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Build your own planter

Hi-Tech Farming: The CornerStone system from Precision Planting allows for any combination of technologies on one row unit.

Tom J. Bechman

February 9, 2024

3 Min Read
 Precision Planting CornerStone row unit on display
TRIAL YEAR: Precision Planting will beta-test these all-new CornerStone planter row units in fields around the country this spring. Precision Planting

The build-your-own planter concept could take a giant step forward if the CornerStone factory-designed planting system from Precision Planting proves itself in beta testing. You could have the opportunity to buy row units and build your own planter by 2025.

“We’re excited because this project puts all of our technologies together,” says Caleb Schleder, director of technical service and support at Precision Planting.

“These row units are 100% Precision Planting technology,” he says. “Farmers interacted with our engineers, and they got their boots dirty. Features like the rear-tipping hopper prove the point.

“Sometimes, something goes wrong, and you must empty a full seed hopper to inspect parts underneath it. With traditional row units, that can be cumbersome. Running into that situation in the field themselves, our engineers developed this rear-tip feature to empty a full hopper.”

The CornerStone concept will result in factory-ready row units that are new from front to back. “Everything from the W-plate back that attaches a row unit to the bar will be Precision Planting,” Schleder says. “All you need is a standard-height, 7-inch-by-7-inch planter bar. Make your own 12-, 16- or 24-row planter.”

While a list price isn’t yet established, the goal is to position these row units so you can assemble your own planter for less than a new planter costs. Schleder notes that with this new system, 1 plus 1 can equal more than 2.

“We’ve picked up efficiencies designing from scratch that you would not get buying technologies piecemeal,” he says. “We’ve also made tweaks, such as a slight change in angle of the disc opener, that results in less wear and requires less downforce for planting.

“You will order CornerStone row units from Precision Planting with technologies you want. If you don’t need a particular technology, you won’t add it. It can come from the factory just like you want it.”

All of Precision Planting’s technologies are available on CornerStone row units if desired, Schleder says. That includes Conceal, Reveal, FurrowForce and DeltaForce, the automatic down-pressure system. Visit precisionplanting.com.

Chemical discovery

Syngenta and Enko Chem Inc. announce the discovery of novel chemistry to control fungal diseases in cereal crops. Even if you don’t grow cereals, this discovery is worth noting. It was made using a platform that reduces time required for typical research and discovery work.

Camilla Corsi, spokesperson for Syngenta, says Enko employed drug discovery and development approaches used in the pharmaceutical industry. The newly discovered chemical features a new mode of action. Syngenta and Enko hope to use this same approach to discover herbicide solutions for weeds such as Palmer amaranth. Visit syngenta.com and enko.ag.

Radio power

Even in the age of cellular communications, two-way radio communication still meets a need, especially in agriculture. Midland Radio launched breakthrough technology by introducing two heavy-duty speakers: the 20-watt SPK100 External Speaker and the 20-watt SPK200 Amplified External Speaker.

The speakers deliver seamless communication in harsh environments, like on farms with dust and noise. The SPK200 features advanced noise-canceling technology, available at three levels for user preference. Chip technology effectively eliminates background noise. Visit midlandusa.com.

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman is editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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