Swiderski extends crop tour over two days at two locations

Field visits allow growers to see first-hand the results of planting different varieties of corn and soybeans, using different planting strategies and technologies.

For the past four years, Swiderski Equipment has invited growers from central Wisconsin to observe crop growth, view equipment, and chat with agronomists and equipment specialists.

For the first three years, Kevin Iczkowski hosted a day of crop touring at his farm in Marathon County, presented in conjunction with Pioneer Seeds, White Planters, Precision Planting Central Cropping Inc. and 360 Yield Center.

Two rural days

For 2021, the Swiderski tour featured two farms to make it easier for their customers to visit.

“We wanted to reach different regions,” said Melissa Heise, director of human resources and marketing at Swiderski. “Even though we serve the 23-county region of central Wisconsin, that region varies widely depending on soil type and moisture levels. The two-day event gave us the opportunity to test these different soil conditions. It also gave us the opportunity to reach a new market and make it easier for customers from the east and west sides to get to the event.

Noting that the field day seems to take place when the hay for the third or fourth harvest is ready, making it difficult for many to take an entire day away from the farm. “Having to travel a few extra hours can influence the decision not to attend. We thought having two days – one near Waupaca and near Thorp – would make it easier for some to participate.

In previous years, some of the field days had both corn and soybean trials, but this year both plots were strictly corn. “We figured that because we were spreading out more than in the past and working with different types of soil, we would go back to pure corn,” Heise said.

Revelation of the soil pit

Also new to this year’s event: a ground pit at the Waupaca cornfield.

“We were lucky this year to have new people involved in the project, so a few of them came up with the idea of ​​digging a pit in the ground, and it’s really cool to see the length. of those roots, ”Heise said. “You don’t think about it often, but the root structure of a corn plant is massive, so we had the right partners and made it happen to really dig in and show just how great that root structure is. is solid, and compare it in a couple of tests.

The soil pit at the Waupaca Field Day site allows participants to see that the root structure of a corn plant is truly massive.

Cody Miller, a specialist at Swiderski Precision Farming, said the soil pit was part of the downward pressure study of the trial.

“We’re looking at the difference between basically not putting enough downward pressure on the planter, having the right pressure and having too much pressure,” he said. “

The trial also examines how sowing depth affects the development of root structure. “We want to have enough downward pressure, but we don’t want to have too much of it to the point of compacting the sidewall and seedling trench. A lot of it is getting off the tractor and looking at things to make sure the drill is actually doing what you need it to, ”Miller said.

Although Thorp’s cornfield did not have a soil pit, digging up some plants revealed differences in the depth of sowing in the heavier soil with the amounts of downward pressure that were used.

Intelligent depth technology

A major part of this year’s field testing has been the use of Smart Depth which is an electronic depth control system that replaces a traditional T-handle on any seeding unit, according to Miller.

“From the cab, we can control the depth setting. The biggest advantage of Smart Depth is, when paired with a Smart Firmer, that it can measure organic matter, furrow humidity, temperature, furrow cleanliness and other parameters, ”explained Miller.

“We tie the groove moisture with Smart Depth so that we can look for that groove moisture line,” he said. “If the grower doesn’t want to plant more than 3 inches deep, or less than 1.5 inches deep, we can set that parameter. With this asset, we can search for that 30% furrow moisture line, or anywhere, and it will crash within the set depth range.

Miller said Smart Depth is compatible with John Deere and Kinze and can be retrofitted into different styles of planters. “You can run it up to a Smart Firmer by four sections, but here we have one on each row of planter, so each row acts independently, which is amazing, taking this technology to the next level.”

According to Heise, 45 people attended each event. “It’s good when we can break into small groups so we can have better interaction with the presenters,” she said. “We want people to feel comfortable asking all the questions they have, going down into the pit and walking in the fields.”

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