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10 planting ideas from All Around the Farm

  • Graphite-holding rack

    This handy rack is built of wood. It holds the powdered graphite Ken Miller uses for the finger planter on his farm near Rochelle, Illinois. He says that with this rack, he can reach the graphite bottles from either the front or the back. He also mounted a bucket in the center to hold a whisk broom, grain scoop, and a few other tools.

  • Seed or fertilizer tender

    Tired of having to crawl into the gravity box to shovel fertilizer into the auger when filling his planter, George Tipler of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, took action - he converted a used fertilizer spreader to a tender. He purchased a folding fertilizer auger and removed the spinner from the rear of the fertilizer spreader. Then he attached the folding auger to the rear of the trailer and installed a hydraulic motor to drive the apron. The tender has a roll top.

  • Tongue extension

    A drawbar mounted on a planter pulls a 1,500-gallon tank of fertilizer during planting for John James of Redfield, South Dakota. The tubing will fit between two row units. James says he pulls a pin, backs up a little, and the tube slides under the tank. The brings the tank wagon right next to the planter on more compact systems, he says. He also reports that, by using this method, his clothes stay free of fertilizer or chemicals.

  • Seed box lids lost no more

    Like many other people, Robert Bremel of Hillpoint, Wisconsin, was having trouble losing the lids on his corn planter's seed boxes. Then he put the hook portion of 1.5-inch-long pieces of 1-inch self-adhesive Velcro under the lids and the same size pieces of the loop half in the corresponding spot on the back of the seed box in the middle of the handle. He advises making sure the area is clean and dry so they stick.

  • Planter box fill

    Gary Houdek, Chapman, Nebraska, extended the tube on his Seed Vac and added a butterfly valve. Now he shuts off the valve between boxes, switches to the next hopper, and seed fills the black cone. At the next hopper, he opens the valve and the seed empties as the flow continues. He also added a clear plastic tube so seed wouldn't splatter during a fill.

  • Seed and revitalize all at once

    Virgil Wiatrek came across an out-of-service grain drill and adapted it to work with the pasture renovator on his Stockdale, Texas, farm. Now he uses this combination to both renovate and sow rye or oat seeds in just one trip, which saves him time, fuel, and labor. He says a person could use it for other small grains or grasses.

  • See the planter mark better at night

    Richard Westerfeld of Crawford, Texas, build this light bracket out of a 9-foot-long piece of pipe and attached it to the bottom of his tractor weights. The lights are down low, away from the center, and pointed across the planter mark. That way they create a shadow that falls across the marker trench. It's visible, he reports, from nearly as far away as the lights shine.

  • Plant in skips or drowned out places

    Mattoon, Illinois, farmer Duane Seaman wanted a one- or two-row planter to plant in skips or drowned out places. So he bought a wing from a 12-row finger pickup, shortened the bar for two rows, and built a hitch to attach it to the three-point hitch of his utility tractor. The driveshaft comes out to the end of the bar. A different sprocket could be used to change population, he says.

  • Apply inoculants with less hassle

    Here's another way to apply inoculants from Bob Timp of DeSmet, South Dakota. He cleaned out an old Dectomax container and filled it with inoculant. It's easier, he says, to measure and mix now and much more convenient than using the plastic cup that comes with the inoculant. Just set the gun to the correct setting, and spray it over the seed in each planter box, says Timp.

  • Distribute graphite

    A 3x12-inch-long garden auger does a good job mixing graphite throughout seed boxes at planting time, according to Fred Ifft Jr. of Fairbury, Illinois. He uses an 18-volt impact tool to turn the auger at a slow speed. He says he's also welded a quick-attach end to the drive end of the auger for faster implementation.

Here are 10 great planting ideas from All Around the Farm.

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