Farmers can increase seed hopper capacity on their John Deere planters by 62 percent with a new bubble top lid and extension that snaps into place over the existing hoppers. The modification takes minutes, according to John House, Cajun Ag Products, Oak Grove, La., who designed the kits.

“There's no drilling, no bolting. You can rig up an 8-row planter with the kits in two minutes, and it's less than half the cost. It gives you a lot more options with your planter.”

John Deere offers 3-bushel hoppers as an option on its planters, but House noted that there is no room for a chemical hopper with the configuration. “Our modification will increase your hopper capacity from 1.6 bushels to 2.6 bushels. You're only four-tenths shy of the 3-bushel hopper, but you get to keep your chemical boxes.”

Big seed hoppers are increasingly important for growers especially with new bulk seed tenders that auger seed into the hoppers. While a lot of farmers have quit using the chemical boxes on some crops, “they may need them on others, like peanuts.”

The idea for the kits came from growers, according to House. “We've been asked for two or three years to come up with something to get more seed on a regular planter without a big modification.”

One farmer suggested that House create a bubble lid that would allow more seed to be augered into a hopper. Essentially, the seed can then be mounded into the hopper instead of leveled off to accommodate a flat lid. House took that idea and added an extender that snaps on the existing hopper to add even more bushels to the hopper.

The Bubble Top Seed Hopper Expansion Kits are available for John Deere 7300-1700 John Deere planters and cannot be used with short panel planters. House advises growers to order by Dec. 1, 2005 to receive their kits by spring planting.

For more information, call 1-318-559-5639 or 1-318-428-4842. Supplies will be limited.

e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com