Valuing Value

Valuing Value

When it comes to what growers are looking for in planting equipment, the answer is really quite simple, says Lynn Graham. “They want a cheap version of the one that costs $10,000,” says Graham, the sales manager at Buckeye Tractor of Columbus Grove, OH.

Seriously, though they might not want to shell out for top quality, growers are increasingly demanding it. The reason is pretty simple, says Graham: Planting in plastic mulch is expensive. As more and more growers seek the many benefits of plastic mulch, such as weed suppression, water conservation, etc., they need equipment that meshes. “The driving force is plastic mulch, that and drip tape,” says Graham. “There’s more and more demand.”

Graham currently markets a water wheel planter, which allows transplanting through plastic, but adds that Buckeye hopes to soon start working on equipment that will direct seed through plastic. He hopes they can come up with an accessible system. “Right now, direct  seeding through plastic is expensive,” he says. “Smaller growers have trouble affording it.”

James Renaldo of Renaldo Sales and Service of North Collins, NY, agrees that such equipment is expensive — but that hasn’t cut demand. “I’d say 95% of people want equipment that goes through plastic, and half of them are making their first go into plastic,” he says.

However, Renaldo cautions those growers who are new to plastic to make their equipment decisions carefully. “Many want a cheap planter that goes into plastic mulch,” he says, “but cheap isn’t necessarily good.”

Renaldo, who came out with his first planter that works with plastic mulch exactly two decades ago, says growers also need to make sure their machines are versatile. It’s particularly important for growers who are considering diversification, citing one of his biggest customers as an example. “He’s got a lot of crops, a lot of bed types,” says Renaldo, adding that the planter works on all of them. “He can plant melons in the morning and tomatoes in the afternoon.”

Systematic Approach

Before making a decision on a planter, Ralph Moore of Market Farm Implement of Friedens, PA, says growers need to consider every aspect of their operation. For example, Moore says he’s heard from some growers who want to go to extra-narrow spacing to increase per-acre yields, but they haven’t thought it through. “If you do that, you’ll have to do hand-weeding,” he says. “It’s easier to hand-plant than it is to hand-weed.”

Moore, who used to farm himself, consults with growers so they don’t make such mistakes. To continue with the preceding example, he says a grower shouldn’t buy a planter without a cultivator. “It’s all based on a production system,” he says. “They’re not just buying a planter, they’re investing in a production system.”

In consulting with a grower, Moore says he tries to find out everything about the operation, such as the number of acres, etc. “We go over their entire system,” he says. “We don’t sell them a planter until we know exactly what they’re doing.”

Precision Decision

Precision planting comes up a lot in conversations Darrell Lemmon of Starco Manufacturing has with growers. “It seems like everyone’s looking for planters that will narrow the row width so they can get more plants per acre,” says Lemmon, who is based in Casper, WY. “Growers are also becoming more interested in planters with disc-type openers that will cut through any trash left in the field.”

Lemmon says his company is now working on a double-disk planter that will enable growers to achieve narrower spacing. “Now we can get 10 inches or even 8 inches,” he says. “But we want to go down even more. For example, on onions, we could get down to 4- and 5-inch rows.”

Growers have always been interested in precision planting to some degree, says Lemmon. It’s just that in the past, it was not so much about narrower rows, as it was about precise spacing within the rows. “The plant populations should have no doubles, no skips,” he says. “It’s all about economics — they want to buy planters that are dependable.” 

Dependability is indeed a key attribute in planting equipment, agrees Dave Fountain of Solex Corp., which is located in Dixon, CA. As growers seek to cut costs, they are increasingly taking a closer look at the maintenance costs of their equipment. “That comes up a lot,” he says. “It’s OK for components to wear out — as long as they are readily available and don’t cost an arm and a leg.”

Another area where costs are going up for growers — seed — is also affecting the planting equipment industry. Fountain says that growers are keenly interested in uniformity because they don’t want to waste a single seed. If seed costs go up too much more, the effect on the industry could be huge. “The higher the seed costs,” he says, “the more the grower eyes transplanters.”

A carousel transplanter, Model 5000WD, from Mechanical Transplanter has all the features of the Model 5000, plus the patented float-wheel direct drive.
The Renaldo 6-row transplanter plants through plastic mulch covered beds at approximately one plant per second, per planting head.
In addition, the Easy Set Toolbar System allows growers to quickly change row spacings by pulling a pin and sliding the row units to the row spacing desired without tools.
The new optional feature on the MaterMacc Model 8200 from Market Farm Implement is a vacuum seed clean out canister to vacuum out the seed from the planter.
Starco Manufacturing’s Milton Precision Planter can seed virtually everything from asparagus to sweet corn. The simplicity of the ground-driven Milton Planter complement the most precise mechanical planter in the industry.

 

Leave a Reply

6 comments on “Valuing Value

  1. Hi.Icomefrom Iran-kozestan by the way if you please if it possible send . I email work vegateblgrower
    idont know much English
    thank you very much

  2. Dear Sir,
    I am Manoj Patidar ,i am from INDIA,i must need the full detail on the letest machine which is used for GARLIC PLANTING.

    thank you sir

    Regards:-
    Manoj Patidar

  3. Hi.Icomefrom Iran-kozestan by the way if you please if it possible send . I email work vegateblgrower
    idont know much English
    thank you very much

  4. Dear Sir,
    I am Manoj Patidar ,i am from INDIA,i must need the full detail on the letest machine which is used for GARLIC PLANTING.

    thank you sir

    Regards:-
    Manoj Patidar

Featured Stories
Biofungicides supplement methyl bromide alternatives
Berries
February 5, 2016
Moving Beyond Methyl Bromide With Biofungicides
Editor’s note: University of California Farm Advisor Mark Bolda will present much more information on this topic at the Biocontrols Read More
Geotextiles being installed.

Photo: Jim Willwerth
Grapes
February 5, 2016
Geotextiles Can Help Prevent Winter Grapevine Damage
Although Northeast and Midwest grape growing regions have so far been spared from extreme cold this year, the winters of Read More
The canopy of the vines that received the under-canopy sprinkler irrigation just on hot nights during heatwaves appear to be healthier than the control vines and have a higher yield.
Photo: Michael McCarthy
Grapes
February 5, 2016
Researchers Test New Method To Mitigate Vine Heat Stress
The use of evaporative cooling in vineyards during hot weather isn’t a new concept, but researchers in Australia are testing Read More
Biocontrols USA 2016 logo
Crop Protection
February 5, 2016
Register Now For Biocontrols Conference 2016 Field And Greenhouse Tour
Space is limited, so register now to attend the first-ever Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference Field and Greenhouse Tour. Following the Read More
La Crescent produces a good quality white wine with apricot-like flavor. The off-dry, sweet white wine pairs well with appetizers, seafood and chicken. La Crescent has excellent winter hardiness with moderate disease resistance that requires a standard spray program.
Grapes
February 4, 2016
Northern Grapes Project Fuels A Market For Cold-Hardy Grapes
 There’s a burgeoning market for cold-weather grapes. The Northern Grapes Project, funded in 2011 by a USDA National Institute of Read More
two glass goblets of olive oil
Citrus
February 4, 2016
Can Olive Oil Grease Skids For Florida’s Slipping Citrus Trade?
Researchers, interested growers help launch new industry. Read More
Sunkist organic lemons being harvested at the Donlon Ranch in Ventura County, CA by Jane and Ned Donlon, 5th and 6th generation growers, respectively.
Citrus
February 3, 2016
Sunkist Expands Organic Portfolio
With the organic citrus sector growing three times as fast as conventional, the 123-year-old cooperative is keeping up with the times. Read More
money
Citrus
February 3, 2016
Syngenta OKs Buyout By ChemChina
Deal valued at more than $43 billion; Syngenta management team to stay intact. Read More
UFGem peach variety
Farm Marketing
February 3, 2016
Florida Peach Marketing Order Fails
Growers don’t meet 65% approval needed for passage. Read More
Western Growers'  Center for Innovation & Technology is a technology incubator designed to bring innovative entrepreneurs together with growers to facilitate creative solutions to the biggest challenges facing agriculture.
Farm Management
February 3, 2016
Western Growers Launches Tech Talk Series
Speakers from a variety of agricultural technology areas will make presentations on a variety of topics including drone/satellite imagery and food safety software. Read More
The Latest
Berries
February 5, 2016
Moving Beyond Methyl Bromide With Biofun…
Editor’s note: University of California Farm Advisor Mark Bolda will present much more information on this topic at the Biocontrols Read More
Grapes
February 5, 2016
Geotextiles Can Help Prevent Winter Grap…
Although Northeast and Midwest grape growing regions have so far been spared from extreme cold this year, the winters of Read More
Grapes
February 5, 2016
Researchers Test New Method To Mitigate …
The use of evaporative cooling in vineyards during hot weather isn’t a new concept, but researchers in Australia are testing Read More
Crop Protection
February 5, 2016
Register Now For Biocontrols Conference …
Space is limited, so register now to attend the first-ever Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference Field and Greenhouse Tour. Following the Read More
Grapes
February 4, 2016
Northern Grapes Project Fuels A Market F…
 There’s a burgeoning market for cold-weather grapes. The Northern Grapes Project, funded in 2011 by a USDA National Institute of Read More
Citrus
February 4, 2016
Can Olive Oil Grease Skids For Florida’s…
Researchers, interested growers help launch new industry. Read More
Citrus
February 3, 2016
Sunkist Expands Organic Portfolio
With the organic citrus sector growing three times as fast as conventional, the 123-year-old cooperative is keeping up with the times. Read More
Citrus
February 3, 2016
Syngenta OKs Buyout By ChemChina
Deal valued at more than $43 billion; Syngenta management team to stay intact. Read More
Farm Marketing
February 3, 2016
Florida Peach Marketing Order Fails
Growers don’t meet 65% approval needed for passage. Read More
Farm Management
February 3, 2016
Western Growers Launches Tech Talk Serie…
Speakers from a variety of agricultural technology areas will make presentations on a variety of topics including drone/satellite imagery and food safety software. Read More
Farm Management
February 3, 2016
Hot Topics Tackled At Mid-Atlantic Fruit…
Food safety and GMOs were two of the topics discussed on the first day of the trade show and conference. Read More
Citrus
February 3, 2016
Historic Rainfall Hampering South Florid…
El Niño express delivering floods, uncertainty for crops. Read More
Nuts
February 3, 2016
Avoid Tree Nut Cargo Theft
American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® recently reported on a rash of nut thefts, in which truckloads of nuts Read More
Nuts
February 3, 2016
Tips To Help Secure A Good Beekeeper Agr…
Pollination is one of the most important aspects of almond growing, and this time of year, making sure you have Read More
Apples & Pears
February 2, 2016
Fine Americas Introduces Next Generation…
New formulation of Exilis 9.5 SC is five times more concentrated than previous product; it's also easier to pour, handle. Read More
Fruits
February 2, 2016
EPA Releases List Of Products Labeled Fo…
Agency gives recommendations on products to protect hives against parasites. Read More
Fruits
February 2, 2016
California Fresh Fruit Association Names…
Issues such as water, labor, and food safety top the 2016 priorities. Read More
Vegetables
February 2, 2016
Rethinking Water In The West
While El Niño could significantly help with the drought in the West, when we look toward the future, we cannot rely on El Niño events to solve the water crisis in the West Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]