Farmer designs one-of-a-kind planter
Environmental Tillage SystemsA custom-built twin-row planter owned by Alliance, Neb., farmer Brian Jelinek is folded for shed storage. The 60-foot long toolbar, built by Environmental Tillage Systems, Inc., of Faribault, Minn., incorporates 24 John Deere twin-row planting units with Yetter trash managers, and a seed and fertilizer delivery system in the form of an ETS SeedWarrior central-fill cart. Twin-row planting has enjoyed success by some growers over the years but hasn't reached widespread acceptance. This is despite tests comparing twin-row to single 30-inch rows indicating twin rows can out-yield many single-row crops and produce comparable yields to ultra-narrow row and narrow systems.
A veteran producer in Alliance, Neb., has been watching his brother become successful with twin-row crop production in strip-till over the past few years, so last spring, Brian Jelinek decided it was time to follow brother Jim's lead, planting his sunflower, corn and dry edible bean crops in twin rows. He also grows millet, sugar beets and wheat over about 3,000 acres in Box Butte County, Neb.
"My brother started going into twin-row planting. He was successful with it. I liked the idea, just not the equipment, especially with planting dry beans," Brian Jelinek said.
"I've been exploring the idea of twin rows for three or four years. We strip-till for the erosion benefits. Our soils here in western Nebraska are very sandy and--with the winds--hard to control. Strip-till allows us to do some tillage while maintaining some erosion control. You still need tillage for sugar beets and the like because you need good seed contact with the soil."
What Jelinek used to accomplish his twin-row plantings was the use of a one-of-a-kind planter he designed last year.
Jelinek called on Environmental Tillage Systems of Faribault, Minn., to custom build a 60-foot-long toolbar mounted with 24 John Deere twin-row planting units. Also included on this custom planter are Yetter trash managers, and a seed and fertilizer delivery system in the form of an ETS SeedWarrior central-fill cart.
"I knew I liked the concept of a John Deere planter," Jelinek said. "They had just released their own version of a twin-row planter, which was a three-stack fold, 38-inch center unit. I liked the design, but they didn't have a 30-inch center unit."
Kevin Born, ETS's chief executive officer, said Jelinek was looking for someone who could do what no one else could do for him.
"He was looking for a 48-row twin-row planter, and it wasn't something that anyone else had," Born said. "Not so much that they couldn't give him 48 rows and twin-row planting, but it had to be something that could give him metering from each seed tube because he was doing so many different crops, such a substantial breadth of products with a high degree of precision.
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