheatstone bridge…
Oftne using HX711
good explanations at Sparkfun

Update time:

I have been working with a friend of mine, and we have made some great progress.
I have connected a rx and ground wires to the scale and have db9 style plug on the other end. with that I’m using a RS232 Serial Port to TTL Converter between the scale monitor and the Arduino nano.

My friend Tom has put to together the bit of code to get the nano to send out the information to a serial port that will be connected to the tablet. Also I have a Inductive Proximity Switch that also has a counter for the acre meter and sends that information to the tablet via the nano.

The next steps are to make a interface on windows to display the scale value and keep track of the acre meter, as well as run the calculation for the LBS per acre of seed. I was playing with Node red that was previously suggested and I’m sure it would work but I would need code more then I am capable of. Tom has used purebasic and so we with his help thats how we will be moving forward.

It’s not exactly what you want to do, but I started to do seeder regulation with node-red. You can have a look if you want. May be that can give you some idea.
seeder.txt (18.4 KB)

Thanks I would love to look,but that link doesnt seem to work
can you email it to me?