Because of a small window of opportunity for spring seeding, western Canada no-tillers are investing in large capacity equipment to get drilling and spraying done in a hurry.
Robert Jurgens, an ag sales representative for Hi-Way Service in Lethbridge, Alberta, works with a number of farm customers who no-till huge acreages, such as one grower who no-tills 17,000 acres.
“He bought a pair of 500-horsepower STX 500 Case IH tractors 2 years ago to pull a pair of air seeders,” says Jurgens. “Then he traded them in on two more huge horsepower tractors after one year of use when the originals still had plenty of value. As a result, I sold this farmer four big horsepower tractors in 2 years and then turned around and sold two of them to other growers as used equipment.”
Several other customers no-till 6,000 to 9,000 acres with just one large horsepower tractor that pulls a 57 1/2- to 63-foot air drill.
“Another customer purchased a single-disc, triple-shoot drill to use on 5,000 acres of canola,” says Jurgens. “With accurate placement of 3 pounds per acre of canola seed, he’s saving $22,000 a year in seed costs alone compared to using an older drill. Not only does he place the seed exactly where he wants it for top yields, but he saves on seed cost since less is needed with more accurate placement.”
Leasing self-propelled sprayers is also a sizeable part of Jurgens’ business. “I have one farm customer with a sizeable no-till acreage…