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Orange Shanks Turn Air Seeders Into Precision Planters
Put Orange Shanks on air seeders or air drills and get the kind of individual row depth control found in high-cost precision drills. The assemblies are easy to add to existing air seeder toolbars and even use the owner’s preferred openers.
  “The old shank is cut off and the opener is reattached to the side of the Orange Shank assembly,” says John Gehrer, Orange Shank inventor. “Every farm is different, and there are hundreds of different openers available. This lets the grower use what they already have that works for them.”
  This isn’t the first manufacturing venture for Gehrer and his wife Angelika. They developed and still market Never Spill Spouts (Vol. 21, No. 5). Like the spouts, the Orange Shanks, with their 5-ft. bar, rubber torsion mount, and packer wheel are a simple answer to a problem Gehrer faced on his farm.
  “With regular air seeders, when you cross ditches or rough ground you don’t get even seeding depths,” says Gehrer.
  Gehrer didn’t want the cost or complexity of a system that delivered individual pressure to each row. The rubber torsion mount first proved itself in cultivators 50+ years ago. More recently, European and Australian vertical tillage equipment have made use of the design.
  “I saw we could use them on our seeder shanks too,” says Gehrer.
  With the Orange Shank, he still changes the depth by lowering the toolbar. However, the opener shank rides between the toolbar and a packer wheel. The rubber torsion mount provides flexibility so the shank can adjust to an irregular surface, but the packer wheel prevents the opener from going too deep.
  Gehrer first tried a prototype of the new assemblies a year ago, planting canola, soybeans and oats. This past fall he converted the entire unit to plant winter wheat and winter canola. Results were positive, and this spring he used them on about 1,200 acres. He also has several other growers testing the new design.
  “I have about 12 sets of Orange Shanks out and am waiting on feedback,” says Gehrer. “The only change made so far is to move the shanks closer to the packing wheels for even better depth control.”
  Optional coulters can be mounted on the Orange Shank assembly bar ahead of the opener.
  “Coulters eliminate any concern over a trash problem in heavy residue,” says Gehrer.
  The Orange Shank assemblies, with packing wheel, suspension mount and bracket for the reused shank, are priced at $400 each. “It is a low-cost way to upgrade depth control instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new precision air drill,” says Gehrer.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John & Angelika Gehrer, Box 781, Niverville, Manitoba R0A 1E0 Canada (ph 866 860-6086; johngehrer@yahoo.ca).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #4