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PVC Inserts Convert Drill To Row Planter
Why buy a row planter for limited acres when you already have a perfectly good drill? That was Scott Pfortmiller's thought when his dad wanted to plant 150 acres to grain sorghum. His dad had just purchased a new Crustbuster no-till drill for their wheat operation.
"Rather than buying another piece of equipment, I chose to adapt the Crustbuster," says Pfortmiller. "I could have just covered the extra openings with magnets to create the 22 1/2-in. row spacings. However, we would have needed a lot of seed or had to constantly stop and level off the seed. The alternative was to make simple box inserts over the preferred spacings."
Pfortmiller found that 5 by 5-in. pvc post housings fit neatly into the square holes in the bottom of the drill box where grain funneled downwards. Each would hold about 12 lbs. of grain sorghum seed, enough to plant about 25 acres when all were filled. What he needed was a way to stabilize them and hold them in position.
"The boxes were 19 1/2-in. tall, and with 22 1/2-in. row spacings, there would be two in each drill box section," explains Pfortmiller. "I needed to keep them upright and in place side-to-side."
Pfortmiller used U-bolts to secure two lengths of 1/2-in. pvc pipe to each pair of boxes. The top piece butts up to the right side upright in the drill box while the bottom piece butts up to the left side upright. By tightening down both sets of U-bolts once the pipes were in place, neither box could move to the side. A U-bolt with wing nuts was also installed in the sides of the pvc seed boxes.
"I installed a short length of pvc pipe through the U-bolt so it ran perpendicular to the pieces that ran the length of the drill boxes," explains Pfortmiller. "I pushed the pvc seed boxes against the back of the drill box and pushed the pipe against the front and then tightened the wing nut on each box so it can't move front to back."
To change row spacing, all Pfortmiller has to do is loosen the wing nuts to move the boxes and add more, if needed. Filling the seed boxes is easy, too. His dad sticks an old funnel in each box and uses an ice cream bucket to fill it
Best of all, the entire system cost less than a fill of diesel fuel and a whole lot less than even a used row planter . "I spent about $120 and three hours on it," says Pfortmiller.
The idea was good enough that it was accepted in the Farmer Idea Exchange at the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Pfortmiller and his wife received a free trip and recognition at the event.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Scott Pfortmiller, 218 S. Union, Stafford, Kansas 67578 (ph 620 546-3947; sjpfortmiller @hotmail.com).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #2