The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on February 3, 1966 · Page 20
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 20

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 3, 1966
Page 20
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PLANTER This 6-row narrow planter of Allis-Chalmers makes either 28-inch or 30-inch rows. Field coverage gain over standard 4-row planter is 20 inches per round. NARROW ROWS ARE MORE PROFITABLE, BUT... what does the changeover cost ? NARROW ROWS are catching on faster than pop-open beer cans. No doubt about it, narrow rows can widen profits ... on your farm as well as your neighbors'. "Okay, I'll agree to that," reply a lot of farmers with whom we've discussed the narrow-row subject. "But can I afford to make the changeover now? I'm geared to 38" rows with my planting, cultivating and harvesting equipment... some of my equipment's half-new." Then they play their aces: "What does changing over to narrow rows cost? And how many extra bushels will I have to raise on each acre before such a changeover pays off?" Such questions aren't easily answered. But Allis-Chalmers, DeKalb and other Clinic-sponsor experts will take a poke at them during your local Corn-Soybean Clinic. Briefly, here are some of the things they'll advise you to consider, basing the figures on the Doane Agricultural Service chart below: 1 — Herbicide costs will be higher. Figure $1.45 an acre more. Going from 40-inch to 30-inch rows means 25% more herbicide. 2 — Seed cost will be higher for soybeans, but not for corn, unless you increase plant population. Soybeans for seed cost COST OF CHANGING TO NARROW ROWS Change from new 4-row equipment to 6-row regular 6-row narrow Total Soybeans, 200 acres Herbicides (14 in. band) Seed labor' Tractor Net changes Corn, 200 acres Herbicides Labor Tractor and combine* Net changes Depreciation and interest charges* • Total added costs $ 57.00 28.50 $ 85.50 $177.00 64.50 {241.50 1395.00 $ 68.00 Per acre $ .29 .14 * .43 * .89 .32 $1.21 Total $290.00 120.00 27.00 13.50 $369.50 $290.00 57.00 24.70 $208.30 $395.00 $972.80 Par acre $1.45 .60 .14 .07 $1.85 $1.45 .29 .12 $1.04 •Labor charged at $1.50 an hour, and tractor and combine time at 751 an hour for operating costs only; 3-row head on the combine. "Added depreciation and interest costs of a 6-row planter, cultivator and 3-row combine head over the costs of 4-row equipment and 2-row combine head. (U. of III.) about 60^ more per acre. Every 2,000 plant-per-acre increase in seed corn will add about 350 per acre. 3 — Labor, tractor and combine costs for soybeans total 210 less per acre for 6-row narrow equipment over the 4-row equipment, and 410 less for corn. One trip with 6 rows at 30 inches covers 180 inches, while 4 rows at 40 inches covers only 160" inches of machine width. 4 — Comparing 6-row narrow versus 6-row regular, the narrow 6-row system costs $905 more than regular 6-row on 400 acres. Most of this comes from extra herbicide costs for corn and soybeans and extra soybean seed, not equipment. 5 — Therefore, total added cost of the 6-row narrow system over 4-row regular comes to $972.80. This leads us to these conclusions: With soybeans at $2.50, it takes an average of only 2 extra bushels an acre on 200 acres to justify the shift. And, since we're using 400 acres in this comparison, that's assuming no yield increase for the 200 acres of corn, which is highly unlikely. If all 400 acres were planted to corn at $1.00 per bushel, it would take a yield increase of just 2 bushels to break even on the changeover. It's obvious that it isn't difficult to recover changeover costs. Fertilizer costs are not included in this study. They would be higher, especially if higher plant populations are used. On the other hand, if a new combine is not needed, and only a narrow-row cornhead is purchased, this will lower the changeover costs substantially from those quoted here. So if you're ready for a new combine, but not as yet ready for narrow rows, it will pay you to buy a unit such as an A-C Gleaner which can be easily converted to narrow-row harvesting with a cornhead when you are ready for narrow rows. The Clinic presentations will dig much deeper into this topic that's only touched on here. They'll give details on the savings in labor and equipment costs over regular 4-row equipment, extra profits from faster field operations, and so forth. You'll get the full story at the Clinic, and have a chance to ask the experts any specific questions you wish. CULTIVATOR — This cultivator easily adjusts to various row widths. Some narrow-row farmers use herbicides and get by with a'single cultivation or none at all. HARVESTING EQUIPMENT If your combine can be switched to narrow-row harvesting by simply changing cornheads like this one, a major portion of narrow-row changeover costs are eliminated.

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