I won't say the highlight of a day on the road traveling to meet farmers and get information fro articles is lunch, but it ranks right up there. Rich Schlipf gave me a personal planter clinic in his barnyard using his planter, equipped for a variety of conditions. It needs to be, considering he farms everything from clay ground to muck near Milford.
Schlipf is a dealer for Precision Planting, but he insists that he can justify every bell and whistle on his planter. By the end of the long morning workout, I was a believer. From readouts on singulation and seed spacing on his 20/20 SeedSense monitor in the cab to new seed delivery tubes that sense seed drop with a different kind of sensor, mounted a the bottom, not the middle of the tube, I could see the logic of how he was shooting for picket-fence sands.
He also has what's called Row Flow, a new innovation Precision offers that shuts off rows on the end if they're already planted, and shuts off rows in point row situations. Other companies offer row-shut-off features, some as factory options.
Since he's mounted Tru-Count clutches on each row and runs the shaft off hydraulics to do variable-rate seeding, he could program every row to shut off one-by-one. Instead, he typically gangs at least a couple rows together. In fields with lots of point rows and short fields with lots of turning on ends this feature should pencil out paying for itself rather quickly. He even showed me that you can set it to shut off right when the row meets the end row, already planted, 15 inches before it, or 30 inches before it, depending on how you want to configure your field.
Now to those tenderloins. I've found through the years that I get the best, home-cooked, farmer-style food in places in small towns I wouldn't enter without someone with me. Not because they look rough and tough, although a couple of them have, but because they look like hole-in-the-wall places that perhaps even the board of health doesn't know exists.
The one Rich took me too in Milford for lunch after the one-on-one planter session was appealing enough, just a small, white, clapboard diner with a small parking lot. But I didn't expect to find a great breaded tenderloin sandwich in a place called China Sea. They serve Chinese food, but the tenderloin was delicious, large but not too big, meaty and lightly breaded. Rich recommended it, and it was a winner.
There are other great places all over Indiana that serve great breaded tenderloins. If you know of one, let me know. I'll try it next time I'm in the area. And if it's in one of those places I might wonder about if I didn't know better, maybe I'll even ask you to come along! As long as the tenderloin is as good as you say it s and you throw in a visit to your farm, lunch would be on me!