My name is Grant Hannah. We farm in Peoria County and Marshall County Illinois. I've been farming with dad together for eight years now.
So we farm a variety of soil types field shapes and sizes with different practices to suit from minimum till, conventional till, strip-till, and no-till, and we were really looking for better downforce control as we went from soil type and tillage practice to different ways to do it to become more efficient in how the seeds were going into the ground.
We also wanted better meter performance. Precision Planting—the combination of the 20|20 to let us monitor what's actually going on in the performance of the planter as well as the downforce control automatically moving from field to field—gave us that control.
The challenges of our conditions, especially this year or in 2017 when we got rained out of the field in late April and we weren't able to get back into the field until mid-May, it made me feel like there was definitely missed opportunity for more timely planting. It's not a good feeling. It opened my eyes to how much I can measure in the 20|20 and then experiment with from a productivity standpoint.
When we are able to manage downforce, manage meter, and diagnose things through the eyes that the 20|20 would give us into what we're doing—productivity and our woes of 2017—this is what dad and I had thought about. How can we become more productive?
We didn't really want to buy a bigger planter and after installing SpeedTube with the help of our local dealer, we were able to increase the acres that we were covering per hour by 40% and not give up the performance that we need.
In the first half of May, we had conditions that were not ideal and our sandier soils, but we had a small window and the extended forecast wasn't good. So, in one big day, I was able to get 400 acres planted. That included the time it took to run to town to get a new end put on a hose.
This spring showed us how little we actually do control of what we can do. I think our best days can be evaluated by how we responded to the circumstances that we were given. Precision Planting products helped me control what I can control and that makes my life a lot easier.
On a tough year, it helps me get in less than ideal conditions and do what I can, and try to make the best of a tough situation. And on a good year when I have a big planting window—and everybody's got a big planting window—it just gets me home to my family quicker.