Take Planting Seriously

When farmers are having planting difficulties, Alan Byerly says too many growers think the answer is to simply add more attachments. But the service manager for Precision Equipment in Washington, Iowa, says getting back to the basics of planting should be the first step before spending more dollars.

“We’re taking planting much more seriously and taking the time to explain how to make planters work more effectively without buying aftermarket attachments,” says Byerly.

Peer Pressure Concerns

Byerly believes many farmers think the only way to solve planting problems is to add more attachments. But in many instances, he maintains farmers are throwing money away on planter attachments just to get another 1 or 2 bushels of yield. And he believes much of the popularity for buying attachments is due to peer pressure from neighbors.

“A few years ago, a customer wasn’t happy with his planter performance,” Byerly says. “He was ready to throw some money down on the counter to buy attachments. After I found out what was going on, I showed him how to make that planter do exactly what he wanted without spending another penny.

“He was using the wrong seed discs. I told him that if he had smaller seed discs at home, I’d guarantee making just that little change would solve the problem.”

After planting, the farmer told Byerly the monitor indicated he was putting on the right amount of seed, but that he used less seed corn. That fall, the farmer harvested the same or…

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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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