The 90-ft. planter has now been eclipsed, by a whopping 30%. 120 feet of precision planting packed into the new John Deere/Bauer Built DB120. It was introduced at the recent National Farm Machinery Show, where Precision.AgWired.com offered an up close and personal look at it.
Corn & Soybean Digest offered a profile on the new planter, talking to Deere’s Rob Rippchen.
“As growers get bigger, they’re looking for more productivity from their equipment to plant more acres per day,” says Rob Rippchen, Deere’s division marketing manager for the new planter. “At 120 ft., the DB120 has 30% more productivity than our 36-row, DB90 planter and will match up wit h our 12-row corn heads.” Depending on field conditions, the DB120 should plant 90-100 acres/hour at the recommended 5-5½ mph, according to Rippchen.
It’s not just big, it’s high-tech. “The DB120 is a front-fold, 5-section, flex-frame planter equipped with CCS RefugePlus and Pro-Series XP row units,” Rippchen says. “The planter will be offered with 125 bu. of seed capacity, SeedStar 2 monitoring and variable-rate seed drives, pneumatic down force and RowCommand as standard equipment.” Front-mounted coulters or row cleaners are optional.
The DB120’s Frame basically is a bigger version of the company’s DB90 planter built by Vaughn Bauer, Bauer Built Manufacturing Inc., Paton, IA. The DB120’s outer wings are 30-ft. sections, rather than the 15-ft. outer wings on the DB90. The three center sections on both frames measure 20 ft. The DB120’s new design eliminates marker arms and instead relies on GPS guidance for planting accuracy.
What’s the future for planter size? “At this point, 120 ft. is a practical limit. You need to go in 30- or 40-ft. increments and I have a hard time getting my head around a 150-ft. planter,” Rippchen and Bauer say. “The issue isn’t the weight in the field, but transporting the unit down the road. That puts the most load on the drawbar at the highest speed. We won’t introduce anything that our tractors can’t handle.”
Seed distribution would be an issue for a larger planter, adds Bauer. “It’s no problem building the frame, but we would have to rethink how we deliver seed.”