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