Data from Beck's Practical Farm Research (PFR) indicates using the proper closing wheel provides up to a 5.1 bushel per acre advantage in corn and a 2.5 bushel per acre advantage in soybeans. The study compared five different aftermarket closing wheels.
WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT CLOSING WHEELS?
Closing the seed trench and optimizing seed-to-soil contact is essential for uniform emergence, which leads to higher yields. This is achieved by filling the seed trench from bottom to top and firming the soil while eliminating air pockets. Open slots also allow herbicides and insects like slugs direct access to the seed, causing injury. When planting conditions are not ideal, closing wheels are needed to crush or collapse the sidewall to help eliminate tomahawk roots which cause yield loss as a result of root restriction.
WHICH CLOSING WHEELS ARE THE BEST?
PFR data indicates that the proper closing wheel varies depending on your soil type and planting conditions. However, nearly all aftermarket closing wheels have performed better than the two solid rubber wheels that come standard on most planters.
PLANTER ATTACHMENTS: CLOSING WHEELS
CLOSING WHEEL DESCRIPTIONS
The Schaffert Zipper is an angled cast spike closing wheel designed to take the place of standard rubber closing wheels. It works in all soil types, even the toughest of no-till conditions. The non-aggressive, 1-inch angled spikes feather the soil in the furrow while simultaneously applying pressure to ensure the furrow is zipped shut. As the spikes close, they create indentations that allow moisture to sink in, increasing seed-to-soil contact.
Key Benefits: Very versatile, durable, and closes the seed slot with ease. It is recommended to add the 4 Link Closer.
S.I. DISTRIBUTING FINGER-TILL The S.I. Distributing Finger-Till wheel is a steel closing wheel that is lighter than cast-iron closing wheels. The spikes fracture the seed trench sidewall, reducing compaction, and the interior fins break up clods and fine up the topsoil.
Key Benefits: Can crumble the sidewall and close the seed trench in tough, wet, no-till conditions.
COPPERHEAD AG FURROW CRUISER
The Copperhead Ag Furrow Cruiser was designed by farmers to eliminate sidewall compaction. They also provide depth control so they are operable in any planting condition without negative results.
Key Benefits: Very versatile, minimizes sidewall compaction and eliminates air pockets.
YETTER POLY TWISTER
The Yetter Poly Twister performs in a wide spectrum of soil conditions, from wet to ideal. The wheel utilizes twisted poly spikes and a rounded center to close the seed trench by crumbling the sidewall. The ring design maintains wheel depth and also firms the soil, eliminating possible air pockets.
Key Benefits: One of the most versatile wheels, it enhances seed-to-soil contact and eliminates air pockets.
The Schaffert Mohawk wheel fractures the soil with minimal compaction. The non-aggressive, 1 in. angled blunt spikes on the Mohawk feather the soil in the furrow while simultaneously applying light pressure to ensure the furrow is stitched shut. It is made to work in tough soils.
Key Benefits: Increased seed-to-soil contact and the ability to break the sidewall down over the seed and firm the soil around the seed. It is recommended to add the 4 Link Closer.
PLANTER ATTACHMENTS: CLOSING WHEEL ACRES TO PAY OFF
Acres to pay off uses the price of the specific closing wheel, the corn/soybean price, and the Bu./A. advantage for each closing wheel. In the charts below, a smaller number means the closing wheel "pays for itself" more quickly.
COPPERHEAD AG FURROW CRUISER - CORN
S.I. DISTRIBUTING FINGER-TILL - CORN
YETTER POLY TWISTER - CORN
SCHAFFERT MOHAWK™ - CORN
COPPERHEAD AG FURROW CRUISER® - SOYBEAN
S.I. DISTRIBUTING FINGER-TILL - SOYBEAN
YETTER POLY TWISTER - SOYBEAN
SCHAFFERT MOHAWK™ - SOYBEAN
PLANTER ATTACHMENTS: CLOSING WHEEL SYSTEMS
WHY WOULD I NEED A CLOSING WHEEL SYSTEM?
Closing wheels need to maintain consistent pitch and ground contact to successfully close the furrow. Standard swing-arms have limited travel, so when they move up, the pitch of the closing wheels gets wider. Likewise, when they move down, they can struggle to close as they were designed. The parallel arms with 4 Link Closer allow for greater travel to help maintain a consistent pitch and thus, more consistent closing of the seed trench. FasTrac™ utilizes a chevron closing wheel system to help manage the soil density in the seed trench and eliminate open seed slots.
Most of our plots are located on uniform, flat ground. We would expect the benefits of this system to be more pronounced on fields that have more rolling topography.
WHY SHOULD I ADD THE WALKING AXLE?
If you have had issues with root balls and other obstructions lifting or impacting closing wheels, then you should consider this attachment. The walking axle creates a “walking” motion of the closing system, allowing the unit to travel more smoothly when dealing with obstructions and increased changes in the soil surface. In addition, as high-speed planting becomes more popular, row-unit bounce becomes more pronounced, so having the ability to keep the closing wheels stable and running at a consistent pitch will be more important.
3-YEAR MULTI-LOCATION CLOSING WHEEL SYSTEMS YIELD AVERAGE
3-YEAR MULTI-LOCATION CLOSING WHEEL SYSTEMS YIELD AVERAGE
PLANTER ATTACHMENTS: CLOSING WHEEL SYSTEMS ACRES TO PAY OFF
Acres to pay off uses the price of the specific closing wheel, the corn price, and the Bu./A. advantage for each closing wheel system. In t he charts below, a smaller number means the closing wheel system "pays for itself" more quickly.
SCHAFFERT 4 LINK CLOSER WITH WALKING AXLE - CORN
SCHAFFERT 4 LINK CLOSER WITH WALKING AXLE - SOYBEAN
FASTTRAC™ CLOSING SYSTEM ACRES TO PAY OFF
PLANTER ATTACHMENTS: 2X2X2 SYSTEMS
WHY SHOULD I PLACE FERTILITY ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ROW AT PLANTING?
We know that roots will proliferate in the presence of ammonium and nitrate nitrogen. Feeding and building the roots on both sides of the plant will provide a more stable anchor and allow it to access more of the soil profile. In addition, there are limits on salt loading near the seed, but by utilizing this system our data shows that farmers can increase their early-season nitrogen and increase yield.
SEED SAFETY AND SALT CONTENT
Safe levels of salt (N + K20 lb./A.) to apply to corn as a function of soil texture and placement.
SALT INDEX COMPARISONS
Commonly used starter fertilizer products expressed as pounds of salt effect/gal. relative to 10-34-0.
SHOULD I RUN ANYTHING OTHER THAN NITROGEN THROUGH MY 2X2X2 SYSTEM?
We have tested a 50/50 blend of 28% and 10-34-0 and the data mirrors the results from running straight nitrogen, so it appears that most of the benefit comes from the nitrogen instead of the phosphorous.
4-YEAR MULTI-LOCATION NITROGEN PLACEMENT YIELD AVERAGE
PLANTER ATTACHMENTS: 2X2X2 SYSTEMS ACRES TO PAY OFF
Acres to pay off uses the price of the specific 2x2x2 system, the corn price, and the Bu./A. advantage for each 2x2x2 system. In the charts below, a smaller number means the 2x2x2 system "pays for itself" more quickly.
YETTER DUAL 2968 SERIES - CORN
MARTIN-TILL® DUAL UMO - CORN
CONCEAL® (DUAL SIDES) ACRES TO PAY OFF