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I'm considering buying a 42-foot John Deere 1850 no-till air drill with a 1900 cart, even though this rig seems so expensive with high maintenance! Since the 1860 drill offers some improvements, should I consider that model instead?
—Scott Arthaud, email@example.com
We’re thinking about buying the same drill, but would like to use liquid fertilizer. Can this be done? Yetter used to make a coulter fertilizer injection system that would work, but I don’t think they offer it anymore.
If you want to put down fertilizer and use a disc opener on a no-till air seeder, the only options are probably the Flexi-Coil with double shoot Barton shoot openers or the Bourgault with mid-row banders. However, a few Great Plains no-till drills are setup to place liquid fertilizer behind the front Turbo coulter.
Double-shoot hoe openers are a simpler, less expensive option if you can live with added soil disturbance.
You need to know if your tractor has open or closed center hydraulics before you make this decision. There’s a kit for each type of hydraulics that is easy to install.
The biggest drawbacks are fertilizer placement, the ability to no-till through large amounts of crop residue and effective seed placement.
Flexi-Coil drills equipped with the Barton opener are not effectively working through large amounts of crop residue in this area. After a number of years of no-tilling, the angled blades become worn and start pushing residue instead of cutting it.
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