Switching the Planter to Soybeans

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

We get a lot of questions about switching the planter from corn to beans, and for good reason.  Sometimes it is pretty simple, but for other models and monitors it is not quite so easy.

In a John Deere Vac planter with a Pro-Max 40 disk, obviously you will need to change the disk from the 40 cell corn disk to the 108 cell soybean disk.  You will also need to change the “knocker” wheel in the black meter vacuum chamber door to the “wiper.”  If you have a mini hopper planter you will also need to change the short brush with the “double stair step” to the brush with the “single stair step.”  The long step will go towards the outer radius of the meter.  The short step will be towards the inner hub of the meter.  Make sure you don’t install backwards.  Vac level settings should be around 8” of H20.  You will need to use talc in central fill planter even with beans.  If the beans are treated, you will need to use about the same rate of talc as what is used in corn.  Untreated beans can usually have the talc rate cut in half from corn.  If it is a warm humid day, take extra care to use plenty of talc and make sure it is well mixed in the hopper with the seed.

If you have a planter with a variable rate hydraulic seed drive then you will need to go into the section in the monitor where you enter the target rates and change the selected disk to “soybean.”  Failure to do this will result in an extreme overplant condition.  Keep in mind that the high rate sensors on many planters 10 or more years old will not count every bean, especially in a 30” row.  They can be 5-10% lower than the actual depending on a lot of factors.  Even the newer accu-count sensors may show slightly lower that the expected.  If the monitor is showing lower than expected, double check the beans per foot in the seed trench to verify that you are getting the correct population.

In an Exactemerge planter, you will need to use the 64 cell soybean bowl.  The “rumble strip” at the lower radius of the meter housing will need to be changed to the smooth unit.  Next, the double eliminator will need to be lowered to extreme lower setting line.  This will be well below the 3 corn setting lines.  Don’t forget to change the selected disk in the seed setup portion of the monitor to the soybean bowl and select your target population.

If your planter is a 1790 split row planter there are a couple more items to check.  In the monitor under the seed setup where you put in your target population, you will need to select the number of rows for beans.  If you have a 16/31 planter for example it will show a 16 or a 31 with a box.  Select the 31 and the monitor will change your row spacing and turn on the additional seed sensors automatically. If you have a 350 monitor you should only need to change the “Split” button and the monitor will change the row spacing and turn on the other sensors automatically.  Don’t forget to let down your back rows off of the stops so they will engage the ground at the proper depth as well.

You view more information on the Deere seed meter on this video:

Good luck throughout the rest of the spring planting season.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

 

New Deere Planter Options, SF2 vs RTK, Guided Planter Hitches, and Prescriptions

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI 

Prescriptions

rx

Do you plan on doing any variable rate planting this spring? If so, now is a great time to work on them or sit down with your agronomist.  This will assure that your prescriptions are ready and in the right format for your display come spring.   All too often, we run into issues on the first day of planting of trying to get them into the display and working correctly.  If you have questions on what needs to be done please be pro-active and get a hold of us today.   We also have data management services available to help with this task plus spring software updates and pre-season display set-up.  You can learn more about our data management  service by clicking here.

Active Implement Guidance

laforage

Laforge Guided Planter Hitch

John Deere recently announced a new allied agreement with Laforage for a guided planter hitch. When combined with John Deere’s Active Implement Guidance, it will place the seed right where it needs to go. This would be ideal for strip till. Even if you are not strip tilling, you can see benefits from the consistent guess rows when you return to side dress, spray and harvest. The Laforage hitch has up to 20” of hitch movement available. The hitch replaces the factory 2-point hitch on 1770, 1775, 1790 and 1795 planters.

If you are looking for a hydraulic drawbar hitch or a convertible hitch (2 point and a drawbar), we also have Protrakker hitches available with up to 26” of movement.

Protrakker Hitch

Protrakker Hitch

If you have any questions on hydraulic hitches or active implement guidance, please give us a call.

SF2 Signal vs. RTK

sf3000

As we get closer to planting season, we’re starting to get the question “what GPS accuracy level fits my operation the best”.  We recommended using SF2 or RTK for planting although we have many customers still using SF1 and getting by just fine.  SF2 and RTK both are noticeable improvements especially when planting in hills and contours.  Since John Deere moved the SF2 subscription renewals from their call center to the dealership a few years ago, we’ve taken a lot of calls to activate SF2 subscriptions at the beginning of the planting season. Many customers may not know what it would take to jump from SF2 to RTK.  John Deere’s year-long SF2 subscription is $1050 while Sloan Implement’s RTK subscription is only $1000.  If you already have a SF2 unlocked receiver, you only need a one-time RTK activation ($3500) and a 450 mhz radio ($1795).  That puts your first year total with the subscription at $6,295.  Next year you would only pay $1000 for the annual subscription. John Deere’s RTK signal is a repeatable 1” signal that will not move or drift from day to day or season to season.  Planter shutoffs can now be used with confidence for interior boundaries or water ways. They can also be dialed in for even less overlap while running RTK. The signal acquisition at the beginning of the day is almost instant vs waiting for the accuracy to improve with other Deere and non-Deere signals. Everything else, from autotrac performance to variety locator, is also improved with the more accurate and repeatable RTK signal. Talk to your Sloan Implement AMS Consultant for details on coverage for your area. Sloan Implement is committed to giving you the best accuracy available and we will be building additional towers in Iowa and Wisconsin in time for planting.  You can view our current RTK network coverage by clicking here.

National Farm Machinery Show

John Deere revealed several future products at the National Farm Machinery Show this week.  For 2017 they plan to have a MaxEmerge 5E row unit with an electric drive (no more electric seed clutch or hydraulic variable rate motors).

MaxEmerge 5e

MaxEmerge 5E Row Unit

They also showed a hydraulic individual row downforce system that’s expected to be a factory installed option in 2017 along with a pneumatic closing wheel option (available now for limited models).

IRDF

Hydraulic Individual Row Downforce

Pneumatic Closing

Pneumatic Closing Wheel

 

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com

Monroe Planting & Hay Progress, 1790 Planters, & ExactEmerge report

by Joe Brunker, Monroe, WI

Most guys are wrapping up with corn. There are still plenty of soybeans to plant. Some rye has been cut. I’ve seen one field of alfalfa cut, but the windrow was pretty small. There will be a lot of hay cut here after the holiday weekend. It feels like we missed spring altogether and it finally went into summer this week. We had another productive week throughout most of the area and a lot of seed went in the ground. Some areas could actually take a nice rain again.

I had a 1790 this week where everything worked except the recording when starting the tractor each day. Set-up was perfect. Cold boot would not fix it. Unplugging the ISO and plugging it back in would let it record. Kept getting a general communication error message with no controller information on the bottom of the message and PM1 was not coming up clean in the message center. Everything else worked though. Updated all of the 7R tractor software (10 updates). Re-updated the planter controller software. Checked connections. Found row command connector (not in use) dangling down and full of water, cleaned it up, but did not fix the problem.  The GS2 already had the latest software. Did a field reprogram on the 2600 and recording works every time you start the tractor now. The communication error message is also gone. Had a similar communication message a SPFH with a GS2 last year as well. Factory reprogram fixed that one.

Had a customer call last night with the VRD motors turning and dropping seed with the planter raised. Tried to recalibrate the height sensor, but it would not let us. Found a pushed back pin on the height sensor connector.

Customers have been impressed with the high speed ExactEmerge planter in the field. Seed spacing was very good even at 12 MPH when we tested it. Everyone is interested to see what the emergence will be like and we will be watching the fields that we planted with it.