PHILO, Ill. (WCIA) — Several thousand Cornbelt farmers are gathering in small groups this week to learn about the new technology being introduced by Precision Planting. One of those groups met at Philo on Tuesday.
Typically those thousands of farmers would go to the Precision Planting headquarters at Tremont, but COVID changed the setting to small groups of 50 that gathered in the machine shed of Steve and Casey Hettinger who are dealers for Precision Planting.
Hettinger is showing a new device to improve planting in no-till fields or in cover crops.
“This is the old style row cleaner which is still a great row cleaner and is still a floating row cleaner so we have an air cylinder on here that will lift and help if flow across the ground,” Hettinger says. “But first the importance of a row cleaner is to get all of the trash out of the way so when you open up the ground to put the seed in, you don’t have trash with your seed. That trash will absorb moisture and that takes the moisture away from the seed.
“So the problem with these older ones is they are mounted on the row unit, and as you put force down, it lifts up on the row unit, and your downforce cylinder has to compensate for that. And so what they have done, is they have taken the row cleaner off of the row unit and they have mounted it on the frame up here, and by doing that we are not fighting our downforce system anymore.
“The other thing they have done is they have added a gauge wheel, that rides behind, and is adjustable, so you can set your gauge wheel. Right now this acts as my gauge wheel. My depth is always going to be like this. From the cab now you’ll be able to adjust your down and lift airbags, and you’ll also be able to come back here and set your gauge wheel, and if you put it down all of the way, you won’t gouge as much as you normally would.”
The new product will be in beta testing this year.