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4 In. Drill Stops Weeds, Boosts Yields
One of the hottest new cropping ideas sweeping the country is "double seeded" narrow-row small grains. By reducing row spacing in wheat and other small grains to4 in. or less, growers are boosting yields and reducing weed problems. We've tracked down a company in Virginia that specializes in converting Deere drills to the narrow spacing.
FARM SHOW first reported on narrow row grain seeding in 1988 (Vol. 12, No. 3) when we told you about Dave Ryden, Hal-lock, Minn., who boosted yields 50% and totally eliminated the need for herbicides by "double seeding" wheat and barley with a home-built, 2-in-1 narrow-row grain drill built from two older model Deere drills. Seeding 3 1/2 in. spaced rows, Ryden re-ported that the densely seeded crops virtu-ally eliminated weed infestations.
Since that time a number of stories been printed all over the country about "made-itmyself' narrow-seeding rigs, with farmers and university researchers reporting consistent yield increases of 10 to 30 percent even under dry conditions. The boosts in yields, coupled with reduced chemical cost, have created a lot of excitement. But farmers interested in the idea have had trouble following up because no one makes a drill that'll do the job. If you don't have the time or ability to build it yourself, you're out of luck.
Greenline Service Corporation, Fredericksburg, Va., custom-converts Deere drills to 4-in. spacing. To date they've converted model 8300, 515, 520 and 530 drills, both mounted and drawn. They say they can't convert Deere's new 750 drill because the row units are too big to move closer together.
"It's an expensive conversion but once you start planting in narrow rows with higher seeding rates, you almost totally eliminate weeds. We've had a lot of satisfied customers," says Jim Lafferty, of Greenline, a John Deere Dealer. The company also makes a Tramline kit that was recently featured in FARM SHOW (Vol. 14, No.2).
Lafferty notes that plugging problems are more common with narrow row seeding due to the close proximity of row units, and soil moisture is much more critical. "You can't get into the field as quickly after a rain as your neighbor who has a 7-in. drill," he notes.
Converting a drill to narrow rows can nearly double the cost. For example, the cost of a 12-ft. 8300 trailing drill, which would normally be about $8,000, increases to about $14,500 when converted to 4-in. spacing. Lafferty will work on other makes and models of drills on a custom basis.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Greenline Service Corp., P.O. Box 7208, Fredericksburg, Va. 22404 (ph 703 373-7520).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #3