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Of all the agronomic variables in the life of a plant, the initial contact of the seed with the soil and moisture is the most crucial to germination’s spark of life and a viable stand emergence.
Major equipment manufacturers have provided excellent machines designed to provide the crucial seed-to-soil contact, but the quest for improved productivity continues to drive innovation and a thriving aftermarket in add-on equipment to boost efficiency, lower costs and increase yields.
This year’s crop of new products, aimed at enhancing the no-till planting and seeding process, includes bolt-on equipment designed to improve seed and fertility placement; allow more efficient no-till planting in heavy residue, and make variable-rate seeding available in a low-maintenance, farmer-installed package.
What follows is a summary of new no-till seeding and planting attachments and their potential benefits to growers.
The FastTrac closing system from AgFocus offers growers with John Deere, White and Kinze planters a newly-patented wide press-wheel closing system that minimizes compaction while ensuring excellent seed to soil contact.
“Our prototype field tests showed the FastTrac was responsible for 2-4 days faster emergence in corn, and an overall 6% more even and timely emergence when compared with other systems,” says Bruce Freed, vice president of AgFocus.
“With our testing last year, depending upon the soil conditions, we saw 6-15 bushel-per-acre yield increases over other systems. That amounts to a 20-acre ROI with $3.50 corn.”
Freed says the system, which uses two small closing discs to firm the…