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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2009
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    133
    Location
    Springhill, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400 4WD Hydrostat

    Default L4400 Row spacing?

    Showing my ignorance here....

    Considering purchasing a one or two row planter to use for planting field corn etc., but I have never used a tractor for planting.
    I think my tire centers are currently set at 51.2" based on my measurements (center of rear tire to center of rear tire) and the manual. This comes out to 38" between tires, which matches the front between tires (which are not adjustable). I THINK my preference is for 36" row centers, but would not be opposed to 30" or 38", or some sort of twin row configuration. +/-. According to the manual, the max distance the rear centers can go is 60.8" BUT since the front centers cannot be adjusted, that would put the front tires rolling over things that the back tires are not.

    So, I'm having trouble figuring this out. Seems like it makes the most sense to leave the tires where they are because in the current configuration, the front and back tire insides line up with each other +/-.

    So, what are my options here? Not opposed to a single row planter (I think I would actually prefer it for my small scale) if that could make sense some how.

    Any ideas? Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Super Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    7,330
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    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M9540, Ford 3910FWD, JD2210

    Default Re: L4400 Row spacing?

    If you are thinking of buying an old 2 row mounted planter, the rows will probably be 36". A new planter might be adjustable. I'm thinking back to the old 8N Ford tractor days. Rears were left set in and ran just outside the 2 rows. Fronts were set out all the way and used as markers. In your case you'll hafta guess on the row width between each pass.
    Richard

    "Happiness isn't having everything you want, it's wanting everything you have."

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    6,548
    Location
    Ohio
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    JD 5520, 790 TLB-- Kub L4300, B7800, MX5100

    Default Re: L4400 Row spacing?

    You might be looking up center-to-center spacing dimensions because I set up my L4400 FWD and for corn on 30 inch centers and I had a few inches left between the tire track and the row on each side. I go one way in the row then turn around and come back in my tracks.
    For the next pair of rows--and I forget year to year--I think I put the edge of my front tire on the outside edge of the prior track. At the end of that row I turn around and follow my tracks back. Rinse and repeat endlessly and the field came out looking great.

    Then I used a two row sidedresser for fertilizer and when the plants were six inches high put down some nitrogen.

    It works fine and after you figure out the row spacing and tire tracks can put down a lot of seed in a hurry. Two row works best for this size tractor. One row wastes too much space. Let me add that I have seen guys set up a two row planter to place seed on each side of one tire and then do row after row that way and it worked. The way I mention, however, seems the easiest for me.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    133
    Location
    Springhill, SC
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    Kubota L4400 4WD Hydrostat

    Default Re: L4400 Row spacing?

    Ovrszd-
    Well, I guess that says it all. If there's a will there's a way- Hopefully it works out in my case.
    Sixdogs- yeah, center to center of rear is what I'm looking at. So, you have your planter offset to one side of the tractor rear end to make this work right? With your method I guess you could still use a cultivator? Run back in your same tracks?
    I made a little diagram of your system and it looks like if for your third row, if you overlap your previous tread by 1/2 then you wind up with an almost perfect 30" row spacing for the whole field (30/30/29/30/30/29/30/30....). If you line up the edges of the treads then you end up with something more like 30/30/35/30/30/35/30/30. Both of these scenarios leave approximately 3.5" between each tire and each row. Would that be enough room to run a cultivator that was set up to run in the center of the tractor and directly behind each tire? Not sure how cultivators are normally set up..... would this work?

    I guess if this would work with one planter offset at the rear, then there is no reason why a two row planter on a toolbar set up for 30" centers wouldn't work right?

    So, I could just get a single row planter that mounts to a toolbar, adjust it off center, and later if it becomes worth my while, I could just purchase another one and add it to the tool bar? Guess this could work with planters that also have a fertilizer box, meaning the fertilizer attachment would work also?

    What am I missing? Any other ideas?

    Thanks!

    What am I missing?

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Dec 2007
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    6,548
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    Ohio
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    JD 5520, 790 TLB-- Kub L4300, B7800, MX5100

    Default Re: L4400 Row spacing?

    I have done both a two row and one row planter. With the two row I also had a two row cultivator setup with a side dresser attachment. It worked great because the two row planter kept the rows uniform so the culticator worked better at not damaging too many plants. A cultivator would not work as well with a one row planter because of variances in planting distances. Planting by itself is a piece of cake.

    Your 60" centerline of rears and a 14.9 wide tire gives you 45" between the tires. So a 30" row spacing, which is what you should use, maths out to 7" left on each side of the tire. A two row would be great.

    To use a one row planter in this situation you would need a "unit planter" clamped to a toolbar so you can slide it over to be 7" away from the tire. An IH 56 or 295 or many IH planters are unit planters and are reasonable. JD also has lots of units and the 71 comes to mind. Any planter works but the unit planters are easier to work with and you can plant and turn in tighter spaces. In a month or so I can photo my setup. Older planters that are fixed at 38" or 42" are too wide, waste too much space, are difficult to handle and the wide spacing lets too many weeds start. But that are good at what they do ---planting.

    Your math and tire spacing is correct but you have to try it out and measure. In practical application you will wander 6" in the row from ground contour so plant in FWD and they will be straighter.

    Fill out your profile a bit with general location so we know soil type and climate ideas. There were things I could have written if I knew soil type and climate.

    Forgot to add that the fertilizer units will work fine. You can avoid side-dressing by giving an initial blast of 19-19-19 if your soil is good enough.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    133
    Location
    Springhill, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400 4WD Hydrostat

    Default Re: L4400 Row spacing?

    sixdogs-
    Thanks for getting back.... Notice that I filled out my profile. Soil up on my hill is primarily Sandy Loam top 4-6"+ and a well drained sandclay below that.

    Unfortunately, my tire centers are NOT 60". They are currently set to 51.2" centers from the factory. That would work out to optimal row spacing of only 25.6". Now my rear centers could be moved out to 60" BUT my fronts are fixed and as things are currently line up with the insides of my rear tires. So, moving the rears doesn't really accomplish much (I don't think).
    Because of this I was kind of considering twin rowing my corn and okra (the primary crops I'll be planting with the tractor). I'm thinking this could work..... Any thoughts?
    Regardless, you have me leaning towards a two row cultivator/sidedresser/detachable planter combo. Therefor, looks like I'm looking for a "unit planter" to attach to a toolbar that I purchase separately. I'll look into the brands you mention.
    I'm toying with some other ideas that all of your help might ultimately get incorporated into.
    If you're bored, take a look in the general forums under "implements" and a thread started by me called something to the effect of "does this attachment exist". I'd be interested in your thoughts. My thinking is I can just attach all the cultivator tynes, planter, sidedresser etc to a 3 row "toolbar" (rather than a typical cultivator) and still end up with the same results.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Dec 2007
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    Ohio
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    JD 5520, 790 TLB-- Kub L4300, B7800, MX5100

    Default Re: L4400 Row spacing?

    Just a brief reply now but more tomorrow. I am presuming you have ag tires and if so, leave the fronts alone and move the rears to the 60.2" +/- setting. That will work just the way you want and is why kubota (and others) set spacing that way. Rows of 30" work best for many reasons.

    A two row planter that puts down fertilizer ain't cheap in the spring. You can also just use a two row planter and "get by" with a hand fertilizer side dresser until you find a fertilizer unit. I used to side dress with a two row unit but put in less corn now and use an Earthway (I think) hand unit. My two row plater got sold and I use a one row 295 IH planter on a toolbar. I use a Troybilt tiller to cultivator between the rows and spray the weeds with 2,4-D

    Don't cultivate too much or you'll kick up all sorts of weed seeds and make your life heck.

    More later.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
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    Nov 2010
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    63
    Tractor
    Kubota 3240

    Default

    Please allow a possibly very dumb question. For planting, why does tire spacing matter? The planter is behind the tractor. Is it a problem for the planter to do its work even on soil tires ran over? Don't planters prepare, open, drop seed, and cover?
    Kubota L3240, disc harrow, chain harrow, rear blade, plow (don't know), hay spear, box blade

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Location
    Springhill, SC
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    Kubota L4400 4WD Hydrostat

    Default Re: L4400 Row spacing?

    sixdogs-
    I don't understand. What does moving my tires out to 60" accomplish if my fronts are fixed at the same inside dimensions as my rears are currently at? I mean, even if I move my rear tires, the fronts will be tracking to the inside of the rears and and still 4" +/- from the plants. The planter/cultivator set up we are discussing can be set up on my current setup too (I think), so what does moving my rears out accomplish in the long run? Probably the main issue I have with moving my rears (since I can't move my fronts) is that my bucket lines up with my rears (ballpark) so I can look at my bucket and know where my tires are so I don't hook something with them while I'm dreaming about all the dollars I'm making doing this. Also, my tiller covers the tracks as is. Won't happen if I move them out. If there is a good reason to do it, I'll do it, but just wanted to bring this up.
    I have a troy built tiller also that I'm using alot for cultivating (that and by hand). Just wondering how that system is going to work out on as much as 2 acres of corn with okra on 150' rows that will go in the ground very soon. I tried an earthway seeder last year for peas and okra and it didn't work out so well for me (multiple seeds and skips etc) and very erratic seed planting depth. Now, I didn't prepare the soil early enough so there was a lot of trash in it that caused problems too so maybe I need to give it another try. So you have the fertilizer attachment I guess (on the earthway). How do you use it and on how much corn? What's manageable from your perspective. I'm fully aware that just because something promises to speed up chores, that isn't necessarily the case.

    ruralneardallas-
    Have you read any of my posts/threads? Well I can promise you in this context there are no dumb questions! Here's my uninformed take on your question. It's not a problem with planting at all. The problem is with using a cultivator AFTER you are finished planting. The problem lies in wheel spacing and the fact that, depending on how you have things set up, you'll be running over everything you just planted when you come back to try to cultivate.

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Dec 2007
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    Ohio
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    JD 5520, 790 TLB-- Kub L4300, B7800, MX5100

    Default Re: L4400 Row spacing?

    You move the rears out so you seed into ground that has been cultivated. If you drive over it first you will inadvertantly provide a lovely seedbed for all the weeds that would likely not germinate if in softer ground wilth less soil to seed contact. Compacted, the weeds will spout, get out of control as weed seeds often do and multiply your weed seed problem 1000 fold for next year.
    So the rears get moved out. The fronts will then line up with the inside edge of the rears and offer a guiding light, so to speak, that helps you keep your rows on the straight and narrow and where they are supposed to be.

    Your Troybil won't do two acres unless you have maybe three hired hands who want to do it and you are retired so you can do hand weeding. It will likely get wildly out of control because you haven't gone through the learning curve of knowlege and experience required.

    On corn, I plant about 12 to 16 rows by 500 ft long and i do it in three pieces to stagger maturity. I am extremely weed conscious and rarely does one go to seed so my job becomes progressively easier. I spray weeds with 2-4 D and knock the grass back or cultivate it up. Planting is with a one row planter as we discussed and on a 30" center with room for the Troybilt. Maybe 5 % gets killed by tilling error.
    After the plants sprout, I fill the Earthway fertilizer unit with 19-19-19 and run it down both side of the plants at maximum amount and 4" over and 4" deep. I do not sidedress after that. Pretty soon, it's a battle of wits twix me and the racoons.

    When i used to have a two-row planter I did maybe an acre+ and did it on the same 30" center and set up my L4300 as I mentioned to you. At planting, I put down the maximum amount of 19-16-16 that I could and then when the corn was less than a foot tall i sidedressed straight 46-0-0. Either way, my corn is some of the best around. During cultivation, which was close to the plant, I probably tilled up 5% or so in error. It happens.

    You probably aren't going to make any money the first year. You will actually lose money because of that learning experience. Better bet is to plant so the family can have and freeze sweet corn and you might happen to sell some. With the pressure off, you'll catch on quicker. Well, I did and I've tried it lots of ways. In fact, I started with 15 or so acres. What was I thinking?

    I'll go find your other posts and offer my free commentary.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

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