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Twin-Row Corn And Bean Planter
Dennis Wallace, St. Bernard, Quebec, wanted the benefits of narrow rows but he didn't want to switch to 15-in. rows because it would have required switching to narrower tires on his tractor and sprayer and buying a different corn head for his combine.
  To solve the problem he built a twin-row planter out of two Case-IH 800 6-row air planters, one ahead of the other. He replaced the double disc openers on the Case-IH row units with single disc openers off a Flexi-Coil air seeder. The result is a rig that plants six sets of twin rows spaced 8 in. apart, with 22 in. between each set of rows.
  "It gives me the yield benefits of soybeans in 15-in. rows, without having to buy a new planter and spend time and money modifying my tractors and other equipment," says Wallace.
  He bought the two pull-type Case-IH 800 6-row planters at a junkyard. The two planters are connected by a pair of hinged steel beams. The back planter is supported by a pair of dolly wheels. He stripped off the original row units and mounted Flexi-Coil single disc fertilizer and seed openers on each planter. The air modules deliver seed to the Flexi-Coil units.
  "I built it 1 1/2 years ago and used it last year to plant all my soybeans and about 40 acres of corn. I was able to drive all my equipment between the rows with no problems. My soybeans averaged about 56 bu. per acre, compared to the 50 bu. per acre I'd been getting with drilled beans. My corn yields were comparable to the rest of my corn which I planted in 30-in. rows," says Wallace.
  "A lot of corn growers have switched from 30-in. rows to 20 or 15-in. rows without knowing for sure that it'll pay off. A 3-year University of Ontario trial shows that twin corn rows usually yield better on poor land. However, on better land there's not a big yield increase. If I ever decide to plant soybeans in 15-in. rows, I can just loosen the brackets on the row units and move them over.
  "However, planting soybeans in twin rows has several advantages. It saves me about $10 per acre on soybean seed costs compared to planting with a drill. I get better control of white mold disease because there's more air movement between the rows. I planted some Roundup Ready beans and some conventional. Where I sprayed with an herbicide other than Roundup there were weeds between the sets of twin rows, but no weeds inside them due to a dense canopy.
  "The single disc openers penetrate the ground much easier than double disc openers and make it easier to control seed depth. I farm a lot of different soil types, from muck soils with 30 percent organic matter to clay with only 5 percent organic matter in the same field. I always had trouble getting double disc openers to penetrate the clay soil.
  "In corn I place a single band of dry fertilizer between each set of twin rows. If I planted in 15-in. rows I'd need twice as many fertilizer openers which would make the planter much heavier and much more expensive.
  "Each hopper holds 15 bu. I can plant 25 to 28 acres of beans at a time per fill-up."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dennis Wallace, 243 Roxham Rd., St. Bernard, Quebec, Canada J0J 1V0 (ph 450 247-2469; E-mail: denkat@videotron.ca).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2