It has been on display this summer, and this fall it will get to work planting wheat. But it’s not just any planter. Beck’s Hybrids has unveiled the concept planter that makes multi-row width, multi-hybrid planting reality with just one machine.
“We can plant 10, 20 and 30-inch row widths at any given moment, throughout the field, as well as multi-hybrid variable rate seeding and variable rate fertilizer at any given moment,” explains Jason Gahimer, Beck’s Practical Farm Research operations manager. “With this planter, we’ll be able to test all those aspects on the fly in one field to try to maximize every acre the way it needs to be in terms of the correct row spacing, hybrid and population. We’ll be doing that initial testing in the spring 2018 on corn and soybeans, but we’re also really excited about the capabilities of 10-inch planted wheat. So, we’ll be doing a row width population trial this fall where we look at 10 inch planted wheat vs. 15 inch vs. drilled 7 ½ inch on a couple of populations.”
“Precision Planting vSet® Select, it’s a Harvest International toolbar with narrow row units,” he said. “It’s a 10-inch space bar, but to get the 10, 20, 30, row units will turn off depending on prescription map and what we want it to do, and there’s a lot of other bells and whistles on this planter, Precision Planting FurrowJets, vApply HD, DeltaForce.”
Gahimer says the goal is always to maximize profit on every single acre. Testing will determine if the concept planter can help do that and also become a viable planter option on the farm.
“We hope so. In the past with any other planter you really can’t do that. You’re stuck with one row width and if you don’t have multi-hybrid you’re stuck with one hybrid, so being able to do that with one planter on the fly throughout the field, treat every acre the way it needs to be treated, is really why we did this, and we’ll see how that pencils out. With Beck’s Hybrids research, it’s ok if it doesn’t. that’s something we want to learn and it gives farmers the knowledge to say I’m good with where I’m at with 30 inch rows or 20 inch rows or whatever.”
Gahimer added, “Over the years, our PFR team has conducted several studies about row spacing and seeding rates, but we have yet to determine the right row spacing, seeding rate, and hybrid combination.”
Also featured on the planter are Yetter Manufacturing closing wheels and row cleaners and a Surefire Ag fertilizer pump system. Schlipf Precision Ag in Milford, Indiana assembled the Precision Planting components onto the Harvest International planter bar.