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Self-Propelled 16-Row Corn Planter
One of the most talked-about new machines in Southern Minnesota is the 16-row, selfpropelled corn planter that Robert Nelson and his son, Kim, of Dexter, built in their farm shop.
It's not a commercial machine yet, but has been field tested for two seasons with flying colors and has attracted attention both from farmers and machinery manufacturers.
Wilson designed his own chassis and mounted two John Deere 8-row planter units on it. It's powered by a 671 Detroit diesel engine with 238 horsepower. The cab is mounted ahead of the engine and gives excellent visibility of the planter boxes, and the field.
The "tractor" assembly has dual wheels and a single standard wheel in front, giving a tricycle design. Each 8-row planter unit is supported by caster wheels which are in position while planting.
''I built the rig with more power than it needs,' says Wilson. "The 5-speed Spicer transmission is big enough for 300 horsepower and the engine delivers 238. It has a Euclid rear-end and air brakes.
"It has some special features, too. You can raise either 8-row unit out of the ground and plant with the other, or plant with all 16 rows. The row markers are controlled with independent hydraulics."
Wilson's planter is set for 30-in. rows. It's also equipped with liquid fertilizer tanks, one 300 gal. tank on each side of the cab.
For road travel, Wilson pulls two pins and the unit folds up to - a 20-ft. width. Returning it to the planting position takes only about two minutes.
It took Wilson and his son, Kim, two months to build the planter in 1978 at an investment of about $30,000. They figure a commercial manufacturer would have to charge $50,000 to put a similar unit on the market.
Wilson is thinking about building another unit, but it may not be long until this kind of planter is in production commercially. This year, DeKalb Ag Research Inc., of DeKalb, Ill., is featuring the home-built Wilson planter in some of its seed corn advertising.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Robert Wilson, Rt. 1, Box 136A, Dexter, Minn. 55926 (ph 507 584-2202).

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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #6