We've seen many farmers overlook the importance of managing weight on their seeders. Weight management is a critical aspect of achieving consistent seeding depth in the field. When we have a large piece of equipment carrying a lot of weight, we need to manage the upward and downward forces as we're going throughout the field.

One of the most critical aspects of weight management is ensuring that we're carrying enough weight on the gauge wheels at all times to maintain a consistent seed depth. We need to consider the upward forces of the opening disc trying to get to depth and the weight on the gauge wheels. In no-till environments, especially when seeding into heavy residue, we need to carry additional weight to transfer it to the openers and achieve consistent seeding depth.

For instance, on a 15-foot John Deere 1560, we found that we need at least 12 100-pound weights (pictured below) with a total of 1,200 pounds all the way across the back in the center to achieve consistent seeding depth in most field conditions. We encourage growers to consider additional ballast, especially when the hopper is 10 or 20% full, to achieve consistent seeding depth.


We also recommend fitting seeders with Precision Planting’s SeederForce with row-by-row technology or Rockshaft control which controls downforce on the rockshafts based on downforce readings on select rows. The SeederForce system senses the downforce on each individual gauge wheel and sends hydraulic downforce via a hydraulic cylinder using the SRM module to adjust downforce on a row-by-row basis according to soil types, wheel tracks from compaction, residue levels, and other factors.

In summary, managing weight on seeders is a critical aspect of achieving consistent seeding depth. It's essential to consider the upward and downward forces in the field, especially in no-till environments, and ensure that we're carrying enough weight on the gauge wheels. With the right weight management strategies and technology, you can achieve a great stand and avoid yield loss caused by lack of maintenance. Find your local Precision Planting Premier Dealer at PlanterExpert.com.

To watch videos of all recommended annual maintenance checks, visit PrecisionPlanting.com/seedermaintenance. 

Download the free Seeder Maintenance Guide. This guide includes a 1-sheet checklist, links directing you to the corresponding videos, and an overview of 8 key maintenance areas on your seeder.

Download the free guide!   

The Seeder Maintenance series is brought to you by Precision Planting.

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