See Windy Lane Farms in action and enjoy the photos below. New photos will be added throughout each season.
When planting corn we use a 24 row, 60 foot Horsch Maestro planter. The planter is equipped with many additional items of technology to improve the performance of the planter. The planter is equipped with GPS swath control so as the planter overlaps into an area that has already been planted the computer will automatically shut off those rows to prevent overlap. This gives us the benefits a smaller planter while using a large planter. The planter is also equipped with automatic down-pressure control. There are weigh pins on the planter that sense how much down pressure is needed on the row units to place the seed at the proper depth. Too much down-pressure will cause sidewall compaction where as too little down-pressure will keep the seed from going in the ground at the proper depth. The planter is also equipped with variable rate technology. As the planter goes into areas of the field with more yield potential it will increase the seeding rate. The opposite with occur as it goes into areas of the field with less yield capacity. The will save us on seed costs and will improve yields. These are just a few of the capabilities of the planter. Every year software updates are performed to the planter giving us a more intelligent planter every year. Our soybean planter is a 32 row, 40 foot wide planter. This planter is equipped with much of the same technology that the corn planter has. Running both planters we can plant up to 800 acres per day with one planting shift. The size of the planters has a lot to do with planting efficiency, but so does the fact that we know fill the planter with bulk seed. Bulk seed has made a tremendous difference with regards to planter efficiency.
For harvesting corn and soybeans we utilize a New Holland combine. All of the soybeans we raise are for seed for Beck’s Hybrids and the New Holland gives us the best seed quality of any combine out there. This combine is also one of the largest on the market. We can harvest 5000 bushels of corn per hour in good conditions. We run a 42’ draper head on this machine for harvesting soybeans. For corn harvest we run a 12-row Drago corn head equipped with choppers. The head is equipped with automatic adjusting deck plates to help reduce corn loss at the head. Almost as important as the combine is the tractor and grain cart. It is important that we get unloaded as quickly as we can and back to the combine before the hopper gets full. While we very seldom fill the grain cart full it will hold 1400 bushels of corn. To help reduce compaction in the field we run a tractor and grain cart with tracks. The grain cart is equipped with scales that automatically record the weights from each field as we load onto a truck. When the field is done we will know exactly what the field made. To keep the grain away from the combine we have 5 semis that we can put on the road if needed. Our current combine capacity is currently greater than what we need, but it gives us room to grow. We can currently add another 1200 acres of row crops without adding any more harvesting capacity.
Our farm has had the capabilities to spray our own crops for over forty years. However, advancement in sprayer technologies now makes it possible for us to add stilts to our sprayer to get more height so that we can spray fungicides on our corn if needed with our own sprayer. Most farms still must rely on airplanes to spray their fields if necessary. Using our own sprayers gives us better coverage and reduces possible drift issues into sensitive areas. Our sprayer is also equipped with automatic boom control, which will shut off sections of the boom as it overlaps into areas already sprayed. New for 2011 we have begun spreading our own fertilizer and lime with variable rate technology. We are also using the spreader to spread other valuable nutrients such as calcium sulfate to replace sulfur that has been depleted from the soils over recent years. We also have a separate air seeder just for cover crops. We plant the covers crops in the fall after harvest, mostly after soybeans. The cover crops will help reduce soil erosion and will scavenge nutrients for the following crop.
Our farm has owned a backhoe for around 15 years. Ever since it’s purchase we have provided to landowners minor field tile repairs at no charge. We also used the backhoe to keep fencerows trimmed and to remove fences and fencerows. The backhoe, however, was just not large enough to keep up with all the projects we were taking on. In early 2011 we purchased an excavator and dozer with a root rake to take these land improvement projects to the next level. Right after it’s purchase we tackled several fencerows and an old railroad right-of-way. The growth of our farm in recent years has allowed us to invest in this type of equipment, which in turn offers value to our landowners. We have also been making an investment into major field tile improvements. Every situation is different, but we have cost shared on tile, paid for tile in lieu of some cash rent, or paid for all of the tile figuring a ten year return on investment. There are several other land improvement projects we have taken on over the last several years and much more to come. All of this is an example of the long-term commitment that we have to the land that we farm.
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Windy Lane Farms, Inc. 6147 N. County Rd. 500 W. Mulberry, IN 46058
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