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Old 01-28-2012, 03:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thinking of switching openers

Have been running farmland boots, with back swept knife, nickols knock-on shovel 6" for 15 years on my Flexi-coil 5000, double shoot, 9" spacing, with 4" rubber press. Been looking at changing openers for 3 or 4 years, but have been talked out of it several times. Main influence Greg Carlson at NARC in Havre Mt. Anyone who has done much research on openers knows Greg and the crew have done extensive trials over the years on most every opener thats been out for awhile. He hasn't seen any major yield differences, in past years and told me to save my money til I trade drills, then get the openers I want on new drill. Drill is still in good shape so I'm keeping it for a few more years. I'm looking to something with less draft, less disturbance, both surface and hard pan. Pretty much narrowed it down to Dutch universal series, 2 1/2", 3/4" separation, 2850 point. Talked to Dutch rep at MAGIE show in GT.Falls, he sure wanted to steer me away from paired row to side band, reason being better seed, fertilizer separation. I live in a very arid climate in northern Mt, 4"-6" growing season precip, so most years 40 lbs actual N is whats put down double shoot at seeding for 14 to 15 pro wheat. If season is looking wetter additional N is applied with 32 solution. My soils tec at B&C Ag in Billings Mt, doesn't think there will be any problem with germ damage using the 2850. One point he brought up was trip assembly wearing uneven with side band. You also need to move packers over. With paired row you get better weed control with seed spread 2 1/2". Any ideas or experiences on this topic would be greatly appreciated, thanks
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you considered just taking off your back swept knife and putting everything down behind the shovel? 40 lbs of actual N with the seed (especially on a 6 inch spread with 9 inch spacing) is nothing to be scared of with cereals. Even if you would go down to a 4 inch shovel you would be more than safe with that amount of N.

Can you find what your seeding setup looks like on the farmland site so we can see what you are dealing with? Farm Land

I would think that Greg Carlson's suggestion is probably best, but you can probably do some tweaks to get less disturbance and draft without a lot of money put in.
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Increase in Marketing > Increase in Yield > Increase in Land Base

Diverse crop rotation, increased residue retention and minimized tillage will increase yield and crop health more than anything we can spray or spread at litres or pounds per acre.

http://andgronomy.blogspot.ca/
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Dutch Openers - like paired row

I have run the dutch low draft paired opener 3 1/2 inch - with 4 inch steel packers on a 57 ft flexicoil 5000 drill with 10 inch spacing for 5 years. Great for cereals, I really like the spread and stubble stand compared our other drill that is set up with atom jet side band boots on 10 inch spaced drill. When seeding canola (small seeded crop) you have to keep your speed down as the low draft boots will throw a lot of dirt. We have actually raised the rear of the drill ever so slightly just to counter balance any soil that is thrown. Taking care to properly set depth with the 5000 and the dutch boots - we have been getting excellent canola stands.

We are going to run an independent shanlk drill with side band boots to seed canola this spring - our reason is simply it was time to up grade our 2nd drill - Morris, and we wanted to try independent shank as some of our ground has a lot of really sharp knolls and hills. We plan to run both drills side beside in several locations seeding canola, barley and wheat to get an idea of what we like best for future reference.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One thing with your knock on system is that you get some weed control with the shovels at seeding time. As weed resistance becomes more of a issue this may become more important. If you want to go to less disturbance and open up less of the ground for evaporation the Dutch low draft system would be a good choice. We have the Dutch low draft 3.5 inch gumbo tips and will be switching to the universal series this year. It definately will reduce your draft or power consumption going to the Dutch opener over your current set up. If you are in clay soil I would be careful about going with a tip that cuts more than 3/8 "" deeper. If clay gets dry you will fracture the seed bed too much with a deep tip and have poor seed placement. We are on heavy clay and have gone with the tip that is 3/8" deeper for that reason. There is a lot of those Dutch openers in our area and everyone seems to like them.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Sb 1 opener

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Originally Posted by kirschenman View Post
Have you considered just taking off your back swept knife and putting everything down behind the shovel? 40 lbs of actual N with the seed (especially on a 6 inch spread with 9 inch spacing) is nothing to be scared of with cereals. Even if you would go down to a 4 inch shovel you would be more than safe with that amount of N.

Can you find what your seeding setup looks like on the farmland site so we can see what you are dealing with? Farm Land

I would think that Greg Carlson's suggestion is probably best, but you can probably do some tweaks to get less disturbance and draft without a lot of money put in.
Thanks for the reply, yes I've had knives on on off more times than I care to remember particularly seeding winter wheat. Don't want to disturb hard pan do to lack of moisture most falls. I'm using the sb 1 boot, (bottom picture in openers on Farmland site), which spreads seed about 3-3 1/2". On 9" spacing I already have seed coming up on sides of furrow so I can't spread much more. So 40lbs actual with the seed is doing some germ damage depending on moisture conditions, dryer, more damage. The other reply on weed competition with this setup is true, there is no ground left undisturbed, so most of the time there is no need to pre plant spray. Then there is the question, do I want all that stubble knocked down and have the new seedlings come through the residue and increase my disease problems, better left standing so there is no contact. I know we should be rotating crops more, but alternative crop price are so unstable in our area. Best crop in my area has been lentils, but start up cost for roller and flex header is sizable. My soils man in Billings stated the farmers around Beach ND, have us by 3 bushels per acre, per inch of growing season precip just by crop rotation. Some using stripper headers to protect soil moisture. Thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I understand now. Have you checked what a different drill with the openers you want would cost to trade to? Might be able to find a 5000 with openers like you want that would be barely more money (after trade) than buying all new openers would be.

Also, what about putting some sort of spreader (looks like they are available for your spreader) in your seed boot that leaves a gap in the middle between the seedrows? Then allowing the fertilizer to fall down on the same plane as the seed (no backswept knife, just the fertilizer tube) in that gap that is created. Put on a 3 or 4 inch spoon (or small shovel). That would keep the seed from spreading further than the width of the furrow as well, and make sure the seed goes to the outside edge giving good separation. That seems to be how the majority of low disturbance paired row openers do it anyway. Seed down first, and fertilizer afterwards just behind the shank. You might be able to get a cheap paired row that works as well as many on the market without a lot of cost.


Regarding rotations, have you thought about trying some field peas? We are usually able to cut them at 8 to 10 inches off the ground and don't need a flex head. Also, we don't roll. Would be a way to get into a legume option without the extra costs.

And stripper heads are getting quite popular just across the border from you (I assume) with Jaydee in Swift selling lots, and Hiway Service selling lots into the Foremost area. But before you go switching openers, you should decide if you will be moving to a stripper. Because you aren't going to be loving your 5000 very long if you are trying to seed into stripped stubble! A disc drill is something that you might want to look at instead if a stripper head is in your future.
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Increase in Marketing > Increase in Yield > Increase in Land Base

Diverse crop rotation, increased residue retention and minimized tillage will increase yield and crop health more than anything we can spray or spread at litres or pounds per acre.

http://andgronomy.blogspot.ca/
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