As planting gets under way in some regions and rapidly approaches in others, you’re probably thinking about how to optimize your plant stands and maximize your profit potential this year. When the Case IH planter team first set out to improve its lineup, they knew farmers wanted to plant more rows in one pass, but they also knew they needed to hear from planter owners about what they would like to have on a 90-foot planter.
Last week, our Case IH expert, Bill Preller, explained the five steps of Case IH’s Customer Driven Product Development (CDPD) process and how it helps Case IH gain insights on new trends or up and coming equipment needs from producers. This week, Alan Forbes, Case IH planter marketing manager, is going to explain how the CDPD process influenced the development of new Case IH Early Riser® planter toolbars.
The first step of the CDPD process is one-on-one customer interviews. It played a critical role in uncovering the unmet and even unspoken wants and needs farmers had when it came to their current planters.
To fulfill this first step, our Case IH crop production team visited with farmers in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska to uncover their “wish lists,” both for their farming operations and equipment. We worked through local dealers to connect with farmers who were covering a lot of acreage with big machinery.
To get inside the farmers’ heads, we asked many questions that suggested we were new to the agriculture industry and allowed the farmer to lead the conversation. We asked questions like, “What keeps you up at night?”, “How do you maintain your planter before planting season?” and “Take us through the life cycle of your planter.” We wanted their responses to be as authentic as possible. We wanted to find out why transport width on a planter is so important and what width is ideal for highway transport.
Through this first step, we identified some key “nuggets” to guide the development the updated Case IH Early Riser Planters:
- Transportability and maneuverability are critical for large planters because their size inhibits road transit, the ability navigate field entrances and machine shed storage
- Seed spacing and population control continue to be critical
- More seed hopper capacity needed to minimize downtime to fill
We converted these nuggets into some of the new features of the Early Riser 1260 Series planters:
- Patented Rear Steering Wheel
- Provides exceptional maneuverability in the field and during transpor
- Allows planter to follow the same path as the tractor when turning into a field, so you don’t have to stop and reposition to avoid dropping your rear tires in the ditch
- Dual-Purpose Wing Gauge Wheels
- Helps with flotation and improves stability during transit
- Puts less weight on the hitch—new 36-row, 30-inch planter puts just 3,240 pounds on the hitch and support wheels on the ground between the rear tires and the hitch, which saves on wear and tear on your tractor, not to mention fuel
- Scissor Hitch
- Lifts the toolbar to the level position and automatically captures and locks in the wings
- Industry-Exclusive Front-Fold Toolbar
- Rugged, resilient, and ideally matched with Early Riser row unit
- Bigger toolbar assists flotation and provides more weight when working in wet field
- Provides superior seed-to-soil contact for earlier, more even emergence
- Advanced Seed Meter System
- Features highly-advanced vacuum meter system with a large diameter and slower-turning seed disk for more accurate seed drop
- Unmatched seed placement accuracy for a wide range of seed sizes at faster speeds
When Case IH asks farmers what they think and want out of their equipment, we listen and turn those “wants” into real features on equipment.
Don’t forget that now is the time to perform maintenance on your planting equipment. Check in with your local Case IH dealer for tips or to schedule an appointment. Or, if you’re in the market for something new, check out Case IH’s offer on Early Riser planters.