Frank Moore is a crop consultant and strip-tiller, who farms with his nephew, father and brother-in-law near Cresco, Iowa. As long time conservation-minded operators who grow almost 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans, they rely on precision farming equipment to plant, fertilize, spray and harvest their crops while minimizing soil and nutrient loss.
“We have no-tilled for more than 25 years, started with ridge tillage and now use strip tillage,” Moore says. “This year, our neighbor went in with us to buy a Krause Gladiator with a mounted Montag dry fertilizer tank for P and K application in the fall.”
In the past, using custom strip-till operators didn’t get Moore the A-B line set ups he wanted, which meant he had to make his own in the spring with the planter. With his own rig, it will be easier to match the A-B lines from the strip-till unit to the planter and combine, he says.
Moore Farms uses two Ag Leader Insight units — one that’s used in the tractor that pulls the planter and the sidedress applicator and in the combine — the other unit is installed in their Patriot sprayer with 90-foot boom.
They have two John Deere planters — a 1770 16-row planter for 30-inch corn and a 1790 split-row planter for 15-inch soybeans. The corn planter was equipped with row shut-off units in 2009.
“We use RTK auto-steering on the planter and the combine, but my nephew, Matt Miner, thinks the 8 or 9 mph speed makes it difficult to control the sprayer even with a strong RTK signal. He prefers the Raven light bar,” Moore says. “We have many waterways and contours so there is a lot of steering.”
What Farmers Want From You is a series of farmer profiles that examine the scope of precision farming tools individual farmers are using on their operation, along with the frustrations that can occur with adopting new technology and how dealers can alleviate those "points of pain" for farm customers. For the latest additions to the series, visit our What Farmers Want From You feed.
The Insight unit also controls boom sections to minimize the chance of over application.
Points of Pain: ‘Goof-Proof Connections’
After the local Deere dealership installed row shut-off units on the corn planter in 2009, the Ag Leader dealer came out to make the bridge to the Insight unit.
“We are not sure where or when the wires got switched, but it took us almost the whole season to figure out why lights were going on and off at the wrong time,” Moore says. “We finally figured out two lines that each control eight rows from the Insight unit were switched. So when outside rows should have been shutting off, they were double planting and rows that should have stayed running shut off, making triangular gaps in field point rows.”
Moore says switching the Insight unit from the tractor to the Deere 9960 STS combine can be confusing. “We’ve done it enough times that we are pretty familiar with it, but we’ve had the dealer come out more than once to help us,” he says. “We now have things marked well, but I think manufacturers and dealers could do a better job of marking wires to make moving the unit easier.”