Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The new soybean planter-air drill arrived last week. It has impressed me with its size. This new one has a lot more iron in it. The old drill weighed in at about 19000 pounds, but this one, if I read the specs right, weighs 35,000 pounds! It certainly looks heavier. The main frame’s tires are beefier, too, to carry the additional weight. This one’s 50-foot working width folds in 5 sections, compared to three on the old 40-foot drill. We had it unfolded once after it arrived, but I failed to snap a picture of it in operating position. I’ll capture that image the next time we hook it to the tractor, and share that picture with you.
The 60 rows are spaced 10 inches apart… which is a little different from other planting systems used in SW Indiana. Most are 15-inches, some are 7.5 inches. I think the row spacing is an ideal balance of seed costs, planter cost, and agronomic considerations like crop shading of the area between the rows.
My goal for this wider working width is that I can slow down a tiny bit during planting, to gain some precision with seed placement into the soil. Probably I’ll drive 5.5 to 5.8 mph, rather than 6.2.
The new air cart, a JD 1910, is very similar to the one traded in… having a 350-bushel seed capacity. This size allows me to fill up in the morning, and plant all day without needing any re-fills. This will allow me to plant, depending on seed size, anywhere from 240 to 360 acres… and for me that’s a pretty good day. This frees up other people to assist in support of the corn planter or any other operation that needs to be occurring on the same day.
After viewing the assembly process in Valley City, North Dakota several days ago, I can appreciate the craftsmanship in this new machine even more. We got to know some of the many people who designed and built our new air drill.