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A: Right now I’m running a pretty basic 12-row, 30-inch planter with John Deere 7000 row units on a Kinze batwing frame, with Copperhead Furrow Cruiser closing wheels, Martin pin-adjust row cleaners, finger meters for corn and Deere meters for soybeans.
I’d really like to have liquid fertilizer on the planter for some fertility flexibility while planting green, and some kind of electric row drive system for our odd-shaped fields and better flexibility on changing populations across soil types. Hydraulic down pressure would be next on the list for more even down pressure in diverse soil types. I’d probably go with Ag Leader on the electric drives and down pressure and save the money on buying a different screen for when we get auto-steer.
Although if I had $45,000 for planter upgrades I would probably just get a newer planter — maybe see if I could get a White 8000 or find a good-priced 9000 series with some upgrades.
— Jacob Landis, Sterling, Ill.
A: First and foremost would be active row-by-row hydraulic down force for the whole row unit. There are so many things that happen naturally in nature, or are controlled by us, that effect the soil and therefore affect how our planters move through it.
I’ve conducted enough side-by-side research myself and seen others do the same to know that the consistency of stand that comes from this technology gives a very short ROI that lets you reinvest the dollars into other areas on the planter.