Swap Last-Minute No-Till Machinery Tips For Extra Dollars

There’s no better time than now to fine-tune your no-till seeding system.

As you get ready to no-till this spring, check out these practical no-till planter and drill adjustment and modification ideas that will help you improve stands, yields and profits in 2004.

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These practical ideas came out of a recent Nu-Till System seminar in Indianapolis, Ind. Two owners of the Davenport, Iowa, based company that each no-till a sizeable acreage offered a number of equipment ideas that will be of special interest of No-Till Farmer readers. Terry Metzer of Fulton, Ill., and Kevin Newgard of Cedar Falls, Iowa, follow the three-pronged Nu-Till approach that is based on managing air and water in the soil, providing effective nutrient management and modifying and adjusting no-till planters and drills for each farming operation.

1. There is no ideal way to set up a no-till planter or drill for all conditions.

2. When investing machinery dollars, start with the no-till planter, then a sprayer and then maybe a combine. “Don’t pull an old no-till planter with a brand new tractor,” says Newgard. “Instead, invest in new technology that will have the biggest impact on your yields and profits.”

3. When you no-till, leave a tilled 4- to 6-inch wide strip with the planter where you will place seed.

4. Pneumatic pressure is the ideal way to adjust down pressure on a no-till planter. When no-till planter units start bouncing, you can adjust the down pressure by simply hitting a switch in the tractor cab. “The cost for the pneumatic pressure system is minimal when compared…

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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.

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