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By LAURA BIRD laura.bird@globegazette.com | Posted:
Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:30 pm



Picture caption at right...Planter covers a wide path

GARNER — There are crop planters and then there is Dan
Wood’s planter.

Wood owns a 48-row planter — John Deere’s latest and largest
planter. It’s one of a handful in the North Iowa area.

“It’s really quite a machine,” said Wood, who farms around the
Garner area.

Wood purchased the 120-foot wide, 30-inch spacer planter after
getting to try it out for free last spring.

“It does awesome,” he said.
He decided to buy it for efficiency purposes.

The planter can plant about 100 acres an hour, which is a huge time-saver for farmers who farm a lot of
land. Wood farms nearly 9,000 acres.

Other benefits include being fuel efficient and having technology that saves on seed.

Two bulk seed tanks funnel the seed down to the 48 rows, which only release the seed when they need to.

“A satellite tells you exactly where you need to plant,” Wood said.

The satellite also allows him to plant corn or soybeans at night.

A color screen inside the tractor shows him the field and where he’s going. The tractor also steers itself,
except at the end of the rows Wood has to help it turn.

“At night farmers would have to stop planting because they wouldn’t be able to see the markers or where
they’re going, but now ... ” Wood said.

The touch screen also provides him with other information such as how many acres an hour he’s planting,
how much of the field he has planted, how much he has left, how much seed is going in each row and his
fuel usage.

If the machine needs to travel anywhere outside of the field, the touch of a button folds it up.

When folded the planter is about 14 feet wide. That’s considerably smaller than 120 feet, but Wood said he
still has to be careful when going down the road or pulling into a driveway.

However, while planting, Wood said it’s not difficult to maneuver.

“It’s very easy,” he said.

Click here for related video clip.
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