A few weeks ago we featured Clint Arnholt, Columbus, busy spending lots of money and time to convert his new John Deere planter into the planter he wanted to no-till into cover crops on the farm. He rearranged things so he could apply two types of fertilizer, added residue wheels, changed out the vacuum metering for Precision Planting components, and did much more so the planter could handle his conditions and plant accurately.
Two months later he reports that although it took a while to get a few glitches out, he's happy with the planter. He's planting here into cover crop that was burned down before planting. Rains in late May made it difficult to finish planting, but most of his crop was planted in a timely fashion.
Since he knew he wanted to no-till and maintain cover crops, he geared up the planter to handle those conditions. He even figured out how to have pairs of two units shut off at the end of rows to save seed without using traditional clutches offered by companies.
Note that there are markers on the planter. While he uses RTK GPS and can plant without markers at night, his sales rep convinced him to buy the planter with markers.
"It was an expense I thought I could do without, but he convinced me if I ever sell it, it would help resale value," Clint says.
The real reason he sided with going with the markers is because occasionally, in fields surrounded by trees on their farm, he may temporarily lose signal. It may not be for long, but with markers he can continue planting until the signal comes back. He considers it as sort of an insurance policy so that he can keep planting even without GPS signals. That happens rarely, however, he adds.