When corn kept growing and rains kept falling in Greene County and other surrounding counties in southwestern Indiana last spring, Bill Fuller decided it was time to get creative. The manager of the Crop Production Services outlet at Worthington and his crew dreamed up ways to help farmers who still needed to get nitrogen on corn accomplish the task.
One of the simpler changes was switching out tires on the anhydrous wagons that farmers pull through the fields. Fuller and company decided to switch to bigger diameter tires on a number of the anhydrous wagon rigs in their fleet. "We found that told Jeep tires fit really well and did what we wanted to do," he says.
The goal was to raise the frame several inches off the ground so that the wagon would clear taller corn. While it might not seem like a few inches are a big deal, when corn is in the fast growth stage and you're trying to get nitrogen on as quickly as possible, it makes a big difference, Fuller says.
"It definitely helped some people get through corn that would have been too big to pull regular wagons over," he recalls. "Some guys were wondering how they were going to get nitrogen on. Some people didn't get any N on preplant because it was too wet. Then it stayed wet when corn should have been sidedressed.
"What this did was buy us time. It eliminated the wagon axle as a problem in breaking over corn, and helped guys get through some corn that otherwise would have been too tall for them to go through," he says,.
The bigger sized tires are staying on the wagons that Fuller and his crew switched for last year. He'll be prepared in case of another wet spring, whether it's this year or in the future. Plus, he saw another advantage.
"We actually felt like the wagons rolled better through the field," he says. "It seemed like they handled better. We're going to leave the big tires that we put on in place."