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Monitor For Planting Depth
A Texas farmer with a variety of soils in his mile long fields came up with a new way to monitor and change depth control on his planter on the go without even -having to look back.
"My farms do not have uniform soil types. I have some rows that are more than one mile in length. Within these long rows, for instance, I have some spots that are very sandy and soft and I have some low spots with much heavier, compact soil that's harder to penetrate. It doesn't seem. to matter how well I prepare the seedbed. The planter will plant too deep in the sandy soil and not deep enough in heavier soils," says James Streit, who farms near Vernon, Texas.
"One of my planters consists of a 4 by 4-in. toolbar fitted with older Tye planting units. The toolbar mounts on a tractor 3-pt. and depth is normally adjusted by lengthening or shortening the top link. I installed a scissors-type arm made out of 1 by 3-in. iron bar which is worked backward and forward by a 4 by 8-in. hydraulic cylinder," says Streit.
Key to success of the set up is the flexible steel cable Streit installed that runs from the lift mechanism up to a gauge in front of the tractor cab. "The cable is like the ones used to engage or disengage hydraulics on a grain truck hoist. The cable runs up to a piece of 1 1/2jn. sq. tubing that I mounted on top of the battery box just ahead of the cab. I painted the tubing white and painted three black lines on it spaced 1 in. apart. When the end of the cable is on the middle line, planting depth is average. When I want to plant more shallow in sandy soil, I use the tractor's hydraulics to adjust planter depth until the end of the cable is on the top line. To plant deeper, I adjust depth so the cable end moves down to the bottom line. The three black lines are spaced 1 in. apart and that correlates directly with the depth of the planter so the range of movement measured is 2 in.
"The system has a very close tolerance so very precise planting depth can be achieved. I've used this idea for two seasons without outstanding results. I don't know of any-thing like it on the market. It's accurate and simple and there's little to go wrong."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jame Streit,13658 CR 138W, Vernon, Tex. 76384 (ph 817,552-5326).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #4