Farmers try triple shoot openers

Three complete sets of the new VW30PR openers hit the soil this spring, along with dozens of openers bought by farmers who wanted to install just one as a comparison.

Brothers Gavin and Colin Greenwold of Fox Valley, Sask., installed the new openers this spring on their 45 foot Flexi-Coil drill, which is equipped for full liquid fertilizer. They seeded 3,200 acres into mud.

“It was ugly stuff; pure mud,” Gavin Greenwold said.

“Behind the tires, the odd opener did plug. Maybe once or twice a day, but that will happen with any opener. And we were going too soon to try and get it done.”

Greenwold said they could see good separation between the paired rows, despite the mud.

“We could really see the difference today (June 20) when we were trying to spray,” he said.

“We got three inches of rain this week. When I drove down the rows that were under water, you can really see the distinct separation between the pairs of rows. They’re absolutely straight and true and the spacing between the rows looks perfect.”

Greenwold put the openers on 10 inch row centres, leaving a maximum gap of seven inches between each pair of rows. The brothers have a mixture of heavy and sandy land.

“On the sandy soil, weed control is too difficult with too much space between the rows. That’s why paired rows works so well for us. If we had gone with 10 inch row spacing and a single row, I know we’d have worse weed problems.”

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