Saturday, November 10, 2012

How Do I Make My NoTill Planter Work Better?

I got another good email question yesterday and thought I would share how I answered it.  He stated where he farmed and described his planter and I took it from there."

"I used to report to the Extension office in Trotwood. I have a friend Tom Hertlein there I haven't seen in a long while but I do see the Stebbins brothers on County Line Rd and buy some chems from our good NAT friend Philip Huffman nearby.


"I have read many of your posts on new agtalk forums, and others too, mainly referring to your white 5100 planter. A little over a year ago I bought my first planter, a white 5100, from a former customer of mine. I have gleaned a lot of information about this planter from your posts. I am writing to you just to get, first hand, any recommendations that you might have for me. I am interested in your thoughts about what is needed to make this as near as perfect as possible no till planter."

For me, the Martin setup works best on that planter. The full Martin setup costs $1000 per row or so unless you can buy some parts used cheaper like the row cleaners.

"For a little background my planter is an 8 row 30" vertical fold. No starter of any kind right now, when I plant my corn in 2014 I will probably do some type of in-furrow set up. It has yetter frame mounted no-till coulters."

My partner Les had one but he traded it off before I could Martinize it.

"It has keaton(that is Eugene Keeton, Howard Martin's friend, Keeton works in the trench, rebounder works above the trench)s on 6 rows and schaffert rebounders on row 7 and 8 for a comparison. I had to switch them out any way due to damage. It was already converted to 2 - 12 inch closing wheels so I changed them out for two 13 inch Martin spade wheels."

That's a good move, that is superior to any closing system I have seen.
"I didn't run a drag chain last year but I can see how it would help in certain situations."

I like that extra 20 inches of crumbling and leveling in all conditions offered from the 40 inch long, 3/8 inch square chained looped and dangling behind the spading, tilling wheels.

"I have been very impressed by the dawn curve tine, but new ones are expensive and used Martins are cheap, just more contankerous depending on soil conditions."

The Martin row cleaner is the best I have found and the small row cleaner reversed as a spading, tilling, closing wheel makes the best closing wheel I have ever seen.

"I would like to have row cleaners but this year's crop didn't do well (12 Bu beans) so that is for another year."

Get Martins someway somehow when you decide to put row cleaners on your planter.

"I've been thinking about the RID gauge wheels,"

Case IH invented those gauge wheel tires and made the Early Riser planter famous.  Those will allow you to plant in near tacky condtions, the whole system is designed to plant when others are working ground so you gain planting days and yield.

The best thing I ever did was take the coulters off and use a single disk opener 2 plus inches off the side to put N and S off the row in corn or calcium nitrate and water beside corn or beans.

"especially since a 20/20 and Air Force aren't in my budget right now. Any advice and suggestions would be very much appreciated."

Look at Jeff Littrel's principles, they use the Martin planter with fertilizer openers on both sides in the U trough system, best corn and beans I saw in the US.

http://fhrfarms1.com/

You can see my old planter at Jim Smith's near Ft Wayne, I can arrange a visit.

New Carlise has good prices on parts but Dave Moeller in Iowa is the most knowledgeable sales source/mechanic/trouble shooter I have met.

http://moelleragservice.com/

You are welcome here anytime.

937-728-1478

That planter is the very best, high yielding notill planter I have ever operated.  I have witnesses, too.

Ed

3 comments:

  1. Ed,

    I'm Nathan (forty2366 on NAT).

    You might want to rethink putting RID gauge wheels on your planter. The early riser row unit that CIH uses has a set of shoes following the seed tube to keep dry powdery dirt from falling into the seed trench on top of the seed. With a OEM gauge wheel the rubber presses the dry soil so it doesn't fall on top of the seed so it does not have/need the shoe. With the RID gauge wheel the two inches around the trench will not be firmed and will be prone to crumbling into the bottom of the seed trench. If that dry powdery soil gets in the seed trench emergence will be hurt because that seed won't get adequate moisture.

    I hope this helps you in making a decision,
    Nathan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for your contribution. I've heard the warning for 17 years now but never experienced it. I never have dry enough soil to cause that to happen.

    My problem was the notill coulter causing too much sidewall compaction or having to wait until it was so dry you had to have the coulter to cut a slice ahead of the double disk openers. When I took them off, no more sidewall slabbing or compaction.

    Then I added the RID tires to lift and even explode the sidewalls even more. I got even better germination. I have planted through standing water in a ditch and the corn came up. I know that is extreme but I saw it happen.

    I have used that setup when it was a little too wet and a little too dry and even behind tillage and it works better than the original setup so I am very sold on it.

    I have taught this concept in 17 states, Canada, Europe and helped the first farmer adapt notill corn in New Zealand.

    The new gauge wheel tires come closer to the RID tires so it's not as important as it was 17 years ago but I hear ya, I do hear you. Thanks for your comment and keep contributing, please.

    Ed

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