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BANDING IN TOUGH CONDITIONS
“It is tough
out there…. It has a face only a mother could love,
….. but a good manager moves around the problem and gets more for less.”
Pre-plant banding in the fall or banding when seeding is seldom an attractive event in the PNW or the No-till annual cropping of the Great Plains, (typical from 1,500 feet to 6,000 feet above sea level).
This year on the Great Plains, fall banding is not being carried out because the soil is too dry and too hard. This is not unusual although it is truly a severe drought.
Winter Wheat producers in North Dakota just simply gave up on winter wheat production because of the difficult conditions.
Winter Wheat in rotation reduces machinery requirements…improves work load and can double land values as a result of high machinery utilization and a safety valve design in the cash flow.
Producers “Roll the dice, twice” with winter wheat in rotation and in some cases they can double crop in Kansas and Colorado.
Many producers that are aggressive and want to expand must consider winter wheat since it is the most moisture efficient of all grain crops.
However, Winter Rapeseed (climate allowing) could ultimately be the best way to aggressively expand a dryland farm at very low risk and make top yields. Rossini Winter Rapeseed (TCI of NC), not GMO, is making trial yields as high as 8,100 pounds per acre in the dryland production area of Idaho. The Winter Rapeseed soil is fumigated with Glucosinolate forming cyanide gas when rainfall penetrates the root channels and porous, sponge like moisture absorbing soils of No-till. Tillage seals the soil surface breaking the natural ability to perk the bio-fumigant in the leaves and stems into the soil profile.
Continuous No-till farmers get the advantage of Bio Fumigation without tillage or incorporation of the residues.
Not many of the ND producers realize that you do not need to band and seed in a single pass with winter wheat production. The single disc TAPPS process may be unique to Exactrix owners since they know about banding into growing winter wheat.
Seeding into dry soil is very attractive with single disc openers such as the 1890…..because it will rain....and the winter wheat will come....and it will make a good crop, 97% of the time. And if it doesn’t not rain and it does not snow….and does not rain again in the spring not as much production investment dollars are lost if producers time the nutrients to the need of the crop.
Thus late fall banding….and early spring banding or side dressing into winter wheat and winter rapeseed and winter canola is attractive. The non GMO winter rapeseed is very powerful due to the high quality, non soil active, selective herbicides that can be used.
The drill engineer will agree with this statement. “No-till farmers with single pass systems are in a trap since their machines were not designed to band into tough air dry soils”. The paired row shank type openers crack the soil leaving valuable seed in air pockets and unevenly distributed resulting in several germination dates reducing yield 10% to 15%. Seed germination and the ability to get a good stand is greatly reduced when shanking in seed on cracked air dry soil.
Under dry fall conditions...every single pass drill developed is parked when the soil is not moist. The producer must move ahead at very low 3 mph ground speeds to avoid machinery damage. Quite often producers will accept parts and support bills that reach $15 per acre to assure a stand of winter wheat when it rains.
The winter wheat stands will be compromised because the bander is cracking the soil.
Machines cannot be kept reliable in tough air dry soil conditions. No manufacturer can develop a machine economically that will allow banding in such tough conditions.
The Heavy Duty, Yielder Drill can band into tough, dry soil conditions at 6 to 7 mph ground speeds since it is a double disc, with 3/8 offset leading 24 inch blades….but economically speaking the machine is not as competitive in spring cropping due to its massive punch and thus the development of the Yielder L series drill that are designed for moist soil spring conditions.
The King of Winter Wheat is the Yielder with field wide averages as high as 156 bushels per acre. The machine was designed to seed the county road and take out Blue Grass sod in the fall. Seed placement is superior since the offset leading disc opener meters the seed into a W formed soil slot.
Since banding is always a little deeper than seeding with single pass drills the soil will have a cracked seed bed. The producers switch to urea or aqua ammonia thinking they have dodged a bullet by banding shallow.
Economically speaking banding after seeding can be done.
What are you talking about, Willis?
The bands must go deep…at 4.5 inches to 8 inches in depth.
More producers are beginning to understand the advantages of banding into growing roots with Mustang Openers, Deere and Case openers.
Following the 60 year path of Shell Engineers, NH3 single disc banding is becoming more and more enlightening.
The first 20 years of NH3 shank type banding into winter wheat and corn were accomplished with high NH3 cost.
The discovery by Engineers....not agronomists per se…..commodity crops such Cotton, Corn and Wheat performed under good economics when NH3 was side dressed or banded into growing roots.
Winter wheat was shanked with pressure reducing NH3 gas type systems in the spring on 18 inch centers for about 6 years. The development lasted into the early 60’s before Thio-Sul and Ammonium Poly Phosphate were developed.
The development of APP/ATS allowed for most of the unused N as NH3 to be stabilized in the fall allowing for fall banding of N, P, and S in a pre-plant design. Thus Single product NH3 is never utilized in wheat production for raising good crops in the winter rainfall of the PNW.
What is Powerful as a Locomotive, Faster than a Bullet, Built Like an Anvil, and raises good crops.
A Case Magnum 335 hp tractor with 14,000 pound three point load, utilizing a Montezuma Tool Bar and Mustang P-51C high durability openers.
Side saddle mounted twin 500 gallon tanks at 1,000 gallons of 11.7 pound gallon, APP/ATS/KTS. Trailing a 2,000 gallon NH3 tank with Exactrix/RT 2 inch bottom outlet valves.
A dynamic event and headed for the next chapter in No-till farming, Surgical Cut, Pre-plant banding TAPPS and TAPPKTS for no-tillage winter wheat production.
Banding to a 7 inch depth at 12.5 mph and consuming .3 gallons per acre of diesel fuel per acre.
The high speed Exactrix designed tool bar is covering .75 acres per minute at 12.5 mph.
Kansas conditions allowing TAPPS bands at 7 inch depth with long one mile runs operating with RTK guidance form Trimble.
Only No-tillage farming can produce such high levels of efficiency when soil stored moisture is the limiting factor.
Rainwater stored in the soil where it falls is worth $70 per acre/inch.
Paying $15 to $20 per acre/inch for water is normal but wasting water is a hanging offense in Kansas.
Never has there been such a great technical advance for No-till banding with Exactrix P-51C openers.
The biggest technical advance since the Yielder Drill of the late 70's and 80's….available to all producers that are aggressive and growing.
Bringing technology to Kansas is no problem when the producer has the Dust Bowl at his back.
Exactrix No-tillage Technology produces more net dollars than any other approach.
The Production Margin is always too close when Kansas weather is considered.
The trees in the background were severally damaged by a Tornado earlier in the year.