Name: Jason Maple
Farm Name: Maple Farms General Partnership
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
Pain Point: Wanting to plant faster, while preserving precise seed placement
The Operation: Maple Farm General Partnership is owned by Tom, Mark, Scott, Daryl and Jason Maple. Together they farm nearly 6,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat along with operating custom drainage and excavating businesses.
The matter they were looking to solve:
The Maples had Precision Planting items on their planter, which they felt did a good job accurately placing their seed. However, they could only run at five to five-and-a-half miles an hour when planting. They knew the accuracy was worth it, but due to the ever-shortening weather window of time available to plant, they felt they needed to be able to run at a faster speed at planting.
They considered retrofitting their current planter into a high speed planter versus purchasing a new planter. During the time they were deliberating their options, was when John Deere was attempting to buy Precision Planting and the new Exact Emerge planter came out. So, they waited a year and got feedback from other growers.
The all electrical drive on the Exact Emerge concerned them with possible electrical component failures and possible wear areas. He also worried about how a new planter would deal with running at a faster speed with the weight and pull on it. They weren’t sure if their tractor had the horsepower needed to pull it.
The resale concerned them as well as they wondered if people would be willing to pay for these features and if the new planter didn’t work for them.
Maple Farms ended up trading in their planter for a new John Deere Exact Emerge planter so they would only have one entity servicing the planter. It’s a 1775 NT Exact Emerge which has a brush belt all electric drive system. It has 2x2 fertilizer, individual (hydraulic) row downforce, Dawn hydraulic row cleaners and hydraulic wing distribution.
One option they didn’t get was markers. That saved them $12,000 not to mention weight.
Were expectations met:
They love the planter and it’s worked well for them. They were cautious the first year, going seven to eight miles and hour. Now, they go nine and half to ten miles an hour. They have no problems with skips or multiples. It plants exactly like they want it to.
They did have a small issue with the new monitor in the cab, being unable to center their A/B curve lines they had created the year before, but were able to work through that.
Determining the return on investment:
The Maple’s are going on their fifth season with it. They determined the return on their investment by looking at the timeframe they have to get seeds in the ground. The way Jason figures it if they get their corn in before May 15th, they have a 5-10% yield advantage versus late May or June. So, on 200 bu/acre corn on his acres if you lose 5% you lose $90,000 by not getting it planted in that timeframe. In a late year, they have an advantage of being able to get the seed in.
It has also brought seed savings. Since the planter is precisely planting the corn, they no longer overcompensate and were able to cut back the population, saving upwards of $60,000.
Jason encourages others to take the time to really research and get feedback from others.
Check out other featured Precision Profile farmers here.