This past week has been fairly slow. The rain showers have kept most of the guys out of the field. The weather report is calling for frost tonight, which is causing the few guys that have crop out of the ground to be rather nervous. We have one customer that has beans out of the ground already, hopefully that doesn’t result in freezing them off. I would estimate that approximately 60% of the acres are planted in southwest part of Wisconsin. The last few days our dairy customers have begun cutting their winter rye for chopping. For the most part the customers are happy with the rye crop this year due to the crop still standing, even though with the shorter height.
With all of the rain days, I was able to take a customer and look at the new 1775NT ExactEmerge planter. After seeing the planter with almost 7000 acres of use on it already, it really reassured myself and the customer that the increased speed wouldn’t necessarily wear out the parts faster. The high speed planter will require increased horsepower to run at the higher speeds. For instance a 12 row high speed will need at least 200 horsepower and a 24 row will require at least 360 and will be severely limited in the hills. All of the new high speed planters require at least 60 gpm of hydraulic flow.
Also going forward there are some attachments that will not currently handle the higher speeds. A few examples are the single disc fertilizer openers will only be able to take speeds of 7.5 mph, and the fertilizer system on the high setting will only be able to do 5 gallons per acre at 8 mph. In addition the marker system will not take the stress of the high speeds. However, going 10 mph and not using autosteer will be very difficult. With that said I still recommend ordering all planters with markers even if the customer is running RTK autosteer, in case something happens to the base station, or the autosteer the customer will still be able to plant their crop, just a little slower. One attachment that shows promise is the Smartbox system, which will be able to handle the higher speeds and standard granular chemical systems will not.
During the rainy weather we had a couple of customers that had equipment left outside. When they started the equipment again their receivers where not communicating with the display. What we found was the coating on the harness had cracked and corroded. What appears to be happing is that the iTC receivers are getting enough age where the exposed parts of the harness are sun baked and cracking. If you notice on your receiver that the plastic coating is starting to crack order a part number PF80858, and you should be back up and running.