Planting – It’s a Whole New World for Today’s Farmers!

Randy has been planting corn…I took supper to him and was treated to a
ride in his tractor…

The idea of him planting seeds in a field that looks like this always concerns me….I keep thinking about the scripture that says, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.”

Matthew 13:3-7 NASB

In fact, the first time my farmers planted corn in a landlord’s field without tilling it first, I prayed the landowner would not check the field that spring!

I could not imagine how we could get a good stand of corn in a mess of weeds…

But in fact, the planter is tilling…but just enough to make the rows. One pass planting conserves the moisture in the soil, conserves fuel and does not compact the soil.

I was impressed! The seed is actually planted 1 3/4 inches deep! (So there…birds of the air and scorching sun!)

Son, Ryan, is taking care of the thorns and weeds (such as water-hemp, amaranth, foxtail, grasses and other broad-leaf weeds) with the sprayer. It can handle the seedcorn maggots, seedcorn beetles, wireworms, white grubs, corn flea beetles billbugs, thrips, grape colaspis, black cutworms, southern corn leaf beetles, chinch bugs, army-worms, stalk borers, European corn borer, southwestern cornborer, corn cutworms, grasshoppers, fall army worms, corn earworms, and corn leaf aphids that try to destroy our crops!

This is the way Randy fills the planter…it takes about 100 bags of seed-corn…80,000 seeds per bag. Anywhere from 24,000 to 36,000 seeds are planted per acre…depending on the type of soil.

Take a look inside the “cockpit” of the tractor…

  “The best way to describe a corn planter is ’16 machine guns shooting seed in the soil'”.

The planter monitor shows every seed planted tracking the performance of the planter…

Pictured below is the auto-steering system monitor…yep, my husband only touches the steering wheel at the end of the row…this system will even complete the turn and line up the planter again. Somehow…it remembers how the field was planted in previous years and will follow the same procedure. RTK and GPS provide this feature.

Row cleaner, tillage controls, individual row shut-off, controls to fold the planter for transportation and monitors the seed inventory…

Tractor performance monitor…

 More doo-dads to click…

 “Look, Ma! No hands!!”

Also notice the planter markers are not being used… GPS and RTK at work!

Conventional tilling methods lose precious moisture, compacts the soil and cost more per acre due to more labor and fuel consumed.

 Notice the straight rows!

Maybe I’ll catch a ride on the sprayer next time…

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