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Upgrading efficiency on the farm

XtremeAg’s Lee Lubbers makes upgrades to his tender trailer and planter, while Chad Henderson tends to his wheat fields.


Lee Lubbers of Gregory, South Dakota, grew up in the farming tradition, and remembers well using leftover scholarship money as the down payment for his first tractor and rent for 200 acres. Today, he farms more than 17,000 acres of dryland soybeans, corn, and wheat. Lubbers says one of the most important things to him is to always be learning and challenging himself to build an operation and a legacy that the next generation can be proud of.

We are shifting gears in the wintertime – shop projects are in full swing along with preventive maintenance on everything. We ran one planter through the shop. It was stripped down to the bare units and anything that needed replacing was replaced. We also added a hydraulic frame weight compensation to it and then hydraulic downforce. The downforce system was on our high-speed planter that we traded in for a new one. Since it’s modular and can be switched, that’s exactly what we did. We know the system well and it’s a $35,000-plus savings for us. Since it’s our second planter and doesn’t get as many acres as our high-speed, it seemed like a smart choice. We did everything ourselves. Our new high-speed planter is sitting at the dealership and waiting for its precheck, then we can put it in the shop and install our own hydraulic row cleaners.

John Deere planter close up
Photo credit: XtremeAg

We’re also setting up a new sprayer tender trailer. We ran our other trailer for 21 seasons ... it’s been a great rig, but it’s time to build a new trailer with a reconfigured loading setup. With all the supplier issues going on, we made sure on the day we bought the trailer that we bought our tanks and other items to go on it at the same time. After picking up our tanks they told us that new ones are at least 30 weeks out from delivery. We’re starting with a blank canvas, so to speak, and putting a lot of time and planning into the design to save time loading, etc. I’ll post in-depth about the project on XtremeAg for our members to see and to ask any questions on the setup. My brother Terry can fab anything out of metal, so we have a lot of neat features to incorporate into the trailer.

Custom trailer for planter tending
Photo credit: XtremeAg

The weather is a roller coaster: -40°F. wind chills or 40°F. above. We have not gone more than three to five days without a big swing in temps for the last month. It’s been a dry winter so far for us. Stay safe, stay warm. Keep moving forward, everyone.

Map of South Dakota temperatures
Photo credit: Iowa Environmental Mesonet


Chad Henderson is part of a five-generation farming operation in Madison, Alabama. Henderson Farms operates over 8,000 acres of dryland and irrigated corn, dryland soybeans, wheat, and dryland and irrigated double-crop soybeans. When not farming, Chad can be found carrying on another proud family tradition as a drag racer for Henderson Racing.

Our wheat scouting is going strong. We’re keeping an eye out for rye grass around the wheat fields along with any pests. Some of our fields have needed spraying around the outside for weeds. We really believe that keeping fields clean throughout the growing season makes a huge difference when it comes time to harvest.

Wheat in Alabama in January
Photo credit: XtremeAg

With high fertilizer prices we are working to lock in prices and find ways to reduce our operating costs. Once the weather allows, we’ll run the strip-till with a blend of DAP and potash. We are looking to save around $50 per acre just on fertility by running the strip-till. In the spring, the strip freshener and/or planter will be applying nitrogen and other fertilizer.

Strip till in Alabama
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Since January 1, we’ve had 5 inches of rain and it has prevented us from getting in the field. 

Xtreme Ag logo is a team of the nation’s top producers who have come together to share their experience, expertise, knowledge, and farming practices with other farmers. Members get access to exclusive content from the team as well as one-on-one support for their own farming operation. Visit for more information.

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