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Close it up

03/17/2011 @ 9:00am

Are you in need of a closing wheel that can adapt to varying field conditions? South Dakota farmer-inventor Danny Wipf was.

“I was looking for a wheel that would work in all field conditions — like wheat stubble, bean stubble, and corn stubble. Wet, dry, high ground, low ground, no-till, minimum-till, conventional-till, and so on,” says Wipf.

But finding such a tool proved challenging. So he made his own.

What evolved was the patented poly Pro-Stitch closing wheel, which features a blunt-tooth design for built-in depth control and industrial poly construction.

Better Performance

Not only does the device reduce sidewall compaction, but also it tucks soil firmly against seed, leaves soil loose on top (to increase emergence), and closes up the slot.

It works in all soil conditions from no-till to conventional-till, and the company says it will increase your crop yields with quicker growing, healthier plants.

“The Pro-Stitch closing wheel gives better performance by closing the slot, reducing sidewall compaction, and promoting soil-to-seed contact to give your crop an even, quicker emergence in all conditions,” says Wipf.

In the works for seven years, Wipf says the biggest reward has been building a product that performs in all tillage practices. But it hasn't come without challenges.

“The biggest challenge was perfecting the stitch effect,” Wipf says.

Reporting The Results

Maurice, Iowa, farmer Howard Vlieger started using the Pro-Stitch closing wheels in the spring of 2008.

“I put a set of Pro-Stitch closing wheels on one 12-row planter in the spring of 2008. I also put the Pro-Stitch closing wheels on one end row of another 12-row planter. The planter with only one Pro-Stitch row was used in both tilled and no-till ground. When the planter turned right to plant back across the field, there would be two rows that had the Pro-Stitch closing wheels side by side,” says Vlieger.

In August, he began noticing two darker colored green rows of beans in the field where he had planted with one row.

“With some investigating, I realized that the two darker rows were the rows with the Pro-Stitch closing wheels. The beans in those two rows were taller and had more pods on them. I saw this effect in every field where I planted this variety of soybean,” he notes.

Weighing three replicated strips of the two rows in the one field where he harvested the soybeans, the beans planted with the Pro-Stitch closing wheels made an average of 2 bushels more per acre.

“I am very happy with the Pro-Stitch closing wheels and won't plant without them,” says Vlieger.

Depending on your type of planter, prices start at $210 per row. Pro-Stitch closing wheels are compatible with John Deere, Case IH, Kinze, or White planters.

Wheels are available directly through Lake View Manufacturing, which is located by Lake Andes, South Dakota. To order or learn more about the wheels, call 605/999-3503.

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