Hurst planter fullsize

Leveling Your No-Till Planter for Better Results

A simple review of the planter bar’s setup can help no-tillers prevent many problems with seed placement and furrow closing and provide you with better planting results.

Pictured Above: DETAILS MATTER. Many manufacturers recommend no-tillers run the planter bar level, “which is fine when the machine is new,” says Paul Schaffert of Schaffert Mfg. “But when the planter is older and the row units’ parallel linkages become worn, you need to raise the bar up in the front or screw the third linkage back on a mounted planter to level the row units. The bar will be running uphill or up in the front.”

(Editor’s note: This is part one of a four-article series covering the essentials of no-till planting and seeding to help growers get better results.)

IN SPITE OF all the technological wonders available today for no-till planters, drills and air seeders, something very simple can cause problems — like leveling the planter. 

Paul Schaffert says he’s been getting a number of complaints from customers having trouble getting seed corn into the bottom of the trench and getting the slot to close with his products, like the Rebounder seed cover. 

What the owner of Schaffert Mfg. discovered in these cases was farmers weren’t getting their planter leveled properly. “If you looked at a side view of the planter while in motion through the field, you would see that the hitch was pointed slightly downward, which meant the rear of the planter was higher than the front,” Schaffert says.

“That causes the planter not to shoot the seed corn straight down into the slot where the Rebounders would normally push it properly into the bottom of…

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John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein is senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

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