2007 - Volume #31, Issue #5, Page #17[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Plants Wheat With His Corn Planter
Morley Wallace of North Gower, Ontario, says that in addition to yield boosts, he uses 11 percent less seed because the crop is planted according to seed population rather than by grain weight. Although the rows were wider apart (15-in. rows versus 7-in. with grain drill), more plants grew per row.
"The corn planter is able to achieve a far more accurate and consistent seed depth than a grain drill, regardless of soil conditions," he explains. "The benefits of this system are just phenomenal. I've now done three years of wheat this way, using different farms and different growers, and have consistently seen the average 12 bu. yield increase with the corn planter. Also, the grain quality is a full grade higher."
Consistent seed depth and seed spacing leads to uniform growth and better quality grain, he points out. Because the row spacing is that much wider, it allows more air movement and more crop movement. Wallace says he plants 1.2 million seeds per acre.
He uses a Trimble EZ- Steer GPS system to ensure precision on-row planting with the corn planter, and the GPS is also used to analyze the field and yield data.
His White 6606 corn planter is fitted with inter-plant units. He changes the plates on each seeding row unit for wheat. This results in 11-row, 15-in. wheat rows. He also uses the planter in corn and beans.
Wallace has found an unconventional way to dramatically cut his input costs while increasing yields - it involves a 4-year rotation of three different crops.
Other than blackening his ground before seeding corn the first year, Morley Wallace of North Gower, Ontario, operates zero till production of soybeans for two years, and one year of wheat, before cultivating again for corn the fifth year. Thanks to seeding with a corn planter using GPS, all crops are grown row on top of row so that they can take advantage of nutrients the previous crop left behind. This virtually eliminates the need for broadcast fertilizer on the wheat, according to Wallace.
"Corn produces its own phosphorus and potash, and soybean likes those but creates its own nitrogen, which is put to use by the wheat," says Wallace's son, Jordan. "Growing soybeans twice in a row gives us that extra bump in nitrogen we need to achieve same level for the wheat as we would have otherwise had to broadcast. We're also using only one planter and very little cultivation, so it keeps our expenses to a minimum."
He still applies liquid fertilizer with the planter when necessary (22 liters/acre on corn, 11 liters/acre on soybeans, and 11 liters/acre on wheat), but the major savings is from not having to broadcast nitrogen for the wheat.
Although a corn planter is worth between $75,000 and $100,000, Wallace says not needing any other types of planters makes this system worthwhile.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Morley or Jordan Wallace, P. O. Box 456, North Gower, Ontario, Canada K0A 2T0 (ph 613 489-2932, cell 613 327-6377; jordan @gpsontario.ca; www.gpsontario.ca).
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