To get more acres planted when it is wet, and save money and increase yield potential at the same time, Jeff and Jerry Oberholtzer, Mohall, N.D., have modified their planter. They have:
•Installed a Pattison variable rate section control system on their 2013 24-row 1770 NT John Deere planter. The controller is tied into the GS3 screen which automatically turns on and off different sections of the planter to eliminate seed and fertilizer overlap as they go around potholes and wet spots. A similar setup is also used to control the NH3 on the air seeder. It saves them 20-30% on their seed and fertilizer bill, Jeff says.
•Put an in-furrow fertilizer system on the planter. Jeff equipped the planter with an in-furrow fertilizer system with a Micro-Trak SafeGuard blockage system and a Micro-Trak FlowTrak II monitor for rate info. The in-furrow system is also used to apply a mix of liquid inoculant and water for double inoculation of soybeans. The liquid cart runs on duals.
•Added after-market trash, gauge and closing wheels. Last year they used Martin floating trash cleaners and a John Deere bubble coulter in front of the planter opener and Mudsmith gauge wheels and Furrow Cruiser closing wheels behind the opener.
The Oberholtzers have at least two more planter improvements in mind. They'd like to replace the four center frame wheels with a track system from Gramlow LTD and add an active down force to each opener and the trash cleaners.
"Those things would get us to the next level," Jeff says.
Seed Sense saves
Brady Nelson and his father, Craig, Verona, N.D., installed a Precision Planting 20/20 Seed Sense System in a 1997 16-row,1770 Conservation John Deere planter. The first time they used it, the system immediately saved them some big bucks because they discovered that their planter was doing a much worse job metering flat corn seed than they had thought.
The Seed Sense system automatically calculated the loss per acre they were going to suffer because of the skips and doubles and displayed the figure right in the cab.
"It was $20 per acre," Craig says.
Read more in the April issue of Dakota Farmer. You can find it online at http://farmprogress.com/customPage.aspx?p=71.