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UniForce Hydraulic Downpressure

Get your JD 50/60/90/Pro-series drill to work the way it should.


  • Reduce/eliminate hairpinning
  • Get consistent depth!
  • Better use of frame weight (& less frame stress)
  • Less sidewall compaction
  • Avoid misplaced seeds from sidewall blowout (gauge whls riding up)
  • Greater upstroke/downstroke on openers than OEM
  • Perfectly uniform pressure on all openers

Call to order 785-820-8000

The biggest downfall of the JD 50/60/90/Pro-series drills is how down-force is applied—the rockshaft twists to compress a big coil spring on each opener. Because the spring is nearly parallel to the arm, the opener has almost no down-stroke—i.e., the spring is in the optimum position (applying the correct amount of down-force) for only about 1/4″ of its range. Had the spring been oriented differently (e.g., pushing straight down), the problem wouldn’t be nearly so bad.

So, you must have fields that are laser level for these openers to work correctly. Even 1/2” depressions give them fits. The spring starts to relax as the opener goes into these miniscule depressions, and you lose down-force—the opener loses depth, and starts hairpinning. To compensate, everyone cranks the pressure way up—so that the majority of openers have far too much pressure, just to keep those passing thru mild depressions working halfway decent. You end up with excessive sidewall compaction on most of the rows, while some aren’t even holding depth. Not to mention it takes a bunch of extra ballast on the frame. For this reason, it’s much more important to get rid of downpressure springs on these drills than it is on planters with a parallel link.

The Trouble With OEM Springs

The big coil spring on JD 50/60/90/Pro-series drill openers is a major downfall of that design. If the spring relaxes when the opener goes into the slightest depression, it loses down-pressure and fails to cut the straw & stalks (hairpinning!) and the furrow may be shallower if soil is hard.

Single-Action cylinders

Maintain a completely uniform pressure across all the openers of the drill.

UniForce Hydraulic Down-Pressure

Our UniForce hydraulic system fixes Deere’s design debacle. Now, you can get uniform pressure on every single opener throughout its full stroke. The result is much better cutting, less hairpinning, holding depth much more accurately, and far less sidewall compaction. Another problem with springs is that they bounce: Hydraulics don’t have this problem. When developing the UniForce, we’d often leave at least one opener with the OEM spring. Watching them run side by side, it’s amazing how much the row(s) with OEM springs bounce, whereas the rows with UniForce are smooth and steady.

UniForce uses single-action cylinders along with the OEM rockshaft, which is still used to raise and lower the openers. The two hydraulic circuits may be plumbed together so that everything runs on a single tractor remote*, or they may be kept completely separate (two tractor remotes are used). *We prefer them kept separate.

Large 3/4″ header hoses* allow oil to move quickly from one end of the drill to the other, and between the front & back ranks. This keeps pressure almost perfectly constant even while going over steep terraces or through swales at high speed. Special brackets support the header hose on most air drill sections. Large 1/2″ drop hoses let oil move in & out of cylinders very rapidly. But don’t be fooled by the size of the hoses: The flow requirements are relatively low—for 48 rows, the UniForce takes only 4 – 8 GPM (for comparison, the air cart fan needs 25 – 30 GPM). (*Box drills use 1/2″ header hoses.)

Call for UniForce pricing and receive a free quote. All of our Exapta team members have hands-on experience with UniForce. They can answer your questions and work up a quote for you.

Optional Accumulator

For those who farm in terraces, especially when using only a single rank of openers, Exapta offers an optional 2.5-gallon accumulator for the UniForce system (JD 50/60/90/Pro) on air drills, or a pair of 1-gallon accumulators for a pair of box drills towed together on a hitch. When hitting terraces square-on, even the largest-capacity tractors can’t supply enough oil flow to keep the pressure constant, but our accumulator improves this considerably. (If you don’t farm in terraces, you don’t need an accumulator.)

Includes brackets, hoses, fittings

More UniForce Hydraulic Downpressure Testimonials

UniForce Hydraulic Downpressure Videos

See the UniForce system in action
Installing cylinders for UniForce hydraulic down-pressure system

About the UniForce hydraulic down-pressure system

In the News

Don Titlon shares with No-Till Farmer about his experience with UniForce. Read more.

Exapta Solutions’ new UniForce hydraulic down-force Replaces the OEM springs on each opener with hydraulic cylinders to apply uniform force to the opener throughout its range of travel, for greatly reduced hairpinning of residue and much better holding of opener depth. Read More

Tom Cannon shares with No-Till Farmer that the Exapta upgrades to his drill including UniForce allowed him to lower his soybean seeding rate from 150,000 seeds down to 100,000! 1/3 lower seeding rate! As Tom stated, “That is a huge savings when you look at today’s high seed costs.” Read More

“Last fall was extremely hard and dry for wheat sowing. I was able to hold the depth much better with the [UniForce] hydraulic system than I would’ve with the JD springs. We left one opener with the JD spring on it, and it was visibly jumping around [riding out] compared to the rows with hydraulics.”
Alan Aufdemberge
Lincoln, KS, Exapta customer since ‘08 (UniForce on 40-ft JD 1890)
“Before installing UniForce the drill openers looked like a piano board being played. Now that UniForce is installed, it is amazing to see how no opener bounce occurs. The entire drill has consistent down-pressure, giving us uniform depth. We are now obtaining what we set out to accomplish. ” [2019 update] “Since adding UniForce, I’ve been able to reduce my soybean seed population from 165,000 to 140,000, so a savings of 25,000/acre. This saves me about $8/acre.”
David Hoar
Campbellsburg, IN, Exapta customer since 2016 (43-ft JD Single rank 1690 CCS, 32 openers on 15” spacing)
“Seed placement is beautiful, wet or dry, almost like a planter. In combine tracks, tractor tracks, grain cart tracks—it’s all at the same depth. All the seeds are down in the bottom of the furrow and firmed in, right where they should be, with loose soil over the top…UniForce, along with Thompson wheels, have taken a mediocre drill and turned it into a truly superior-performing seeding tool. It’s not just a slight improvement, it’s night and day. A lot of people will give a testimonial on something just because they’ve spent the money, but I am impressed. I was skeptical and dragging my feet about purchasing UniForce, but the results are stark and undeniable. [2019 update] Extremely pleased. We’re seeding beans into 170-bushel corn stalks, and I believe these are the best stands I’ve ever had—with the worst seed I’ve ever had [low-vigor as determined by Cold Germ and AA]. I’m absolutely convinced that anyone running this type of drill will find this system highly beneficial.”
Kent Stones
Lebanon, KS, Exapta customer since '99 (UniForce & T-whls on 42-ft JD 1890 on 7.5" spacing)
“In hard, dry bean stubble, [the UniForce] stuck [the wheat seeds] in there better. The stands were more consistent in wheel tracks and drier areas. Overall, slightly more uniform stands, and more uniform emergence. After seeing the results on our 1895 last fall [2016], I felt strongly enough about it to outfit our 60-ft 1890 with UniForce.” (And Mike spends his money super-carefully.)
Mike Arnoldy
Kennebec, SD, Exapta customer since ’01 (UniForce on 43-ft JD 1895 & 60-ft JD 1890)

Chris Horton

Chris Horton brings 25 years of management with him. He grew up on his grandparents farm in Reno County Kansas where they mainly grew wheat and cattle feed. He worked on feed lots as a pen rider and cow-calf operations before moving to Southern California where Chris started a new career in the transportation and transport logistics, eventually managing the western region for a large commercial vehicle leasing company. Chris moved home to Kansas, to manage a local Farmers Coop and then eventually the service dept for a tractor dealership. The opportunity to join the Exapta team came up, and he knew he wanted to be a part of this team.

Bob Pagel

Sales & Service Representative

Prior to joining Exapta, Bob Pagel was an Agricultural Territory Sales Manager for Ritchie Brothers, serving parts of MN, WI and IA. He continues to support his family farm in SE Minnesota.

Jon Zeller

Current Product Engineer

Jonathan Zeller joined Exapta excited to return to working with no-till planting equipment. He supported research of no-till planting and other ag related projects for 7 years with Kansas State University’s Agricultural Engineering Department after getting his engineering degree. He later worked 3 years for Landoll Company, LLC. where he gained experience in a design engineering role. Jonathan grew up on a small family farm in NE Kansas working with row crops, hay and cattle. Jonathan enjoys solving engineering problems and improving or creating products to be robust and easy to install and service.