These hybrid planters put extra parts to work Air-seeding units from past planters became starting points for new, narrow-row soybean planters built by Tim Johnson, Wausa, NE, and Gary Kunde, Bellevue, IA.

Both had Hiniker air seeders and bought extra planter units and parts to create their narrow-row systems. Johnson, his father, LaVon, and his uncle, Arlynd, started with a 12-row, 30" JD 7100 planter, stripped it down to just the planter units, moved the gauge wheels to the front of the toolbar and tucked in 11 additional row units to build a 23-row, 15" planter, above.

"We had to offset one row unit at the hinge point on the toolbar," Johnson says. "And we built small plates with a fitting to attach the air hoses to the planter units."

Johnson built a gooseneck hitch to pull the seeding unit behind the planter. "We buy beans in bulk, and this unit holds 1 1/3 bulk bags," he says. "We don't have to be completely empty to refill. And with the bulk seed, we can refill and be planting again in five minutes." Two 12-row monitors wired into the tractor's radar unit keep track of each row, as well as ground speed and acres planted.

Eastern Iowa's Kunde, at right, bought two used 12-row, 30" planters to have enough units to mount behind his Hiniker seeding unit and build a 24-row, 15" bean planter, below. He built a frame for the seeding unit that's carried on a grain cart axle and large tires for better flotation.

The cylinders and arms from a three-point hitch off a 555 Versatile lift the front of the toolbar as lift-assist wheels raise the back. "We had to switch from 3" to 4" hydraulic cylinders so the lift-assist wheels would lift first," Kunde says.

Suitcase weights mounted between the lift-assist arms leverage their weight and provide down pressure for the planter units on Kunde's planter.