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Side Dress Rig Made From Old Cultivator
“I looked at new and used side dress machines that were at least double what I wanted to spend but they weren’t what I was looking for,” says Grant Rollins, a farmer near Pemberton, Minn. “In the meantime I did some research on the internet and saw how people had built their own. I decided to go that route.”
  Rollins built his mounted 16-row side dress bar from new and used parts. The main bar is made from a used Deere 12-row, 3-point mounted cultivator with a 7 by 7-in. bar. “It was just right for what I wanted,” Rollins says. “The cultivator had folding wings that bring the traveling width down to 15 ft., which is perfect for road travel and storage.”
  He removed all the shanks and gangs from the old bar and was able to re-use some of the brackets for his new configuration. Then he added 5-ft. hinged extensions to each end of the bar so the expanded width covers 16 rows. “I found some good used hinges for $50 and made brackets for the tilt cylinders from scrap metal,” Rollins says. “The extensions have extra support in the hinges so they’re plenty strong.”
  To apply the fertilizer, Rollins bought Yetter 20-in. ripple coulters that he bolted to the bar on spring-mounted arms. He says the ripple design lets him travel 6 to 8 mph and place nitrogen between the rows at 3 to 5 in. deep, with minimal soil disturbance.
  Rollins pumps the fertilizer with a Hypro hydraulic pump mounted on the saddle tank frame. He regulates application rates from a Raven SCS450 controller with distribution through three Redball flow manifolds. The 4 outside wing rows can be turned off. “With this configuration I can use the machine for 12 rows, or fold out the extension wings for 16 rows. The machine has 17 shanks, with the outside shank supplying a half rate of fertilizer each time the machine goes across the field so he can follow his 16-row planter tramline. Gauge wheels on front of the bar keep it stable and maintain uniform placement. Each coulter has 1,100 lbs. of spring tension to maintain working depth.
  Fertilizer is carried in 250-gal. saddle tanks mounted on the sides of his Deere 8100 MFWD tractor. “I like this approach because the whole rig is contained on the tractor,” says Rollins. “If I was pulling a wheeled tank behind the bar, that’s another set of wheels to knock down corn. The saddle tanks add about 6,000 lbs. to the tractor frame when full of fertilizer, which easily offsets the weight of the bar.”
  Rollins says he probably has $14,000 to $15,000 in his custom rig, which is less than half what he would have paid if he bought a new one. In 2012 he’ll be testing several application rates to determine which N levels work best. “I’ll be putting on 10, 15 and 20 gal. in different strips to see the response,” Rollins says. “With the combine monitor we’ll know exactly how each application level affects yields.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grant Rollins, 1459 310th Ave., Pemberton, Minn. 56078 (ph 507 317-4193; grantrollins@yahoo.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4