Thursday, February 23, 2012
Today we held the second clinic on the east side of Jennings County at the T&S Farm. We had 50 people yesterday and 40 today.
I didn't speak today, God did. I asked for His intercession and it just flowed out. Yesterday it was me talking and two old farmers challenged everything I said. I explained that to the sponsors and one said, "well you did something right yesterday because those two write bad comments on every evaluation and they both said it was the best meeting they had been to! I guess I shouldn't be so hard on myself. We talked about that at church, in fact, be kind to others and be gentle on yourself. I have to remember that.
Using the Martin row unit on a Deere frame, I explained what every part does from front to back. The row cleaner cleans a level path for the double disk openers on conventional tillage or notill so the openers can make the true Vee where the seed will be placed. Worn out disk openers is a major problem in corn planters as farmers try to see how many acres they can get on them before they fall off. That is the WRONG thing to do. I said scrap is high so throw them away and install new ones.
The Keeton seed firmer tucks each seed at the bottom of a perfect Vee, about 1 1/2 inches deep then the weight of the row unit, about 400 lbs push the RID or reduced inside diameter gauge wheel tires so the dimple lifts the sidewall above the seed to increase germination in notill. I don't think any of them had ever heard that before.
The spading closing wheels gently till like a garden tiller, bringing loose, crumbly soil over the seed trench and the 40 inch drag chain pulls a cup of soil per foot to level and slightly crown the seed trench. As usual they asked about one spiked wheel with one spading wheel and I always say whatever you like but I like two.
I always tell them if you need down pressure springs to push the row unit down even harder then your ground is too hard! That always opens eyeballs and gets them talking. Then we talk about early planting, high calcium lime, gypsum, cover crops, years in notill and all the things that make the surface softer.
Today was mostly young farmers, eager to learn, yesterday was crusty old seasoned farmers from the Show Me State. I guess both went well but today was as good as I could explain it. I showed them the advantage of the new 16 row Deere sitting beside them in total row unit length and how the owner's planter was overhauled to factory specs, both ready to go to the field.