Efficiency-Planter Loading 1
Maybe there are a few of you out there who are interested in how this whole farming thing works. I am going to work on a few posts and videos with some of the "how we do it" type information in them. Maybe someone will learn something and maybe we will learn something too!! So follow along on here, our Youtube channel and Facebook!
Today I want to start with how we load seed into the planter. It's quite a deal. I am sure other farmers do it slightly different and I am sure there are ways we can improve our system. We tweak our systems every year and try to become more efficient, but this year, this is basically how we do it. The seed is stored in the shed and inventoried, sorted and organized. As it is time for the seed to be planted it makes it way to the "launching pad."
In this photo, the seed is all lined up and staged so that the fork lift can easily access it when it is time to get the seed to the planter. Usually this is done in front of the "seed shed" but as you see in the video below, that is only sometimes. Cory is in charge of getting the seed tender loaded and often he is the one to deliver the seed directly to the planter. Sometimes that one guy has to call on his mama to deliver seed as well. She is more than happy to do that! (What mama wouldn't want to work with her adult sons doing what they love?)
The forklift picks up the bulk box and holds it over the seed tender. Notice the red gadget up there on the bottom of the box? Notice the red remote control on the forklift? SUCH A HANDY GADGET! When they activate the remote, the bulk box is opened and the seed empties into the seed tender. Link to supplier here.
Our seed tenders hold 5 bulk boxes of seed. A bulk box holds 40 traditional bags of seed. So a seed tender holds the equivalent of 200 bags of seed. A high speed planter can plant up to 600 acres a day if the conditions are right, very roughly speaking that is 600 bags of seed or 3 seed tenders full. Step back to pre 2008ish time frame and that would be like hauling and dumping 600 bags of seed into a planter per day! And we use more than one planter! Shew! We (especially Cory and his mama) are thankful that we are not swinging those old fashioned bags at this rate!
This year has been pretty unusual with great weather for planting. We had some nice rains right before planting started, a nice one a few days into it and then a pretty good bout of precip just this week as we are about to finish up the planting for 2017. The timing has been just right for this rain! Though we are not completely done with planting, we are glad for this little break and the acres we have left to plant leaves us with peace of mind that we will have enough nice weather to get it in the ground before the growing season gets into full swing.
UPDATE 5/4/17 It started raining and hasn't stopped. 6.5" in 7 days. Maybe I spoke too soon above.