New technology aims to improve planting technologies
Technology to plant crops has continually changed over the years. In fact, precision seed dropping is making variable seeding rates possible while allowing farmers to plant at faster speeds.
ReEnvision Agriculture, based in north central Iowa, is hoping to change the way farmers plant their crops.
“Our goal is to be the best stewards of the environment by reducing tillage and allowing soil to be healthier,” states the ReEnvision Agriculture website. “Soil is the biggest asset and it’s important to protect it. Farmers don’t want it to erode or degrade.”
The website continues, “By adapting farming practices which reduce the use of fossil fuels, store more carbon and do not pollute water, ReEnvision Agriculture technologies are saving money by not wasting fertilizer, lowering our machinery costs and lowering fuel expenses all while improving the organic matter, water penetrability and fertility of soil.”
The website adds, “Creating this win/win situation brings better food to the table, ensures the future quality of the soil and keeps farmers productive with lower costs and greater profitability.”
Reasoning behind change
Jayson Ryner, farmer, CEO and founder of ReEnvision Agriculture says, “In the spring of 2019, the clock was ticking on planting corn. We were experiencing the wettest spring on record for the second year in a row.”
He shares driving across fields was a possibility, but using disc openers on planters would cause too much compaction if they tried to plant.
“Disc openers are designed for use in soils which have been dried out with tillage between four and six miles per hour,” Ryner stated. “We were continually trying to use the disc opener where it was never meant to go – high residue and wet soils – using high speeds while applying up to 300 pounds of down pressure which resulted in compaction.”
According to Ryner, farmers planting in wet soils can experience 20 to 50 percent yield loss caused by disc compaction. Additionally, the challenge of planting cover crops is getting the seed to fall through the thick mat into the shallow furrow.
Developing new technology
ReEnvision Agriculture is working to develop a planting system which allows seed to be placed with minimal soil disturbance, says Ryner. This dibble-style planting system features a hollow spike attached to a small seed box which punches through the soil and delivers seed at a precise depth.
“With this system, only the dibble enters the ground. The design places the seed at the depth chosen by the farmer,” Ryner explained, noting the company plans to sell individual row units equipped with dibbles mounted on a cylinder.
“Our row unit is designed to pay for itself quickly whilst widening planting windows, lowering input costs and capturing full yield potential,” Ryner continues. “ReEnvision Agriculture also hopes to expand the farmers’ bottom line, while also achieving healthier soils and sustainability.”
ReEnvision Agriculture will work with the AgLauncher Farmer Network this summer in side-by-side field trials to put this technology to the test.
Madi Slaymaker is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.