Prepare equipment for a successful season.
Agronomy Bulletin 56 ─ Planter Settings
Maximizing yield starts with correct planting, and correct planting starts with adjusting the planter to the proper settings. Carefully check planting equipment before you hit the field this spring.
Factors to Consider
- Planting speed
- Soil moisture
- Planting depth
- Field residue
- Start with a clean planter. Check for old seed in the seed hoppers or tubes. Remove any foreign material such as mouse nests that may have accumulated over the winter. Read the owners manual and perform standard maintenance.
- Adjust disk openers. Disk openers should be allowed no more than 1/2 inch of wear. If there is more than 1/2 inch of wear from the original diameter, the disks should be replaced. If the opener disks have excessive wear, you will get a W-shaped seed slot instead of the desired V-shaped slot.
- Monitor row cleaners. Row cleaners should gently sweep the residue and not remove the soil.
- Calibrate seed meters. Seed meters should be calibrated annually for proper spacing. Correct calibration will reduce the probability of skips or dropping double and triple seeds.
- Replace seed tubes. Seed tubes should be replaced if they show wear. The seed tubes may wear to the extent that they curl inward, catching seeds. This will result in uneven seed placement and prevent the seed from falling to the bottom of the seed furrow.
- Tighten bushings and parallel linkings. If these are loose, row unit bounce will increase, resulting in improper seed placement. Look across your planting units from one side to make sure they have uniform height.
- Lubricate drive system Lubricate all chains and grease fittings, including transmission chains. Lubricate and check the system daily for best results.
- Level the planter in the field Make sure the planter toolbar is parallel to the soil surface when the planter is in the ground and running.
- Adjust closing wheels Closing wheels should be adjusted over the disk openers mark. The bottoms of the rubber or cast-iron closing wheels need to be 1.5 to 2 inches apart.
- Check depth gauge wheels. Depth gauge wheels should run tight against the disks and should firmly press on the soil surface to gauge the seed depth. Appropriate planting depth for corn is generally consider to be 1.5 to 2 inches.
Ensure proper settings before heading to the field to achieve an optimum stand. For more information, contact your local Mycogen Seeds commercial agronomist or trusted agronomic adviser.