It used to be that the primary task of a corn head was to harvest corn: separate the ear from the stalk with as little grain loss as possible, while collecting as little trash as possible, says Marion Calmer, a no-till farmer with Calmer Corn Heads in Alpha, Ill. But as growers look to better integrate field operations, the corn head is playing an increasingly important role in managing crop residue as well.
The yield-robbing effects of soil compaction continue to be a major challenge for growers, but proponents of deep-tilling say they have an answer for returning compacted soils to fertile, highly productive acres.
Vertical tillage is described as a system of soil management that promotes root development. It's also sometimes called "soiling" or zone tillage because it's used to fracture the entire soil profile from the bottom up using specially designed vertical tillage tools. According to the Precision Planting Co., each tillage pass is designed to increase the vertical flow of nutrients, water and developing roots. Tillage points of the tools work to “heave” the entire section of earth from just below the line that separates topsoil from subsoil.
For more timely no-tilling, John Deere in late August introduced the 1990 CCS no-till air drill as a replacement for the 1890 model. For big-acreage growers, these new no-till drills offer many options for designing a high-capacity seeding rig to fit your operation.
Lewis Krueger, CEO of Cross Slot No-Till Systems in Appleton, WIs., talks about the unique seed delivery mechanism of the Cross Slot drill, how the gangs can be raised and lowered for different row spacing options, and some design and production changes that are in the works now that these machines are being made in the U.S.
Finding solutions to the problems farmers face is what inspired Harry and Etta Yetter to open a small machine shop in west central Illinois in the 1930s. Today, four generations later, Yetter continues the tradition of solving agricultural problems to meet the needs of producers all over the world.
Needham Ag understands the role of technology in making better use of limited resources within a specific environment by drawing on a wealth of global experience to overcome the challenges facing today's farmers, manufacturers and dealers.