It all starts with the planter, Gregg Sauder of Tremont, Ill., told 660 attendees at the seventh annual National No-Tillage Conference in St. Louis, Mo. He says no-tillers concerned with yields and stands should turn their attentions to the no-till planter to receive optimum crop performance.
“Yield comes from ear count and nothing else,” Sauder explains. “It’s not plant population. There are two things that are going to drive ear count—seed spacing and seed depth.”
Sauder says these two key factors can make—or break—your no-till success. And the first thing every no-tiller should do before a seed is planted is to thoroughly check the planter. Here’s Sauder’s top dozen ways to ensure your no-till planter success in 1999.
“Pull your no-till planter into the field where the tires are in the actual working conditions,” Sauder says. “Otherwise, you can really get mixed up.”
This, Sauder says, means keeping the right height at the front of the planter.
“If you’ve got your planter too low, it will nose down,” he says. “If it’s nosed down, the seed tube will change the pitch of the delivery and start to float seed. This means you’re going to get seed about a half-inch above the bottom of the seed slot and that’s going to cost you.”
How does one check for this? Simple, Sauder says, just ask your wife for help.
“You can’t do it by yourself in the field,” he says…