Fourth generation vegetable grower, Eric Schreur, will continue to rely on his KUHN Vari-Master 153 plow as he plants more cover crops. He is impressed with how well it buries trash and prepares his celery and onion seedbeds.
Vegetable grower Eric Schreur, a fourth-generation farmer from Hudsonville, Mich., is after a clean seedbed for planting onions and celery, his cash crops.
Other family members at Schreur Farms, Inc., include his wife, Heather, and their four children: Mitchell, 18; Ellie, 16; Grace, 14; and Gerrit, 12.
Schreur’s parents, Bruce and Cheryl, are also an integral part of the family farm. In addition, the farm has three full-time employees and 50 seasonal employees who primarily work in the packing plant.
Schreur came home to farm after graduating with a horticulture degree from Michigan State University. At 44, he grows 185 acres of celery and 75 acres of onions. He has also planted some oilseed radishes as a cover crop for erosion control and their natural nematicide characteristics.
Schreur starts his celery in February in a greenhouse which houses about an acre under roof. After nine weeks, he transplants the celery in the field.
He staggers his plantings, starting early-April and ending around mid-July. The transplanted celery is ready for harvest in about 12 weeks.
Celery harvest runs from the beginning of July to mid-October. Growing celery requires rather intense scouting. Schreur relies on herbicides, insecticides and fungicides to grow a healthy, unblemished crop.
After the celery is machine harvested, it needs to be trimmed, sorted and packed. Eighty percent of the crop is fresh packed, with the remainder going for processing under various labels.
Schreur’s yellow storage onions are planted from seed in mid-April. They are planted with a barley cover crop for early wind protection and weed control.
Once the onions are up, he uses his KUHN MDS 65 M fertilizer spreader to apply nitrogen to this bulb crop.
When the onions get one true leaf, the barley cover crop is killed. Schreur says onions demand a rather intensive spray program of fungicide and thrip control.
Onion harvest begins mid-August and runs through the first part of October. Onions are mechanically harvested and put in 20-bushel bins, which are stacked in the field to cure. Schreur delivers this crop to an onion packer for consumer packs.
While the onions are not irrigated, the celery needs a lot of water applied. Schreur has solid set irrigation and multiple wells. These two vegetable crops are well-suited to Schreur Farms’ muck soils.
With an interest in adding more cover crops and incorporating soybeans into his operation, Schreur was in the market for a new plow earlier this year. He chose the KUHN Vari-Master 153 fully mounted rollover plow and is happy that he did. Already a satisfied customer with a KUHN MDS 65 M fertilizer spreader and an EL 32-130 CultiRotor power tiller, it was only natural he add to his lineup of KUHN implements.
“As we have more cover crops and follow beans, I wanted a plow that does a good job burying trash,” he says, noting that the KUHN Vari-Master 153 plow fit the bill.
Furthermore, Schreur mentions that he was confident with his decision because “KUHN makes good equipment.”
Schreur purchased his four-bottom Vari-Master 153 from Burnips Equipment in Burnips, Mich.
He appreciates its “long sweeping bottom,” versus his old plow that rolled dirt too quickly and did not have a long bottom.
“Overall, this (KUHN) plow does a better job of plowing,” states this farmer who moldboard plows in the spring as close as he can to planting onion seed. He also uses the power tiller.
As for the celery, he is plowing week to week as he stagger plants that vegetable crop. He uses the power tiller for that crop, too.
An exclusive KUHN patent allows this plow to be quickly adjusted. Only one link has to be adjusted to set both the offsetting and angling. This feature, one action for two adjustments, makes for easy use.
The working width is changed hydraulically from the tractor cab. Schreurs works his ground to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Most of the time, he runs the full 20-inch bottom, but sometimes “skinnies it down” and decreases the width for easier pulling.
A variable width plow can be instantly adapted to available traction and also saves time and fuel. It is able to handle different levels of trash, provides a neat field finish and helps avoid obstacles.
He especially likes the automatic reset and trip bottoms of his new plow.
“The automatic resets work well,” he adds, mentioning that this plow effectively deals with stumps that are encountered occasionally.
“It does a good job in various soils – even our old river bottom ground,” Schreur says. “It’s very nice. It’s easy to work with and it’s very well built.”
As Schreur Farms continues to add additional acres for crops other than celery and onions, this farmer will rely more heavily on his KUHN Vari-Master 153 plow to effectively bury residue and prepare seedbeds to perfection.