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One-Pass Drill Applies Liquid And Dry Fertilizer
"I farm land in a high rainfall area of northeastern Oregon using a wheat-alfalfa rotation with conventional tillage and limited irrigation. The rotation consists of up to 4 years of continuous wheat, so with the narrow profit margins in grain crops, I need to get the most out of those crops," says David Miller, Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
  "In the past I would make two trips across fields to fertilize and finish the seedbed, which would result in a loss of moisture. I took a look at no-till drills that do multiple operations in one pass but decided I wanted a one-pass drill for conventional tillage. I wanted to be able to put down dry starter fertilizer for the emerging plants and also put down primary nitrogen and sulfur for later growth.
  "I already owned a Deere 8200 12-ft. drill with disc openers on 6-in. spacing. The 8200 has capacity for about 1,400 lbs. of wheat seed but no fertilizer. I decided to modify it.
  "The first thing I did was to modify a dry fertilizer box I bought from Barber Engineering. I reduced its capacity to 1,000 lbs. of dry fertilizer and mounted it in front of the grain box on the drill. There are other models of fertilizer boxes available that'll fit Deere drills but they're limited both in fertilizer and seed capacity so you have to stop too often.
  "The Barber fertilizer box uses a metered feed screw with individual openings along the bottom that feed fertilizer into plastic 1 1/4-in. drop tubes running to the disc openers.
  "Instead of using the rear opening built into the disc opener casting, I found a plastic Y' fitting from Deere that's used on some corn planters to channel the fertilizer and seed through the front opening in the disc opener. This allows a more direct line for the fertilizer tube to follow which prevents any bridging of fertilizer inside the tubes.
  "All parts of the delivery system are either pvc plastic or stainless steel to prevent corrosion. The fertilizer feed screw is driven off the main drive on the drill for the seed metering drive. That way, when the openers are lifted, both seed and fertilizer drops are disengaged.
  "The second addition I made to the drill was mounting a 2-in. square toolbar just ahead of the openers. It's supported by the main frame of the drill. The toolbar is equipped with 12 fertilizer knives, centered between every other opener on the drill. The knives band liquid urea solution 3 in. to the side of the furrow and 2 in. below the seed. The knives are rolled up out of the ground with a hydraulic cylinder. A hydraulic-controlled ball valve is plumbed into the cylinder circuit to stop fertilizer flow when the knives are raised out of the ground. Deere cultivator tool clamps provide depth and spacing adjustment for knives on the toolbar. The liquid fertilizer is carried in saddle tanks on the tractor and delivered by a pto roller pump to manifolds on the drill which are equipped with metering orifices.
  "By making the placement of starter and liquid fertilizer more precise, lower application rates are possible, less residue is turned up from tillage, and we eliminated the expense and moisture loss that we had before from making two extra passes across fields. The knives disturb little ground and have the added advantage of removing tractor tire tracks ahead of the drill."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David J. Miller, 85090 Winesap Rd., Milton-Freewater, Ore. 97862 (ph 541 938-6253).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2