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Doubled-Up IH Planter
Matt Hansen plants soybeans in 15-in. rows for the potential of higher yields and better, less costly weed control.
This Dorchester, Neb., farmer had previously planted split rows with a double-pass operation with a 30-in. planter. In 1988, however, he joined two planters, one behind the other, which allowed him to plant 15-in. rows in one pass.
"I had heard of increased 'yields by splitting rows from 30in. down to 15 in.," Hansen explains. "I also heard that the plants will canopy over (cover) the rows sooner to better control weeds."
Hansen made the split-row planting job a little easier by hitching together a 500 Series IH planter anda 900 Series Case-IH planter (both are air planters). By connecting the 12-row planters, one be-hind the other, so that the rear planter planted between the rows of the front planter, Hansen was able to plant 24 15-in. rows with one pass. He connected the two planters with five 30-in. sections of 5-in. by 7-in. tubing. He welded heavy plate-steel to the ends of each piece of tubing and drilled holes in each plate. U-bolts are used to clamp each end of the tubing sections to the planters. The sections run perpendicular to the planters' toolbars.
Of the 150 acres of split-row soybeans Hansen planted last year, 100 acres were under pivot irrigation, while the remain-der were dryland. His pivot-irrigated, narrow-row soybeans made 31 bu. per acre last year.
"I didn't get a good check of whether the yields were better because I didn't plant any comparison (wide row) beans under pivot irrigation or on dryland," he explains. "So I really couldn't compare yields."
He also says he can't document whether the narrow rows help with weed control.
"We didn't have to walk our narrow-row beans, though," he explains. "I think it was partly because the narrow rows shaded the ground sooner." He adds that pre-emerge and post-emergence herbicide treatments were used on the soybean fields.
Hansen plans to continue with narrow-row soybeans for at least a couple more years.
"I'll stay with them because of the theory of the (soybean) canopy closing sooner and that we should be able to get by with less chemicals," he explains. "We want to see how they (narrow-row soy-beans) do for a couple more years."
Hansen plans to continue using his planter setup. He adds, however, that he wants to do some reconditioning on the 500 Series planter because seed placement isn't as good as that of the 900 Series planter.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Matt Hansen, Dorchester, Neb. 68343 (ph 402 946-2022).
Story and photo reprinted with per-mission from the Nebraska Farmer.

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #4