Case recently introduced a new twin row planter for prairie farmers who want to increase corn yields or move into a longer crop rotation.
Corn growers who want to in-crease plant populations without changing cropping practices are the main twin row market, but other niche markets also exist, including the Prairies.
The prairie corn line may be moving north, closer to the tree line, but a dedicated corn planter is still a pretty big investment for a few hundred acres of corn a year, said Bill Hoeg, Case IH’s planter manager for North America.
“It’s a lot easier to justify the investment if you use it for two or three different crops,” he said.
“With a longer rotation, the planter extends your ability to use the machine over a greater period of time and for more acres. That, along with increased yield, makes it an attractive investment. Our planter business in your canola areas has really taken off. Guys are buying them mainly for canola, but they’re looking hard at a corn-canola-wheat rotation.”
Hoeg said Case has a team in Sask-atchewan and Alberta working on wide row canola, and the trials they’ve done with the corn-canola-wheat rotation have been favourable.
He said the key to making the rotation work is the high value corn crop in conjunction with carefully placed canola seed, both using a corn planter.
A readily available corn market is important for the rotation to succeed, so Case is starting by focusing on areas with high silage production: Alberta’s beef sector and dairy areas across the Prairies.
“Overall, twin-row crop production is increasing in popularity in North America because of the potential yield advantages,” Hoeg said.
“Farmers want to increase corn plant populations without making new investments or major modifications to existing harvesting or spraying equipment. Essentially, you change your planter and everything else remains the same as it was.”
Hoeg said the concept involves staggering seed in twin rows, eight inches apart on 30, 36, 38 or 40 inch centres.
The grower’s existing corn head, which is already set for 30, 36, 38 or 40 -inch rows, can harvest twin rows without adjustment.
“Twin row can also be used with other row crops, such as soybeans, milo and sunflowers,” he said.
“It’s often credited for increased standability of crops. Plus, it utilizes a higher percentage of an acre compared to standard row widths.”
Hoeg said the Case twin-row planters are the same as the Great Plains machines, but some features that are optional on other brands are standard equipment on Case.
“We have a supply agreement with Great Plains. We add our monitor and electronics to the Great Plains Twin Row Planter,” he said.
“Everything on the planter can be integrated into our system, including tractor, planter, sprayer, swather, combine or any other implement.”
The planters have eight inches between each of the twin-row pairs. They also have an optional floating residue manager or coulter, standard seed firmers and cast or spider closing wheels.
Heavy-duty down-pressure springs provide up to 500 pounds of pressure to penetrate packed soil and slice through tough residue.
Offset 15-inch blades further contribute to the penetration, accuracy and cutting ability.
The planters have an Air-Pro metering system that uses a hydraulic fan to provide positive air to the meters for exceptional accuracy.
Case IH will offer the following twin row planter models this year:
- 825A3P: Rigid-mounted eight-row planter with positive ground drive and 1.6-bushel hopper on each row.
- 4025A3PS: Stack-fold planter available in 12, 16 and 30-inch configurations with either an 82 bu. hopper or a customer-supplied ProBox.
- 1225A FF and 1625A FF: Front-fold planters with hydraulic seed drive, available in 12, 16 and 30-inch configurations. They feature an 82 or 150 bu. hopper or may be used with a customer-supplied ProBox.