Allan Brooks planter

Building a Customized $350,000 Planter from the Ground Up

Seeking to ratchet up performance, Allan Brooks and a local dealer built a new machine from the “ground up” to fit the unique needs of this no-tiller’s farm.

Pictured Above: TWO MAJOR NEEDS. In designing a 24-row planter for 30-inch rows, Allan Brooks says accurate nutrient placement was an absolute must. So was effective seed singulation, which is extremely critical with several vegetable crops

Even though a 7-year-old 24-row John Deere planter was still effectively handling planting tasks, Allan Brooks spent 3 years debating whether investing in new seeding equipment made long-term economic sense. 

Starting in 2017, the Markesan, Wis., grower of vegetables for the processing market and other crops came across several new innovations that influenced his thinking.

“It wasn’t just one thing but many, as new fertilizing and seeding innovations were coming fast,” he says. “I thought I was going to hang back for a while, but I kept gathering information on products that might work in a totally new planter package.”

Ground Up Design

As a result, he decided to build a new planter for the 2020 cropping year from the ground up while incorporating many of the latest bells and whistles. Brooks was specifically looking for innovations that would provide more accurate nutrient placement and seed spacing.

Helping Brooks manage the operation and handling most of the planting is Alex Grover. The operation includes 2,235 tillable acres, with about 150 acres double-cropped in July to green beans after harvesting early peas that were planted around April 10. 

Other crops include sweet corn, snap beans, lima beans and winter wheat in a 4-5-year rotation. He also grows barley and wheat to provide seed for an…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings