Precision Profile: Improving Residue Dispersal with Air Ride
Name: Joe Keiser
Farm: K Farms Inc.
Location: Gothenburg, NE
During planting, the trash cleaners were not distributing equal amounts of pressure across the planter. With a pull type 16-row planter, the center rows were being compacted by the tractor wheel tracks where the outer rows were remaining soft, resulting in differing depth of residue removal. This problem reoccurred with a 3-point 8-row planter with a set depth going over a flat plant and ridges on gravity irrigated ground.
K Farms Inc. is a fourth-generation family farm. They run a 6,500 head feedlot and farm about 4,000 acres of corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. With planters of a variety of sizes, something was needed to help create a consistent level of residue management.
The matter he was looking to solve:
Joe was looking for a solution to help create a more even seed bed. With a set depth on the trash cleaners, he was constantly having to manually reset the depth based on where they were located on the planter and how the soil type changed. With varying types of soil, even across fields, it became harder to get a consistent level of residue removal, leading to a problem of an inconsistent seed bed. Without an even seed bed, plants were getting placed on top of a dry, hard soil crust or being put in too deep, resulting in inconstant seed emergence and reduced plant population.
While Joe was confident this system would help his problem, he was concerned whether the cost of the system would offset the benefits. He was also concerned if they would be efficient when going through a large amount of residue, due to the appearance that they were not as aggressive as the current system he was using. With a good amount of acres to get through, he also wanted to make sure the system would be reliable and not break down when the weather is allowing him to be in the field.
Joe is now in his fourth year of using Precision Planting CleanSweep, which uses air cylinders on each row cleaner that can have pressure added to them or removed. The pressure adjustment is made by moving a lever in the cab to apply lift or down pressure to the cylinders, so they clean at the depth you want.
With the success Joe had with the system on his planter, he added the system to another 8-row planter they use to plant corn. With the help of the system, they have been able to decrease time spent adjusting the trash cleaners and can adjust them as they are moving across the field.
He expected them to improve his seed bed, but they have worked better than he hoped. They have even tried to find a used set to add to the operation, but the Precision Planting dealer in the area said, “Once someone tries them, they don’t get rid of them.”
Determining the Return on Investment:
K Farms was able to weigh the cost of the system against the more even seed bed, which helps ensure a more consistent plant population. This led to a better yielding crop to help justify the initial investment.
Don’t be afraid to ask fellow peers for their opinion. Sometimes, the best way to get a recommendation for a problemis to ask a peer that has already been experiencing it and what they did to help the problem.