Harvesting Begins With No-Till Planting

This no-till veteran maintains today’s planting equipment may be costing you plenty of yield.

As a veteran no-tiller, Paul Schaffert has worked with no-till seeding equipment for more than 20 years. And he’s always advocated that harvest actually begins when you no-till your crops in the spring.

“As I study today’s no-till drills and no-till planters, I’m left with a critical question in the back of my mind,” says the Indianola, Neb., no-tiller and seeding equipment attachment manufacturer: “Is my planting equipment robbing me of yield?”

Schaffert lists several areas of concern with no-till drills and planters that you should take a close look at this spring before heading to the field to seed.

1. Bouncing Openers.

These problems occur when you seed too fast and results in misplaced seeds within the row. With no-till fields that are extremely rough, bouncing openers can lead to even more misplaced seeds.

2. Worn Opener Discs.

This results in a “W ditch” which leaves loose soil in the bottom of the seed V. Worn openers which run too close together will cause costly pinching and can actually sling seeds out of the row. This may result in excessive wear on the seed tube and the seed tube guard.

“Try dropping seeds in a one-third smaller seed slice at 5 miles per hour,” Schaffert says. “Most no-till planters equipped with new discs leave a 1 1/2-inch wide seed V. Yet seed discs which are worn just 1/2-inch often leave only a 1-inch wide seed V.”

3. Slow Emerging Seeds.

This can result in non-uniform maturity, extend insect life…

To view the full article, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital and Premium subscribers. Please purchase a subscription to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives.

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings