We are a small farm and we cannot justify the cost of some of the equipment needed to plant the crops in a timely manner. We have an old 6 row corn planter but the farmer decided to custom hire the corn planting this year. The unit we hired has a 12 row planter, which means the corn was planted a lot faster than we could have done. This was the right decision; it started raining after the corn was planted and rained for 4 days. There was no way we could have gotten the corn planted before the rain came. We had 4 fields to be planted to corn, 3 of them were planted before the rain. The 4th field was finally planted on Saturday.
After the field is plowed it is worked with the disc and a roller. They break up the clods of soil.
The arm on the right side is making a mark in the soil. On his return trip through the field, he will line the center of the tractor up with that mark. He alternates using the left or right arm depending on which direction he is planting in the field. The operator has to pay attention to make sure the rows are straight. Some of the large acreage farmers use tractors with GPS systems but it is not an option for us small farms.
This field of corn will not mature as soon as the other fields and will be used for silage in the fall.
The same day we finished planting the corn, we no-til drilled the soybeans. This was a different custom hire operator. (For your information – corn is planted, beans are drilled. Don’t ask me why, that’s just how it is.)
The top part is filled with soy bean seeds. The seeds drop into the hoses and the metal disc cut a slit into the soil. The bean falls into the soil then the back roller pushes soil over the slit.