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Home-Built Planter Plants No-Till or Conventional
Delaware farmer William Parker, of Harrington, designed and built his own planter for conventional and no-till corn and soybeans. The one planter can plant conventional, no-till, wide rows, or narrow rows."
His biggest home-built planter stretches out just over 25 ft. wide to accommodate eight planter boxes spaced for 38inch corn rows. To convert it for soybeans, he attaches five more planter boxes, making it a 13row planter.
The planter is equipped with International planter units mounted on a toolbar Parker built from scratch, a 500 gallon herbicide tank, and two 110gallon tanks for liquid fertilizer.
Parker has a tractor and trailer equipped with a 2,500-gallon water tank, and a special set of pumps for filling up with chemicals and fertilizers in the field. "I can do a complete fill up and get back to the field in 10 minutes," he says.
Another feature of the farmmade planter is the simple hydraulic system that runs the row markers and the folding mechanism with the same cylinders. Says Parker: "We can fold up to go through a gate or down a road, then unfold in the field without wasting any time."
For no-till planting the planter has rolling coulters to cut through trash, double disk openers mounted ahead of each planter box, followed by ribbed covering tires.
Parker, who has an agricultural engineering degree, designed his planter for efficiency. He can plant up to 100 acres a day, depending on the type of field, soil, and weather conditions. A lot of the time saving comes from the quick tank filling system and the easy folding mechanism.
By adding extra planter units on the toolbar, the machine is quickly converted for planting soybeans in narrow rows.
Parker crops over 2,100 acres and manages a 100-cow dairy herd. He's not interested in building his planter for commercial sale, but is willing to give tips to anyone interested about how it works and about no-till cropping in general. Contact: William Parker, Route 3, Box 138, Harrington, Del. 19952 (ph 302 398-3722).

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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #6