Q: What Was Your Worst Planting Experience Ever?

It was 2016 and our first year planting green. The fertilizer coulter opened up the ground on one side of the row, and the row units twisted their parallel arms to go the path of least resistance and followed that opening. The twist was significant enough to affect the row spacing by several inches. Also, because of the rooted mass of the cover crop, the space between the fertilizer coulter and the row unit tore free of the soil and became a loose strip of sod that would not allow the seed row to close. It turned hot and dry, and 6 weeks after planting, I could still grab that strip of sod, lift it up and there was my seed row. 

— Larry Dyck, Campden, Ont.

In 2023, after losing both my mother and father, my son and I grew 3,200 acres of food grade soybean and popcorn under contract, which limits our planting time frame. Just before planting season, both planters had a recall. When we finally went to the field, nothing seemed to want to work. 

On the last day we could plant popcorn according to the contract, I had one 428-acre popcorn field left and was determined to get it planted. But the technician spent the whole day traveling back and forth between the corn planter and the bean planter. By 6 p.m., I had only planted 10 acres and made the call to switch out the rest of the popcorn to soybeans. 

Next day, my…

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Maclaren Krueger

Maclaren Krueger was an editorial intern for No-Till FarmerStrip-Till FarmerCover Crop Strategies and other Lessiter Media publications. They have a background in photography and graduated with a degree in English, Creative Writing and Publishing from the University of Iowa. 

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