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Mower/Drill Combo Seeds Crops Between Wide Rows
Bob Recker equipped his Deere 2025R tractor to mow weeds and then drill cover crops between 60-in. rows of newly emerged corn. The crop consultant outfitted the compact tractor to do both jobs at the same time with a front-end mower and a rear-mount set of drill units.
Recker works with farmers to maximize utilization of light by planting in wider rows and improving soil health.
“I was working with an organic grower who was experimenting with no-till, wide-row corn,” says Recker, noting that the farmer used a mower between rows to tamp down weeds and cover crops that he planted into.
Recker bought an underbelly mower that he front-mounted to the Deere tractor. Recker fabricated a modified 3-pt. hitch between the front-end mounting bracket and the mower with a hydraulic cylinder for the top link.
The tractor fit between the 60-in. row, but the belly mower was wider than the tractor. Recker cut the blades down to make a 48-in. cut.
“The mower was still pushing over too many weeds and not cutting them, so I trimmed back the mower deck to reveal the tips of the blade,” says Recker. “I have to be extra careful that no one is around when starting it up.”
To drill cover crops between the rows he cut down a 7 by 7-in. planter toolbar to fit between the rows and mounted 2 DuoSeed drill units from Dawn Equipment Co. on it. Each double disc opener drills 2 rows of seed. The versatile DuoSeed units are designed primarily for seeding cover crops between emerged rows but can also be used to air seed soybeans and small grains and will also place fertilizer.
“I’ve experimented with broadcasting, but without timely rains, it is hard to get good emergence,” says Recker. “If you get heavy rains, the seed can get washed away. Planter units can disturb the soil too much and release seeds. I thought drilling in the seed was a better way.”
Recker notes that the DuoSeed units are so low disturbance that it can be hard to find the drilled row, much less the seed.
The row units are about $1,000 each. In addition, Recker used a plot planter seed meter that cost several thousand dollars.
Recker sees the space between rows of 60-in. corn as an opportunity to try complementary crops to corn, not just cover crops. “A small farmer trying 60-in. corn could use a drill like this to plant squash, melons or other crops between corn rows,” he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Recker, Cedar Valley Innovation, 116 W. Schrock Rd., Waterloo, Iowa 50701 (ph 319 240-2200; cedarvalleyinnovation@gmail.com; www.cedarvalleyinnovation.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5