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Adjust your planter for larger seeds.

Agronomy Bulletin 71 ─ Planting Large Seed Corn

Growers must accurately adjust planter settings before planting large seeds.

Situation

Planting larger seeds creates challenges. Growers should follow some basic management tips.

Factors to Consider

  • Manufacturer settings
  • Meter accuracy
  • Lubricant application
  • Air pressure
  • Ground speed

Action Plan

  1. Inspect meters and adjust accordingly. Many corn seed meters are singulated, not volumetric like meters for other crops, and capable of handling small, medium and large seed sizes. No matter your meter type — plate and wheel, finger pickup and brush, or air and vacuum — adjust finger tension, brush settings, plate size, singulator settings and baffle settings depending on the seed size and your planter make and model.
  2. Apply additional lubricant. Because large seeds require more talc or graphite lubricant to ensure proper seed flow, apply a higher amount as specified by the manufacturer. Environmental conditions such as high humidity may also necessitate more lubricant to prevent bridging.
  3. Properly adjust air pressure settings. Consult your planter operators manual for seed size charts, plate size recommendations and air pressure settings. Large seeds normally require higher air pressure to keep seeds on the planter plates.
  4. Carefully manage ground speeds. Reduced speeds ensure more accurate delivery and spacing of large seeds. As ground speeds increase, large seeds are more likely to be missed by plates or fingers, resulting in skips. This likely will show up on your monitor as a population reduction. While increasing population settings may appear to alleviate the concern, it does not actually address skips or missed planting opportunities.

Summary

Check your planter operators manual for proper adjustments to ensure you are planting large seeds effectively, consulting with the equipment manufacturer or dealer as needed. For more information, contact your local Mycogen Seeds commercial agronomist or trusted agronomic adviser.

Published on Wednesday, December 10, 2014