Most farmers view seeding as the most important task they complete each year. With few exceptions, the old axiom, “How you start is how you’ll end,” holds true in crop production. If seed is not planted at a uniform depth, into moisture and with proper seed furrow closure, it will come up erratically at best. Poor spacing and uneven emergence are two major yield limiters that must be avoided. At the same time, it’s important to get the crop in the ground in time to take advantage of the growing season, while there is still moisture for the crop to germinate and emerge. In addition, many growers are expanding their acreage to spread fixed costs and improve profitability, which puts even more pressure on the need for efficiency and accuracy at seeding. Fortunately, both the Sunflower 9800 series single disk drill and the White 9800VE series planter lineup combined with the power and precision of Fendt tractors solve these problems with ease.
Just outside the tiny township of Strykersville, N.Y. sits Fontaine Farms, the highly regarded dairy operation run by brothers Jim and Steve Fontaine. In March, the snowbanks around the barn haven’t quite thawed, and for Jim and Steve, the colder it is, the better: the fresh milk cools quickly and helps maintain the quality of the product for which the Fontaines are known.
Last winter, the business was coming off three straight years as a National Dairy Quality Award winner, and until this summer, they were riding a streak of more than 70 months straight of somatic cell counts (SCC) below 100,000. It’s an impressive run, for sure, in a region where dairies are numerous and competitive.
- Replace worn sweeps, blades, and harrows
- Level tillage tools
- Set working depths
- Monitor speed
- Avoid Compaction
Developing a good seedbed is important to get the crops off to a good start; yet often overlooked or difficult to obtain. Seedbeds need to have uniform residue distribution, loose aerated soil structure, and a level soil profile on both the surface and at the working depth of shanks or blades. As we move into spring consider the following:
REPLACE: Now is a good time to check spring tillage tools for damage and wear. Replace worn shovels, blades, and harrow components. It is difficult to do a good job with worn ground-engaging components.
By: Darren Goebel, Director – Global Commercial Crop Care
- Improve Farm Profitability
- Reduce Nutrient Losses
- Improve Nutrient Use Efficiency
- Increase Yield
- Reduce Nutrient Stratification
Growers are always looking for ways to improve farm profits, even more so in a down commodity market. One opportunity to achieve better margins is incorporation of fertilizer banding into nutrient management programs. Banding nutrients, as shown above, allows producers to variably apply nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, blending the right source at the right rate in the right place, at the right time. These are the four R’s of nutrient management that improve farm profitability and promote environmental stewardship.
Why Banding? Banding concentrates fertilizer in the root zone. This is beneficial in several ways. Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s farmers have to overcome numerous hurdles in preparing optimum seedbeds: hard-packed soil, heavy residue left over from genetically modified crops, erosion concerns, and continued demands for speed and efficiency. To meet the challenge, Sunflower offers more than 100 models and configurations of seeding and tillage tools, each designed to help enhance seed-to-soil contact for rapid and uniform emergence. That means more efficiency, better yields, higher profits.
After almost 70 years of excellence, farmers have come to trust Sunflower. It’s a name synonymous with quality and dependability. Now, that same excellence can be found in new Sunflower Genuine Tillage Parts, such as blades, sweeps, chisels and points.
Just like having the right-sized tractor to pull these exceptionally effective and efficient implements, replacement parts are critical to the best-in-class operation of Sunflower Seed and Tillage tools.
Visit a Sunflower dealer to ask for Sunflower Genuine Tillage Parts.