For farmer-dealer Zach Ryder of Cascade, Iowa, the programmable scales on his company’s seed tenders are an indispensable piece of equipment.
“The scales are key for me to get the right seed put on the right acre to get the most yield out of the farm,” said Ryder.
Here’s why Ryder believes seed tender scales are so important.
1. Control quantity
“When we are loading our planter, I can weigh the seed going into the planter, so I can get the accurate amount of weight in both halves of the corn planter,” says Ryder. “Or if you have an individual box planter, you can get the same amount of weight in each individual box.”
“I can also split boxes of corn between farms, or between landowners, and I also know how much I have left so I know how many acres are left in that box,” he says.
Ryder depends heavily on the scale system. “If I didn’t have a scale on the seed tender, I wouldn’t know how many acres of seed I have on the planter, and I wouldn’t know how much seed is left in the boxes on the seed tender.”
When he knows what’s left in the tender and the boxes, Ryder says, he can make critical management decisions on where to place that seed.
2. Save time
The problem with not knowing how much seed is left is that inaccuracy wastes time. And, according to Ryder, time is particularly precious at planting.
“In spring of the year, a few hours can make the difference between getting the crop in before it starts raining or sitting there for two weeks,” Ryder says.
“During planting, time is very valuable. I don’t have time to be off by 50 pounds of seed. I don’t want to be out at midnight with an ice cream bucket scooping seed out of one side to the other,” he says. “When you’re out in the field and your planter is not moving for 10 minutes, that’s lost productivity.”
“I want to be extremely accurate so that when I am done, my planter is almost perfectly empty, and I can change hybrids and I can get planting again,” says Ryder.
3. Avoid overseeding and underseeding
Aside from the time savings, Ryder points out, the most obvious reason to use a seed tender scale is for planting accuracy.
Overseeding means overspending on seed. And underseeding means lost yield potential.
“If you are metering out product onto a field and you’re putting out one or two pounds too much over a thousand acres, you are going to pay for that scale right away,” he says.
Growers can calculate how much they can save using various seeding scenarios with a new web-based app at app.scale-tec.com/.
Service for scales
Ryder works with Scale-Tec out of Anamosa, Iowa, for scales on seed tenders, grain carts, head gates and application metering.
“We have been working with Scale-Tec for probably 20 years now, and their service is phenomenal. I have been there on Saturday mornings, I have called their service techs in the evening, and they have been able to walk me through or
talk me through almost anything. And any time we are down, they get us up and running,” he says.
Ryder also feels comfortable sending his own customers straight to Scale-Tec if they need assistance.
“With Scale-Tec’s service and the people they have, I know they are going to take care of my customer the way I would want them to be handled in my shop,” he says.
“They are going to treat them with respect, and they are going to get them up and going fast – because at heart the people at Scale-Tec are farmers.”
Because they’re farmers, explains Ryder, Scale-Tec knows what’s important.
“They understand timeliness. They understand we need to get things up and running fast.”
Because of the economy, says Ryder, accuracy is key this year.
“Accuracy is incredibly important when we are in a marketing time like we are in right now. Pennies matter. And the only way to get pennies is to be accurate on product going on to a field and product coming off the field.”