5 Time and Money Saving Tips to Put to Use Ahead of Planting

From regularly replacing disc openers to keeping hydraulic hoses elevated and secure, Illinois strip-tiller Dave Delhotal adheres to an annual checklist before putting a single seed in the ground.

WE STARTED no-tilling in the early 2000s, and in 2010 started strip-tilling before we went full-bore into it in 2013 and eliminated all conventional tillage. In 2017, we completely eliminated broadcast fertilizer applications and went 100% strip-till for both corn and soybeans which was a goal that I had set in 2013. 

Now that we’ve made the transition to strip-till from conventional tillage, we’re expecting a lot more out of our equipment. We’re running in much tougher conditions and going to find those flaws in the field earlier in the season. 

Our mistakes are spread across more acres. Just one little mistake, like a broken spring on a closing wheel or something like that, can cost valuable time and money. 

I’m sure every single one of us has planted 80 acres, then stopped to fill up with seed, walked around the planter and wondered ‘Did that spring fall off during the last pass or was it two fields ago?’ Breakdowns cost a lot of money. 

So here are a few lessons learned from my experience preparing for planting and trying to prevent and plan for potential problems before I get into the field.

Disc Openers

In my opinion, disc openers get overlooked a lot more than they should. I can’t tell you how many farmers, at least in our area, will run a planter 4-5 years and never even put openers on the row units.

They are relatively cheap for what they’re doing. We try to replace them at least…

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Dave delhotal

Dave Delhotal

Dave Delhotal is part of a fifth generation corn and soybean farm located in northern Illinois. The Delhotal family’s mission is to practice the best land stewardship possible in order to leave the land in better condition than what they found it in.

Dave does this through precision nutrient placement, variable-rate application, as well as environmentally friendly farming practices such as zone-tillage and no-till. The Delhotal family farm also maintains thousands of feet of waterways and buffer strips for water management.

Dave continues to embrace new technology that not only helps him be more efficient but also helps him take better care of the land.

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