We are 100% no-till and have been since 2010. That in itself does have challenges.
A lot of the ground conditions might be a little cool or wet. We were having trouble getting the furrow to close, whether it be leaving an open slit or it just wouldn’t get all the air out of the trench. We tried many different systems—I think even at one time we had about four different closing systems on a planter.
When we saw Precision’s Furrowforce closing system, it really sparked our interest. Trying to find that one system that works across the board was difficult. That’s where we found that the Furrowforce system—being completely automated—is going to adjust itself due to the conditions we’re in at that time.
We did incorporate our planter with vApplyHD, so now we have row-by-row fertilizer. I do feel that will be a payback. Any time you can save on your input costs—no different than your seed—and be able to control the sections individually now. Knowing you’re not over-applying or under-applying was a big benefit for us. In our old system, it just put the fertilizer across the board and you never knew what each individual row was doing. Now we have the ability to see with the 20|20 monitor what, row-by-row, each one’s putting on. That was really nice to see.
I was impressed that, especially with vApplyHD, the fertilizer application was very accurate. It was always within a tenth of a gallon or what our target rate was. It was good to watch the individual shutoffs work as they’re supposed to or watch FurrowForce as it goes through the field—it was making adjustments on the fly. That was really neat to see.
vApplyHD was just as important as FurrowForce due to the fact that you have those savings on your fertilizer. There’s definitely payback there. With FurrowForce, there’s payback there, too, because we had a very good emergence and that’s key. We get an equal emergence and at the end of the day, the 20|20 monitor gives me that information. Going forward I can make a better decision on how much to order and which amount to hit that target more accurately.
It’s definitely nice knowing that I’m doing the job I want to do and I’m doing it right. It doesn’t matter what we buy on our farm, you’ve got to have service. And that was one thing: we had good service and tech support any time we needed it. Going in, that’s what you like to see from your dealer. Our experience was just that. We had good feedback from them and help to get it set up the way we want it to.
If you’re a person doing any fertilizer or struggling with your closing system, I’d say definitely look at FurrowForce or vApplyHD. We really enjoyed it and we’re looking forward, in the future, to going with other attachments from Precision Planting.