90 Acres Per Hour

So… I’m flipping through Corn & Soybean Digest the other day and… this image sort of jumped out at me.

Actually it was the cover story, so I flipped over to the article.

Depending on field conditions, the DB120 should plant 90-100 acres/hour at the recommended 5-5½ mph, according to Rippchen.

Near the end, the reporter gets to the essential question:

So, is this the limit for planter size? At least for a while, according to Rippchen and Bauer. “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,” he says. “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.”

I have a hard time getting my head around taking this seriously, even though I know it’s a real piece of machinery, written up in an honest-to-goodness, real live magazine with a masthead and a sub-title (‘Maximizing Production and Marketing for Profit’). Aren’t we all, buddy.

I also know that we’re about as interested in what takes place behind the grocery store shelves and where the food comes from as we are what happens on the other end of the line when we flip on a light switch. The orange juice commercial comes to mind, where the lady reaches her hand through the empty shelving all the way back to the tree in the orchard just on the other side of the wall. We’ve got other things to communicate in truncated language about, after all.

Like how we’ve got to feed the world, and that to do so, we’ll need, among other things, the world’s largest planter. Also, a gigantic reset button for the nitrogen cycle would be nice, while we’re at it.