Looking Forward

With 2018 in the books, it is time to turn the page, looking forward to 2019 and think about the future. 2018 is on that you won't soon forget...and probably won't want to remember either!

Looking forward to 2019, I suggest we look at some of the items that show a promising return on investment (ROI) in the precision equipment market. Automatic sprayer boom shutoffs and planter row shutoffs are two things that have consistently brought back a quick ROI to your farming operation. Year after year, you are saving on overlap and product applied, and you are reducing the damage that occurs when you double up an area with seed or chemical application. Seed cost sings range from 3-12% in a typical field. Chemical savings can also be more than 10% on contoured fields, so the payback is quick, after you make the investment in the technology.

Another technology that I believe we should look at is row-by-row hydraulic downforce. Keeping the planting depth consistent and having plants emerge within 24- 48 hours of each other is the best way to maximize the yield potential in the field. We have been doing downforce trials to see the effects of a Precision Planting DeltaForce system in the corn plots and taking measurements of emergence and yield. We have been doing downforce trials to see the effects of a Precision Planting Delta Force system in the corn plot and taking measurements of emergence and yield. This is our second year of the study and we are finding that the hydraulically-controlled row-by-row systems are consistently outperforming a standard set point system in emergence.

For example: Sanborn, Sioux Center, and Ireton corn plots were planted April 28-May 7. When using the DeltaForce system, 91% of the plants emerged within two days of each other. Compare that to 78.7% emergence of a standard system. That is a 12% improvement of emergence. The rest of the plots (Melvin, Little Rock, and Boyden) were planted May 23-25 in 100 degree heat and emerged in four days. In that environment, the advantage gap narrowed. DeltaForce showed a 96.2% rating verses a standard set point rating of 93.8%

I believe the advantage of using a row-by-row downforce system is going to be huge in 2019. Consider using either Precision Planting's DeltaForce system or Ag Leader®’s SureForce™ system for your planter next year. Consider how that is setting up for a varying seedbed that we will be planting into. The history of wheel tracks, wet spots, and fall applicatons will be hard to get rid of by planting time. Using a hydraulic-controlled downforce system will give you the best stand to maximize yield potential. Farmers Coop Society is a dealer for both AgLeader® and Precision Planting. This means we can give you a quote to see the best option for your operation and your equipment for 2019 and beyond.

Article Written by:
Kevin Rozenboom
Precision Ag Manager