Debate has raged for many years about what seed firmer is the best product for improving no-till seed germination and stands.
But a new product unveiled this spring may add new life to the debate. After testing was conducted in three states last year, Ohio farmer and fabricator Jeff Peter released the Flo-Rite seed firmer this year.
The unit works similar to a Keeton, but features an embedded stainless-steel fertilizer tube with on-seed and Y-band liquid nozzles and a replaceable wear plate. Atlanta, Ind.-based Beck’s Hybrids has signed on to be the exclusive distributor of the Flo-Rite.
Peter has some previous ties to the seed-firmer market, as he invented fertilizer tubes that attach to Keetons and the “Y-Not Split-It” fertilizer fitting for the Rebounder.
Peter says the Keetons and Rebounders have both worked well, but he’s responding to complaints among farmers about a lack of down pressure and dislodged fertilizer tubes on Keetons.
Peter says he designed the Flo-Rite with a harder “memory polymer” plastic that provide more down pressure. In addition, he’s embedded the fertilizer tube in the body of the seed firmer so it’s less likely to be damaged or dislodged by dirt or residue.
Farmers can simply replace the wear plate once they've become worn to a certain point, rather than replacing the whole firmer unit, says Peter, who raises corn, soybeans and wheat near Hicksville, Ohio, and runs his own fabrication shop.
When it comes to seed firmers, one point of contention farmers have…