Farmer designs one-of-a-kind planter
"Lots of guys in our immediate area want to do corn after corn or high residue situations but they didn't want to disturb the soil from a tillage standpoint. Our system allows fertility to be blended into the zone rather than banded at the bottom of a shank," Born said. "It maintains soil structure and soil health at the same time."
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen with Born if the unit he built for Jelinek is just a one-off unit or not.
"Sure, we could build one, two or five more of these, but planting and seeding isn't our core business, which is precision application of fertilizer in zone-tillage or strip-tillage and seeding equipment," Born said.
As for Jelinek, he saw great results from this custom planting system.
"We're under severe allocation here on irrigation. I was able to draw some of the best yields ever this past year on dry beans and corn using twin-row and strip-till. With twin rows, everything here canopies faster, which uses water efficiently and reduces erosion," Jelinek said.
"I liked what I saw with my flowers. I didn't see any yield bump, but I saw better stalk strength. The biggest increase came from dry beans, which when you add in an increase in plant population were 23 percent better than my regular 30-inch rows."
As for plans for the coming growing season, Jelinek sees optimism as he increases seeded plant populations.
"I started last year on my confections at a rate of 22,000 seeds. I think this year I'll kick it up to 25,000 and see how it works," Jelinek said. "As big as the seed stalks got, I think I'll see a yield bump. I'll run them side-by-side for comparison."
Jelinek said the cost of this one-of-a-kind planter was worth it.
"The planter really covers some ground," Jelinek said. "With as many acres as I cover, it's great to have this technology. It's really a unique planter; you just won't find another one quite like it."
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