Brian Brown likes shooting video from his farm — and with more than 72,000 followers on YouTube, others like what he's doing, too. For the 2020 planting season, Fendt provided Brown with its new Momentum planter to not only plant an Agco Crop Tour plot, but also spend some quality cab time running the machine, which he’s shared at his YouTube page.
Farm Progress caught up with Brown in the early days of planting, when he had put about 200 acres into in the ground, to find out what he’s learning about the machine.
Farming near Chillicothe, Ohio, Brown raises corn, soybeans and wheat, farming with his father and brother. Brown says their land is near the edge of farm country, before the foothills begin.
He shares that when he first saw the planter on the exhibit stand at Commodity Classic and knew one was coming to his farm, “I was pretty blown away with just the fact that it’s a completely different concept,” he says.
Even though it’s a new planter, Brown is running it over his no-till ground and through vertical-tilled cornstalks — and he got a surprise. “No one thinks their fields are really uneven until you start thinking about it,” Brown says.
It turns out his “level ground” wasn’t quite so level, as he saw row units and planter sections on the machine rise and fall across the field. The Momentum’s design has the planter units floating on segments behind the planter. Each segment can raise up and down, and individual row units flex, too. This approach means the planter can go through rolling ground and plant a good stand.
Brown picked some fields with some roll to them, and he has a field where the former operator ran an offset disk in the field, so it was uneven. The Momentum rolled across those rough areas, and Brown could see the flex.
In fact, he wanted to see how much it would flex, so he ran it over a field section where a road had once cut through two fields. “I wasn’t expecting [the seed] to be in the ground,” he says. “I think the planter is rated for 30 inches, but this was like 45 inches, and the seed was still in the ground.”
Features and speed
One feature that is an option on the planter is the tire inflation system. It will drop the tire pressure to 15 psi in the field, and push it back up to 54 psi for road travel. “I’m really impressed with the tire inflation system. That planter is pretty heavy. There’s a lot of metal there, and one thing I noticed in field mode … you can’t really see the footprint of the planter, and that’s something that really impressed me quite a bit,” he says.
The Momentum planter can also plant faster. It uses Precision Planting electric meter row units, but Brown says he could run faster. “I keep forgetting that it’s capable of running at 10 miles an hour,” he says. “So, a lot of times, I’ll look down and I’ll be going six-and-a-half or seven miles an hour. But if I think about it, I’ll bump it back to 10 miles an hour.”
The planter Brown has is outfitted with 130-unit hoppers. Given the weather, he hasn’t fully utilized that capacity, mostly in fear that he would be stuck two weeks and have to switch to corn. That would require emptying the planter to make the crop switch. “You can cover some acres with this planter. It’s really nice to look over at your efficiency and see that number,” he says.
Using a little social distancing, we were able to talk with Brian Brown over Zoom. Check out his video conversation with Willie Vogt, below.