No-Till Planter Blades, One or Two?

Does anyone replace only one side on a John Deere planter to get the lead cutting effect such as with a Case IH planter, or does everyone replace both as they wear down? I no-till into wheat and barley stubble.


The problem with replacing only one blade and leaving the smaller, worn blade is that you won’t get a clean cut on the bottom of the seed trench. Case IH uses the same size blades, but they run one ahead of the other by an inch. They are run at the same depth on the bottom to get the dirt moved.

In addition, Case IH has a triangled piece of iron for a firmer that runs in the trench to get rid of the loose dirt. There is an easy solution to get the Case IH opener. Trade no-till planters.


When the beveled edge of the blades wear off, replace them both. When you take the blades off, you’ll notice three or four washers on the shaft. Leave one or two washers on when you put the new blades on. This will increase the length of the contact between the two blades where they enter the soil. You have to leave enough washers on to ensure the blade does not rub on the shank of the no-till planting unit.

—John, deerefriend@hotmail

Don’t have too much contact between the two blades or you will wear out the bearings. The book says 2 inches. A little more is OK, but not too much or you will have some serious side load on your bearings.


Hydraulic System Operation

I have a late ’70s to early ’80s Case IH 1086 tractor that I want to use on a 15-foot John Deere 750 no-till drill that I just bought. Will the hydraulic system operate the positive flow down pressure needed for the drill to operate?

I have noticed in the operators manual that a closed-center system is required (I’m not sure if mine is opened or closed). Does anyone use this combination?


There is a changeover kit for tractors with old style closed hydraulics vs. a new open center. Contact your John Deere dealer.


Case IH changed the hydraulics in 1980

If it has PFC hydraulics, it will have an oil filter under the left frame rail and in-cab flow controls. I believe that’s when they switched to the red side-hood panels.

—Cliff Seia,

Hydraulics on a Case IH 1086 are open center

On older tractors, only John Deere had closed center hydraulics. They built implements that work best on their own equipment. I’m sure someone can tell you how to get around this problem.


This problem has been discussed on Machinery Talk at SDman, a frequent message board poster that works for a Case IH dealer, has quite a bit of experience using an open center hydraulic tractor on a hydraulic down pressure John Deere no-till drill.

The valve arrangement changeover kit that John Deere sells is not the best solution. SDman’s solution is a T or jumper line between the up and down hydraulic lines on the drill with a 3,000 pounds per square inch gauge, a valve and a check valve in the line between the two lines.

The gauge should be next to the down hose. Hold the tractor valve in the down position and adjust the jumper line valve to get the down pressure you want. This gives the down pressure system a constant source of pressure and the valve allows excess oil to circulate.

The check valve is needed to stop oil flow in the opposite direction when you raise the drill. I think SDman’s e-mail is and I am sure he would help.

—John W,

Case IH 900 Split-Row

I’m building a 15 row, 15-inch Case IH no-till planter using two seed hoppers and staggered units, similar to their factory produced machines.

How far back do they set every other row for trash clearance? Do they offer a model with hinges that allows the frame to flex for uneven ground? Are the factory models semi-mounted or do they make a pull type no-till planter?


I’ll double check, but I think the units on our Case IH 5400 drill are offset 7 inches. It would be hard to add a hinge to make it flex because the units are so close together that they can’t move closer when it flexes. The factory ones are mounted but most are mounted on a caddy because of the extra weight.

If you have a big enough tractor with a very heavy front end you could get by with it on a three point hitch. If I were you, I’d build a 16-row planter. The 16th row will make it 20 feet, will get the center unit out of the row marker track and will no-till better in 30-inch corn rows (our bean rows are 7 1/2 inches off each corn row).

—Cliff Neubauer,

I built one several years ago starting with a 12-row semi-mounted no-till planter. I made it fully mounted and it was very heavy. I have since remounted the assist wheels higher on the frame to clear the row units which are set back 7 inches (used extra 7-by-7-inch frame, split in half to set rows back).

It was 11 rows (center section of original planter), but I’m now adding two more rows to each side to make 15 rows. I’m making it ridged. My neighbor is building a 16-row planter that still folds three rows on each side, so flexibility will be better.


Best Residue Managers

What works best on a Case IH 955 no-till planter? I don’t think I need a coulter with the Case IH design with the offset opener discs. I have used notched disc row cleaners in the past with mixed results. They never plug but sometimes move too much soil. Yetter’s finger wheels are the cheapest, but I noticed Dawn and Martins are built heavier. Are they worth the money?


I’ve been using the rigid mounted Yetters, but tried the ones with floating capabilities this year.


I’ve got Martin units with 15 inch wheels installed on my Case IH 900. I can’t tell you if they work because I haven’t used the planter yet. I use Yetter anhydrous coulters for sidedressing and while it’s not junk, Yetter skimps on quality.

I bought used Martin units for my no-till planter for $150 (in like new condition) and could have had used Yetters for $125. The lighter nature of the Yetter residue managers concerned me.

My brother-in-law has Dawns on a Case IH 800 no-till planter and likes them except that they move dirt even when lifted all the way up; they don’t lift high enough.

Everyone I talked to that has had Martin residue managers seems to like them. It’s hard to tell you what to buy, but you will probably get what you pay for.


Corn Into Standing Wheat Stubble

Are there any problems no-tilling corn into standing wheat stubble?

I understand that the ground is slower to warm up in the spring. I thought about trying this and was wondering if anyone had any experience and how well it worked.


I had trouble with the coulter pinning the residue in the trench and affecting the corn germination to some extent. I took the coulter out of the row area and now it sweeps the residue out of the way with the row cleaner so I don’t have that problem.

—Ed Winkle,

We’ve been no-tilling corn into wheat stubble for many years with very good results. We are in northern Illinois and shoot for wheat yields of 80 plus bushels per acre.

The wheat is in 10-inch rows and the straw is usually baled. The last 2 years we have run our strip-till rig in the fall while applying anhydrous ammonia. The no-till planter has a coulter and a row cleaner combo. I prefer to run the row cleaner quite aggressively in the wheat stubble.

We always use a seed treatment (Germate or the like) and soil insecticide (Force). Wireworms can be a problem and some years we’ll spray for insects. We hopefully kill volunteer wheat in the fall with Roundup, but almost always have some in the spring. Kill it early.

Hopefully you have a chaff spreader on your combine. Also, make good seed corn selection. We have far less straw in the seed furrow than when we worked the ground.

This is supposed to be one of the toughest no-till rotations there is, but it works.


Having a good straw chopper and chaff spreader on your combine is the first thing you need. Wheat stubble can vary greatly depending on wheat yield, straw length and variety. Hairpinning or tucking is a major problem with disc type openers without some kind of row cleaner. If you can clear the straw in front of the planter, you shouldn’t have any problems.

—John W

Keetons Vs. Rebounders

Which are better, Keeton seeding attachments or the Rebounders? I’d like to put starter on with either of the two. Does that make a difference in the performance of either one?


We used Keeton units on about 100 acres. We took them off because they built up with moist dirt and wouldn’t clean off. They also moved the seed all over.

We used Rebounders on 6,000 acres and had no problem and I like them better. I also put them on my no-till soybean planter. It makes a difference by keeping the seed in trench.


I prefer the way the Keeton tucks the seed in the bottom of the vee. We cut off the plastic that was balling up as shown in the March 2001 No-Till Farmer issue (pages 12 to 13). The Rebounder doesn’t touch the soil and I want the device to touch the seed firmly and press it into the trench.

—Ed Winkle,

They may not touch the seed as much but that doesn’t affect seed spacing. That is what they did when dirt was on the Keetons. We saw some seed on top of the ground too. We don’t see that with the Rebounders.


Most people use Keetons rather than Rebounders

I’m nervous about Rebounders not pushing the seed into soil moisture, as the seed literally has to bounce to the bottom of the no-till seed trench.

I don’t like the wide spoon shape of the Rebounders. They cause dry dirt from the top of the trench to get scraped in with the seed. Since the company claims Rebounders scrape loose seeds from the sidewalls, it has to be scraping dry dirt as well.

I don’t know what type of planter you are using but Keetons for some (like Case IH) are smaller than the John Deere planter version. This may cause less problems since I know some people cut off the Keetons for John Deere no-till planters. They are also a lot smaller for the John Deere 750 no-till drill.

In our area, the few farmers that had Rebounders took them off (or they broke off) and replaced them with Keetons.


Liquid Fertilizer

I need advice on mounting a John Blue pump on a Case IH 800 no-till planter. I am trying to apply 30 gallons of nitrogen and 10 gallons of starter per acre at planting. Will a Surflow pump handle 9 gallons with Yetter 2975 fertilizer coulters?


How many rows do you have and how fast will you drive? I have a chart and will figure the starter rate for you.


It is a six row, 30-inch no-till planter. I normally plant between 4 and 5 mph.


With six rows and that range of speed, a 3 to 4 gallon per meter pump will supply your needs. Don’t get to big of a pump or it won’t cycle right.