To Make Cover Crops Fit, A Little Space Makes a Big Difference

Through improvements to his implement guidance and air seeder setup, Chapin, Ill., farmer John Werries finds the cure for cover crop overgrowth and accuracy missteps.

John Werries, his son Dean, and one employee are no strangers to making adjustments year-to-year to combat the unpredictable conditions of their Chapin, Ill., operation of no-tilled beans and strip-tilled corn. 

From precision investment to cover crop implementation, the search for perfection builds the family-run foundation, as exemplified by two vital adjustments in the past few years.

Proactive Implementation

Reaping the benefits of minimized erosion and yield booms for his strip tilled acres, one concern that had remained for Werries involved accuracy on the strip when building berms. Settling on a John Deere 9000RT two-track tractor for its ability to drive straight easily, he came to discover that the tractor alone wasn’t enough to consistently stay on the strip during formation in the fall. 

“Accurate strips provide the most beautiful seedbed there is, but when you get off it, you go from a warm and mellow soil with ideal moisture, to the coldest wettest conditions possible,” he says. “With a corn planter, it’s a 20-bushel hit.”

Looking to rectify the issue, Werries doubled down on technology, getting his tractor equipped with both an AJ Equipment steerable hitch and John Deere iSteer active implement guidance system.The system works only with the optional wide swing drawbar. 

An upgrade from passive implement guidance, where the implement receiver tells the tractor receiver where to steer the tractor in order to keep the implement on track, the active implement guidance system has the tractor receiver keeping the tractor on track and the implement receiver steering…

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