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Planter Closing System Works In Tough Conditions
Bruce Freed and his father Brian, owners and co-managers of Ag Focus, LLC, knew the Case IH 1200 series planter was a good piece of equipment when it was introduced nearly 20 years ago. They also thought it needed small tweaks to increase its efficiency. Bruce says, “We found that in certain no-till planting environments, especially harder or wetter ground, and in some soil types, the closing system didn’t have enough power to do what we were asking it to do. We looked at ways to improve it.”
That led them to design and build Planter Pro row cleaners and Fast Trac closing system planter attachments. Used on the 1200 series and other planters, they clear residue and create an environment for better seed placement and improved plant emergence.
Always looking to improve planting performance, Bruce Freed developed what he calls an AirCover system in 2016. After trial-and-error field trials, they successfully beta-tested it with a few customers in central Illinois. The mechanism was released commercially in 2017 and units have been sold to Midwestern farmers who’ve been battling complex soil compositions ever since.
That design uses their patent-pending bracket in conjunction with the Precision Planting® Clean Sweep® cylinder, plumbing and controller to adjust closing wheel down pressure from the tractor cab. Bruce says with this attachment owners of 1200 series planters can get the same seed-to-soil contact efficiency without having to buy a new 2000 series planter. Another benefit is that AirCover eliminates the need to replace the wear points on the 1200 series closing system, which usually had to be done every couple years.
“I sold one to a farmer from Huron, South Dakota in 2019 and he told me he wouldn’t have been able to plant a single acre if he didn’t have the air covers,” Bruce says. “Because of the system he planted almost 2,000 acres.” Last year’s wet planting conditions across the Midwest turned out to be a boon for the Freed’s business.
“It was really a game-changer,” Bruce says. “If you had this system on you could plant, and if you didn’t, you couldn’t.” In the spring of 2020 Freed sold several of the devices in North Dakota to help farmers get at least some planting done despite soggy fields. Their entire system, which includes a bracket, air cylinder and plumbing equipment, costs about $300 per row. Bruce says the air cover also works well on high-speed planters.
Farmers interested in the AirCover can purchase it from Ag Focus, from their Case IH dealership, or a Precision Planting dealership.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ag Focus, LLC, P.O. Box 197, Lexington, Ill. 61753 (ph 309 365-2771).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #4