A.“Many of our customers are discussing the need to work their fields. We have a considerable amount of interest in the Horsch Joker as a tool for filling the ruts, managing the residue and drying fields out.”
—Dean Elverud, operations manager, Butler Machinery Co., Aberdeen, S.D., and Jamestown, N.D.
A.“There will be increased field work this spring to address conditions caused by the late, wet fall last year. It has and will increase our sales in the spring for tillage tools and help us in our tractor business. And there’s no doubt the spring will be quite different, and if past experience tells us anything, they’ll hit the fields as soon as the weather breaks.”
—Mark Foster, ag division manager, Birkey’s Farm Store, Williamsport, Ind.
A.“Our rains started after harvest in September and we were mostly through harvest by then. But we’ve been wet since. Some will be planting min-till using Roundup to burn down weeds. Sales have been somewhat slow due to wet fields. We’re just now getting planters into the fields.”
—John Harbison, sales, Neuhaus & Co., Weslaco, Texas
A.“In north Texas it started raining last August and we have yet to be able to get in the fields. We have lots of customers that lost their crop due to the excess rain. We generally have started planting corn by now, but can’t. Most north Texas producers run about 50/50 wheat and corn or milo, and most took preventative planting for the wheat and it’s looking like the same for the corn crop. Sales are flat.”
—Michael W. McGill, manager, Ag-Power, McKinney, Texas
A.“We’ve sold more discs, field cultivators, rollers and combo mulchers due to the field conditions from last fall and this spring.”
—Bubba Wiggins, sales, Ayres Delta Implement, Greenwood, Miss.
A.“Most customers are discing now that we’re dry enough to start working the soil. People are still ripping here and discing the ruts to smooth up fields.”
—Larry Brannon, owner, BG Equipment, Hopkinsville, Ky.
A.“We didn’t have as much fall moisture as some other areas. Customers are disc ripping, discing or using the Landoll vertical tillage unit.”
—Keith Wood, salesman, American Implement,
A.“There’s been a extreme amount of activity in tillage equipment, including soil finishers, field cultivators, rear-tillage attachments and pull-type units. We’ve also sold every Unverferth rolling harrow we could get, as well as rear-mount harrows for existing tools. We could sell more, but the supply just isn’t there.”
—Jeff Suchomski, president, Suchomski Equipment, Pinckneyville, Ill.
A.“Since hardly any fieldwork was done last fall in my area, vertical tillage tools are the hot topic. There are a lot of untouched stalks around here and everyone is concerned about how to get them addressed — especially if they’re in a corn-on-corn situation and with no anhydrous ammonia applied. From Case IH’s 330 to adding rolling baskets to the Aerway, they’re doing whatever it takes to get the best end result out of this year’s spring tillage. I’ve had calls from all over for the right answer or tool. There’s no good answer for filling in ruts this spring.”
—John Coers, sales, Central Illinois Ag, Atlanta, Ill.
A.“We were fortunate here in the lower Hudson Valley of New York. We had pretty good weather at harvest and there wasn’t much field damage. If the milk prices were as good as the weather was at harvest we ‘d be a lot happier.”
—Stu Kinne, president, Columbia Tractor, Claverack, N.Y.
A.“Our customers use a disc chisel on a slight angle that fills in the ruts, loosens compaction, chops stalks and dries the ground quicker so the soil mellows better.”
—Wayne Schnelle, CEO, S&H Farm Supply, Lockwood, Mo.
A.“Our customers aren’t planning anything different than usual, but it will take a little longer to prepare fields for planting after a very wet fall harvest. We already use “floats” (small land planes) to a great extent and ground conditions may require an extra trip. A normal tillage process would be discing, field cultivating, floating and planting, or some variation. We’ve had brisk demand for both new and used tractors, partly fueled by ground conditions. If we can sell tractors, we don’t rent.”
—Bill Hawkins, president, Ag Pro Companies, Stuttgart, Ark.
A.“As of March we haven’t seen any extra rental sales. We’ve sold some tillage items for parts like shovels for field cultivation, and we’ve seen increased interest in one-pass tillage tools like our Salford units to work up fields in spring.”
—Jan Schraufnagel, owner, Schraufnagel Implement,
A.“Most farmers will be using a disc in tandem to level. Some will use a Case IH 330 Turbo or a Landoll vertical tillage tool.”
—Dave Reising, JL Farm Equipment, Poseyville, Ind.
A.“In western New York, ruts are kind of a normal spring thing to deal with. Some tillage people will be able to correct then with different forms of rippers or offset discs. Most everyone has tools to at least get started in the repair. There will be some rental opportunity, as well as some swapping of equipment.”
—Gene Saville, Lamb & Webster, Springville, N.Y.
A.“Use tracks and don’t make them in the first place.”
—Pat Flinn, sales manager, Ziegler Ag Equipment,
A.“We experienced limited adverse conditions. Our customers will use disc harrows or the Case IH 330 Turbo to fill in the ruts.”
—Ross Morgan, wholegoods manager, H&R Agripower, Hopkinsville, Ky.
A.“As far as fixing ruts, we’ll see some blade activity, some drag harrowing and some renovating, along with over-seeding in pastures. I expect to see a late crop planted, but I don’t see much of an increase in sales of tillage tools for this year.”
—Jim Rogers, Haywood Tractor, Junaluska, N.C.
A.“There’s been some primary tillage, especially in tracks, and some repair of erosion damage. Some no-till plans changed by it’s not widespread.”
—John Dague, owner, Dague Equipment, Maquoketa, Iowa
A.“We haven’t really heard much about ruts yet. We’ve had a few requests for used discs, but no more than usual.”
—Dick McCormac, sales, Elder Implement Co., Muscatine, Iowa
A.“Within our fresh vegetable-growing niche, it only takes a couple of days for the fields to dry out and the tractors to return to the fields for planting purposes.”
—Al Parolini, general manager, Coastal Tractor, Salinas, Calif.
A.“In Arizona with annual rainfall of about 9 inches, all cropland is irrigated and ruts in the fields are not an issue.”
—James Keller, manager, APM&S, Peoria, Ariz.
A.“We’ll have to wait for dry weather to till over the ruts.”
—John Dick, president, All-Terrain Truck & Equipment, Anchorage, Alaska
A.“None, they fix them when they rotate their crops.”
—Dave Debold, sales representative, Bingham Equipment Co.