Each pass you make through the field with your planter this spring will be the most important trip of the year. New precision technology is making sure that pass puts the best seed choice and right number of seeds in precisely the right place with the perfect amount of down pressure to give the seed the best chance possible. Today’s monitors are sending the data seed by seed to your tractor cab. Plot studies show getting it right adds bushels to the bottom line.
With margins tightening, farmers recognize that this new planter technology is one place where the investment dollars can be justified, says Bill Lehmkuhl, president of Precision Agri Services Inc. in Minster. “Planter setup is critical to a successful growing season,” says Lehmkuhl, who conducts more than a dozen planter clinics around the country each year. “If it’s not right at planting, it won’t be right at harvest.”
The company offers a variety of agronomic services, but more than 40% of its business is servicing planters and upgrading them to add the technology that will make farmers more confident in their planter’s performance. No two farms are exactly the same, and no two farmers want their planters set up the same way.
“If you take two no-tillers who live across the road from each other and swap their planters, neither will be completely happy with the way the planter is set up,” Lehmkuhl told attendees at the National No-Till Conference this year. “As they start micromanaging the setup of the planter, they find more and more things they want to change.”
As a result, Precision Agri Services Inc. is now offering custom-built planters to farmers who know what specifications they want but can’t buy exactly what they want from a manufacturer.
“I know farmers who removed $30,000 worth of OEM equipment from a new planter and replaced it with $30,000 worth of different equipment,” says Charlie Troxell, sales and technology specialist for Precision Agri Services Inc. in South Charleston. “We can provide a better investment to the farmer by custom-building the planter he wants, and he doesn’t have to buy all the extras that he didn’t want on the manufacturer’s planter to start with.”
The custom planters are built on a Harvest International toolbar, which provides a narrow-transport fold design. “It’s a clean, high-quality toolbar that is well-designed for transport and maintenance. And it enables us to put whatever kind of row units and Precision Planting equipment the farmer wants,” Troxell says.
“We make the toolbar as easy as possible to add any gadgets or gizmos a farmer wants,” says Brandon Keis, toolbar rep for Harvest International Inc. based in Storm Lake, Iowa. “We provide the hydraulic lines and mounts and ports and brackets to support the technology. It has been popular for precision planting.”
Troxell is building the first unit to use on land he farms with his father. It will also be taken to various fields for demonstration purposes.
“Farmers know that as fast as technology is changing today, they need to adapt and grow with the new technology,” Troxell says. “By custom-building a planter, we give you your planter, your way.”
This article published in the March, 2015 edition of OHIO FARMER.
All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2015.
Precision Farming Technology (Equipment)