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Do It Yourself Guidance System
Hydraulic-controlled guidance systems that mount between the tractor 3-pi and cultivator are starting to catch on all over the country for "hands free" crop work. But Illinois farmer Roger Wessels didn't have to spend thousands to get a guidance system that works. Using scrap materials he came up with what he calls a "cultivator assistance" system for almost no cost.
Wessels, who farms near Fairbury, simply mounted a pair of deep-running 6-in. cultivator sweeps on either side of his 12-row Deere Max-Emerge 7100 planter. They're mounted on a short toolbar bracket ahead of the row units, spaced to match wheel spacing on his row crop cultivator. The sweeps dig 5 to 6-in. deep furrows - centered between rows - which the gauge wheels on his cultivator can follow.
The add-on toolbars - one mounts on each side of planter - are made out of 2-in. sq. steel tubing held in place by angle iron braces that run back to the planter gauge wheels. The gauge wheels trail directly behind the sweeps.
"They make nice clean furrows with-out affecting operation of the planter. The sweeps are set at the same angle as on a cultivator. The only change I plan to make is to put guards over the planter drive chains so dirt can't get into them," says Wessels, who says he spent almost nothing on the furrow guidance system since he used old shanks, sweeps and scrap steel. He had to increase the number of gauge wheels on his cultivator from two to four so he'd have a wheel in each furrow.
Wessels didn't get to give the system a complete test last year because heavy rains right after planting washed out some of his furrows. "I don't expect any problems. We're farming flat land around here so these furrows will provide plenty of holding power for the cultivator."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Wessels, Fairbury, Ill. 61739 (ph 815 692-2008).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #2