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Home-Built Planter Fitted With Deere Drill Openers
You've never seen a planter quite like the one Curt Gillen built last winter.
The White Lake, S. Dak., farmer's planter centers around an old Cyclo air seeder. How-ever, rather than mounting it directly onto an existing no-till drill like other innovative farmers have done in recent years, Gillen built his own frame and fitted it with disc openers off a Deere 750 no-till drill.
"It all started a couple years ago when we decided to switch our corn from 38 to 22 1/2-in. rows for the earlier canopy and better weed control that narrow rows offer. We'd been using a Deere 7000 four-row planter but the ripple coulters we'd added ahead of its double disc openers threw a lot of mud at us in wet years. Plus, hair-pinning was a real problem in some of the heavy wheat stubble we plant into," Gillen ex-plains. "We could have mounted a Cyclo unit on our Deere 750 drill like some no-tillers, but we would have been wearing two thirds of the openers needlessly if we'd blocked off two of three openings to get the 22 1/2-in. spacings we wanted. Plus, we would have been stirring up more soil and possibly causing more weeds to germinate than we do this way."
Gillen built a 180-in wide frame for the 8-row planter out of 4 by 6-in. tubing. He added gauge wheels off an International corn planter to the front.
He found an old 400 Cyclo and salvaged its air delivery and metering system as well as its 16-in. dia. rear drive wheel. He bought used 750 drill units for it.
Instead of conventional presswheels, Gillen used new Deere rotary hoe wheels. He cut the points off and mounted them at a slight angle so they'd knock down the fur-row sidewall as they cover the seed.
Gillen's planter worked great last year, planting 21,000 to 24,000 seeds per acre and applying 7 to 8 gpa of 10-34-0 liquid fertilizer at speeds of up to 8 mph, he says. "The best thing was seed placement," he says. "It put seed exactly 1 in. deep where we like it."
Gillen's out-of-pocket expenses were about $8,500.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Curt Gillen, R.R. 1, Box 12, White Lake, S. Dak. 57383 (ph 605 249-2689).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2