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Bean rollers...not popular in the Corn Belt?


SDman
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Was on a service call to a couple Quadtracs yesterday for some "rainy day" projects. These guys couldn't go so all their equipment was parked together. Seeing the rock/bean rollers attached to the smaller tractors made me wonder....are they not very common in the Corn belt? I sure don't see many pictures of them when I see pictures/videos of soybeans being planted there. Around here I would guess 75% of the soybeans get rolled after planting. The original reason was that they push the rocks back into the ground so the flexheads don't run into them/pick them up. Now, most farmers feel that packing the ground right after planting helps seed-to-soil contact, even emergence, etc. 

One thing about rolling bean ground is that its a good entry-level job for driving a tractor. Many wives, young kids, city kids, etc. drive those tractors as most have AutoSteer of some form and you can cruise along 10-12 mph. 

This roller even has a provision to add water to the rollers if extra weight is needed, although I'm not aware of many that put water in around here. 

Just wondering why you don't see many of them in the Corn Belt as I would think they would be a valuable tool there. These are made by Summers, there are several companies that build them...mainly in Canada. Degelman, Rite-Way, Brandt are some companies that build them. 

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1 hour ago, SDman said:

Was on a service call to a couple Quadtracs yesterday for some "rainy day" projects. These guys couldn't go so all their equipment was parked together. Seeing the rock/bean rollers attached to the smaller tractors made me wonder....are they not very common in the Corn belt? I sure don't see many pictures of them when I see pictures/videos of soybeans being planted there. Around here I would guess 75% of the soybeans get rolled after planting. The original reason was that they push the rocks back into the ground so the flexheads don't run into them/pick them up. Now, most farmers feel that packing the ground right after planting helps seed-to-soil contact, even emergence, etc. 

One thing about rolling bean ground is that its a good entry-level job for driving a tractor. Many wives, young kids, city kids, etc. drive those tractors as most have AutoSteer of some form and you can cruise along 10-12 mph. 

This roller even has a provision to add water to the rollers if extra weight is needed, although I'm not aware of many that put water in around here. 

Just wondering why you don't see many of them in the Corn Belt as I would think they would be a valuable tool there. These are made by Summers, there are several companies that build them...mainly in Canada. Degelman, Rite-Way, Brandt are some companies that build them. 

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Summers is made 60 miles from me in devils lake nd. My brother was rolling ours yesterday with a 53 ft roller like that. Pulling it with a 1486. We didn’t have the duals on and he said he got stuck on a sand ridge. Going to get one of the neighbors to pull him out.

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Beans get rolled once in a great while here.  In our country rolling with a flat roller is a great way to get horrendous water erosion; wind erosion and loss of trash is another nice benefit.  It does make for nicer harvesting but the more often the costs outweigh the benefits.  A Brillion  packer doesn’t result in near the erosion.  

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I spent many many hours as a kid on a super H with 8’ roller breaking a crust after a hard rain to get the ground loose enough for sugar beets to come up. 
Hot and noisy but that’s how I learned. 

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Most around here use the brillion roller with the nubs. Seams to help with erosion more than the flat rollers. Both are required here with the rocks. I rent a neighbors for $5 acre which is cheap when you figure it only takes 1 rock to wreck alot in the combine. 

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The corn belt must not have any rocks is all I can come up with.  Every single farm that raises pulse crops has a roller and it’s just something you do no question.  Ours is a 45ft Summers.  We fill it with water rolling lentils and hay fields.  Empty for chickpeas and green/yellow peas since those grow a little higher off the ground.  Some guys have rolled plowed fields to firm up the ground in preparation for seeding because these air drills are heavy which leads to depth problems in soft soil.  

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Quite a few guys roll beans and new seedings around here. Some even roll corn ground ahead of the planter. Erosion and crusting over are the downsides of it. 

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Before no-till using a coil packer behind the plow and before the drill became popular.  

https://summersmfg.com/land-rollers/coil-packer/features-benefits
 

Actually bumped our yields up because it would flatten the clods and make a nice firm seed bed with no air pockets.  For years and even generations guys would notice were ever the drills ran over the ground twice, the wheat grew better because the packer wheels on the drill smashed the clods.  

Also when air seeders first hit the market, they didn’t have any type of packing system in them.  So guys pulled a coil packer behind the drill like in the picture.  They called it random packing.  We called it random packing random yield because in our dry clod type soils it didn’t work very well.  
 

 

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1 hour ago, iowaboy1965 said:

Never heard of a bean roller or it being done around here.

Same here , from northern Illinois , never seen one until now in the picture, learn something new every day😎

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1 hour ago, dale560 said:

Summers is made 60 miles from me in devils lake nd. My brother was rolling ours yesterday with a 53 ft roller like that. Pulling it with a 1486. We didn’t have the duals on and he said he got stuck on a sand ridge. Going to get one of the neighbors to pull him out.

When we fill ours up with water you want a 4 wheel drive tractor on it.  

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17 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

When we fill ours up with water you want a 4 wheel drive tractor on it.  

We just have a few 86s left. Sold all the big stuff off and just farm a little bit now. In a couple years going to get back into around 50 really nice cows and seed a few hundred acres. Actually got my eye on a pretty nice 33 ft flexi coil 5000 at a sale later this summer. I think our 1586 might pull it for a year or two. Or else I will find a 875 or 95 versatile. We rent a roller and guy had one setting a mile away but the 1486 with duals on hyd coupler broke. So my brother got the other 1486 without duals and used that until he spun out. We always used a 45 summers before in the hills it would push the 875 around. Neighbors have a 96 ft orange riteway I believe they cover a lot of ground with it fast

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5 minutes ago, dale560 said:

Actually got my eye on a pretty nice 33 ft flexi coil 5000 at a sale later this summer. I think our 1586 might pull it for a year or two. Or else I will find a 875 or 95 versatile. 

That should work.  You will probably find the 1586 has plenty of power for the drill but traction might be an issue.  My neighbor used to have a 33ft FC drill 10” spacing 1720 TBH cart.  Initially it was pulled with a 835 because that’s all they had.  Then he bought a JD 8200 MFWD and used that on the drill for years until he got rid of the drill.  

Different drill but we have a 30’ JD 1890 with a TBT cart and 7.5” spacing.  Pulled it with JD 6155R which had 155 engine hp.  Pulled it fine long as I had the front axle engaged.  

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We have rolled no till beans for several years. They do push down some rocks but the bigger benefit was breaking off last years corn stump for easier harvest in the fall. The problem is you ended up with fence lines and road ditches full of trash because all that loose trash blows. Didn’t roll any this year.

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I saw someone pulling a roller like the one pictured down the road last week, and I was wondering what it was for. Now I know! This is not really soy bean country, there are a few people who try them once in a while, but they have never become popular.

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No rollers anywhere around me. Good seed to soil contact isn’t usually a big problem here. Seems like we are always trying to beat the next rain shower when planting. A good rain shower will take care of seed to soil contact. I would be willing to guess that guys from far north would think that farming in the corn belt is easy. 

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I e seen a few like that, typically rolling newly seeded alfalfa. Personally I’d prefer a brillion type vs smooth. With a smooth roller you see every imperfection. The brillion I’m sure still has the same imperfections, but because it doesn’t get perfectly smooth they are hidden. 

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70 years ago there were cultipackers here for new hay seeding to get good soil contact for the small alfalfa seeds. But since everything is 99% corn and beans now, i haven't seen one in 50 years, In my area we have no rocks. I've actually seen some sell on farm auctions. 

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5 hours ago, DaveinSD said:

I saw someone pulling a roller like the one pictured down the road last week, and I was wondering what it was for. Now I know! This is not really soy bean country, there are a few people who try them once in a while, but they have never become popular.

I've been rolling my rocky hay fields for a few years now... it really saves on sections and guards when haying. 

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We roll grain/alfalfa fields and all soybean fields.   Rolled some in front of corn planter this spring.   We are south of brahamfireman and use the brillion for same reasons he stated.  

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Only beans I know of getting rolled in Central IL are those that are no tilled into standing cereal rye.   Rolled to break over the rye after killed with round up to get light to new beans.    More and more beans planted that way for weed control.  We use this method to hold water ways from eroding. 

Rocks only exist on the top of small gravel hills here.......90% of ground is jet black, flat, and rock free.

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5 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

 I would be willing to guess that guys from far north would think that farming in the corn belt is easy. 

Maybe, maybe not.  But I would take your fighting rain over our dryness any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  Lot of real estate moved around here in May.  

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Here in north central Iowa 90% + beans get rolled either after planted, before planted, or after they come up.

 

You see rollers around here a bunch

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53 minutes ago, nate said:

We roll grain/alfalfa fields and all soybean fields.   Rolled some in front of corn planter this spring.   We are south of brahamfireman and use the brillion for same reasons he stated.  

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Is that a 1206 wheatland with an adjustable front end?

I've had to roll bean ground ahead of planting because of roller availability and it was really sweet to plant into,  wish I could do it every year like that.

Here my turbo 806 pulling the roller a few years ago, 36 feet was a good load for it.

 

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