Farmers talk about trades and machine upgrades

Wheat is also leaving its crop rotation in 2023 – another reason the no-till seeder was no longer needed. While he likes harvesting for rotational aspects, it hasn’t been lucrative in the long run. “The only way I can pencil in wheat is to mulch it and double the crop and that’s just not working for me right now,” he said.

His wish as a bean planter is for the unit to be filled in bulk rather than in individual seed boxes. “I find decent deals on these models, especially compared to the newer delivery systems,” he noted. Before writing the check, he’ll take a close look at the game side-by-side and make sure all the components look sound. Openers, row cleaners, closing wheels, downforce are things he can add to the aftermarket, he said.

Social media treats it well as a trading post. He usually searches some online trading houses to get an idea of ​​how to price a tool.

He also listed a John Deere 4730 sprayer with 100-foot booms and stainless steel plumbing. The machine reached 3,000 hours this week and he listed it for $115,000. He wants to move to a Hagie rig to spray. A trade-in with a dealer is not out of the question if they don’t sell the sprayer directly. It all comes down to dollars and finding the right fit.

On the work plan for the coming week, there is the evaluation of the harvesting equipment. He wants to make sure all the systems work when the culture is finally ripe. “One thing about growing wheat, it gives you mid-season control over the combine. But we’re going to give it another review,” he said.

Building a farm as a young independent farmer takes measured steps, but that doesn’t stop Garrabrant from dreaming. In the next three years, he wants to build a store on the farm. “I put a lot of thought into every aspect,” he said. “One thing I know I want is a good way to organize parts and a system for tracking inventory of what I have.”


Weather continues to be a concern for Arnusch Farms. “We need the whole month of August to get to the finish line,” Arnusch said.

“Our corn is being badly delayed. The guys in the Midwest are pulling yield estimates and we’re just starting to laze around,” he added.

He estimated maize maturity is at least two weeks behind and possibly three weeks behind in his area. “It’s not because we put it in late or we were late planting. This is the year,” Arnusch said. “Crops just don’t seem to grow well when it’s hot and dry.”

The farm typically plants 99 to 103 day old corn if it is to be harvested as grain. For silage, they lean towards 113-day-old corn. “We want it to flower around 2350 degrees of growth on the corn silage side,” he said.

They had the heat. What the region lacked was timely moisture. “We may not have physically stressed this crop to look at it, but we are seeing stunted root growth. We are not seeing very tall plants. The nodes are stacked fairly close together. We are not seeing just not the type of culture that we are used to,” he says.

In a perfect world, daytime temperatures would stay in the upper 80s. “But more importantly, we need nighttime temperatures of around 55C and we tend to see temperatures drop below in late August. If that happens, we’re going to see that crop roll back,” he said. declared.

DTN AG meteorologist John Baranick said radar estimates show a few showers moved into the Arnusch area last week, but they were patchy. Temperatures were well into the 90s and approaching highs of 100 degrees, but relief is coming.

“A cold front will be felt on Monday and temperatures should now be in the 80s. The front will be somewhat slow and give a chance of rain until probably Wednesday, although there will be some deviation from the forecast .

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a chance materialized this weekend (20-21 August) as well. ‘they’ve been getting since late July,’ Baranick said.

When it comes to agricultural machinery, Arnusch believes in the modernity of the fleet. “We are constantly evaluating whether something has exceeded its target or simply needs to be upgraded.

“But we try to avoid buying very specialized equipment or tools that only serve one purpose for a short period of time,” he explained.

For example, the farm owns a combine harvester because it is used on most of the acres on the farm. However, they do not have any alfalfa harvesting equipment. They grow several cuttings for a nearby dairy and the dairy does the chopping. The rest of the cuttings are custom baled.

“We just don’t have the acreage to own the (hay) equipment,” Arnusch explained.

“I’m sometimes accused by friends and neighbors that I’m a little drunk on gear, but we have plenty of gear on the farm.

“The most important equipment on the farm right now is the soil moisture probes, the irrigation equipment and the self-propelled sprayer. These are things you simply cannot replace,” he said. -he declares.

“In the case of the sprayer, I don’t want to rely on a custom applicator that might not reach me when I need to get the job done. In eastern Colorado, the wind blows a lot. But sometimes the wind sits in. We can head to the field long after the custom applicators have returned home and get those sprays applied in a timely manner.Or we can spread fertilizer on a wheat crop on a Sunday afternoon when the temperatures are rising and the conditions are good,” he explained.

“We try to invest in the areas of equipment need that are most profitable for us,” he added. On-farm storage is another investment he says has paid off in spades. Being able to harvest wetter grain and dry it on its own schedule and not just when the elevator is open has been important for the farm, he added.

The pandemic economy has Arnusch looking carefully at what needs to be inventoried on the farm, rather than depending on a store or retailer to have inventory on hand. “Parts have become harder to come by than even during the teeth of the COVID crisis,” he said.

“We are struggling to find sweeps for our cultivator and tires for some of our equipment. These are supply chain issues that simply did not exist 10 months ago,” Arnusch noted.

This forces the farm team to do an analysis of their spring equipment now. The planter is a tool that is particularly close to his heart.

“I believe that every good harvest starts with your seeder. We want technology that rewards us on the farm, so we run a modern seeder. But you can take a 35-year-old seeder and make it a really good machine if it fits snugly,” Arnusch said. “You have to marry cutting-edge technology with proper fit.

“I think we’re making great strides in seeder efficiency and I’m excited to see some of the great things coming down the road. But there’s still no substitute for a properly adjusted seeder,” he said. -he adds.

Arnusch currently applies pneumatic downward pressure to his drill, but thinks he would benefit from hydraulic downward pressure, especially on no-till and harder clay soils. The farm has found that Schlagel spiked closing wheels help seed-to-soil contact better than traditional closing wheels. They have also tested and approved Groff Ag Talon row cleaners which move more residue and less dirt and require less down pressure.

When the farm buys equipment, it often trades to advance that base and equipment. If selling equipment rather than buying new, online auctions have worked well in the past, Arnusch noted.

However, this is all secondary to what’s next to come to the farm. There’s a wedding planned for early September for Arnusch’s son, Brett. “We feel like we won the lottery bringing Alexis into the family,” he said.

Pamela Smith can be contacted at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN

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