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Timer, Solenoids Leave Unplanted Marker Rows On Grain Drill
"It leaves the second to last rows on each end of my grain drill unplanted for 30 to 40 ft. at the end of the field to serve as guides when I spray postemergence herbicides. Prevents costly skips and over-laps," says Tim Boucher, Crookston, Minn., who uses a timer and a pair of solenoids on his Deere 9350 30-ft. drill to temporarily block off the seed metering cups on two rows.
The timer, which activates the solenoids, mounts in the cab. Each solenoid controls a hinged steel paddle that's mounted over a seed metering cup. A small piece of flat iron is bolted onto the rocker shaft that supports the disc openers and an activator switch is bolted onto the frame of the drill. When the drill is lowered, the flat iron contacts the switch which activates the timer. The timer in turn activates the solenoids, which lower the paddles to close off the two seed metering cups for 7 or 8 seconds. Then the timer kicks off, the paddles open up, and the drill plants normally again. The timer automatically resets itself when the drill is raised at the end of the field.
"It works much better than trying to follow guess rows because the unplanted row sections are much easier to see," says Boucher. "Several neighbors who looked at mine are now building their own.
"I block off the second to last rows so I can still see unplanted rows even if I overlap with the drill. Timer could also be set to come on every so often down the field which would help on hillsides where it's easy to overlap with a drill."
Boucha spent a total of $350, including $160 for the two solenoid switches (de-signed for a Deere lawn tractor), $30 for the activator switch, and $100 for the timer. He bought all the components out of a Grainger catalog (call 800 323-0620; in Ill., call 800 225-7149).
Contact: FARM S HOW Followup, Tim Boucher, Rt.1, Box 62, Crookston, Minn. 56716 (ph 218 281-2058).

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #4