by Matt Hagny

Once again, it looks like much of North America’s winter wheat region will be faced with an early fall, with lots of rain—so says a forecasting service that I subscribe to and follow closely for long-range forecasts and who’ve proven remarkably accurate in recent years. Indeed, that forecast is mostly just a continuation of the current trend of cooler and wetter than normal for the past couple months for this region.
In handling wetter-than-desired conditions at seeding, Exapta has the experience and products to get the job done the best way possible. First, we simply need to make the Deere 50/60/90/Pro-series drills able to go thru the mud without balling up, and our DuraLok seed lock wheels give you that advantage. And always—wet or dry—the DuraLok gives you superior seed firming, unlike wider seed-lock wheels, or ones that run on a large rigid rim. As the name implies, these are built to last an incredibly long time, since urethane wears so slowly compared to softer rubber (neoprene) compounds, and it won’t pull out of the hub.
The sleek shape of the DuraLok allows it to stay clean when competitor (aftermarket) firming wheels are clogging with mud, pulling seeds out, and dragging against the gauge wheel. Even the SDX firming wheel was having more problems than the DuraLok.
Our Thompson closing wheels handle mud much better than most closing wheels, and they won’t overpack the soil over the seed—unlike all the excessively heavy styles on the market, including OEM (and the Thompsons don’t bounce like Deere’s, which is a disaster). The Thompsons also fit Case-IH’s PD-500 / New Holland P-2080 drills, with use of a special mounting bracket and lighter spring—and also the addition of a Keeton is required, since the Thompson wheels don’t do any packing: The Keeton + Mojo does the seed-to-soil contact once the OEM packer is removed.
Exapta’s Ninja seed-bounce flaps for the JD drills don’t goober up with mud like the rigid plastic ones do. Plus, they wear indefinitely (after 4 yrs on the market, we still don’t know of any that actually wore out).
Can’t cut the damp straw, or side-lined too much in the morning and evening because of dew? Have a look at our Aricks row cleaners for JD drills (we do have enough in inventory to outfit a small to mid-size drill or two; at the very least, try a few rows to see if you like them, as this probably won’t be the last time you’ll ever be faced with tough straw from rain or dew).
Both in terms of reducing hairpinning as well as minimizing sidewall compaction in damp soils, nothing beats our game-changing UniForce hydraulic downforce system for the JD drills. Due to the geometry of Deere’s opener design, these drills benefit far more from getting rid of the downpressure springs than on any planter. Plus, we’ve kept the system simple and robust, which keeps the cost down as well as making for an extremely reliable system with very long service life.
Finally, if your air system is gunking up from fertilizer dust and high humidity, you might be interested in our Smallaire heat-exchangers, which both cool the hydraulic oil as well as put that heat to work in warming and drying the air going thru the product delivery tubes. For the JD 1910 carts, our new brackets make this a rather easy installation. (Our heat-exchangers fit other makes and models of air carts also, and often the installs are fairly simple—but some require building a bracket.)
Don’t have time to install the upgrades, or even make key repairs? Give us a call, and we can recommend air drill rebuilder services for the Great Plains, with some ability to travel to the Corn Belt and Deep South for significant jobs. (We realize there’s a lot of highly unscrupulous folks in this industry, and think we’ve now got a decent handle on who is trustworthy and competent, and who isn’t—at least on the central & southern Great Plains.)