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8 Tips For Fine Tuning No-Till Planter Performance

No-till planter specialist Dave Dum shares how to properly adjust and maintain some of the key no-till planter parts that will help accomplish a better stand and lead to higher yields.

If seed isn’t planted correctly, no-tillers can expect to lose yield before the crop even emerges from the ground. Achieving high-yielding crops begins with a planter that is properly equipped, maintained and adjusted for field conditions.

“The maintenance of that planter can’t be an afterthought if we’re going to do a proper job with our no-till planting,” Dave Dum told attendees at the 2014 National No-Tillage Conference earlier this year.

There are four goals no-tillers should strive for when it comes to their planting machines, the Binkley & Hurst no-till planter specialist says: Even seed depth, good seed-to-soil contact, proper closing of the seed trench and effective weed control.

By thoroughly checking, adjusting or replacing key planter parts and components, no-tillers can ensure their machines are in optimal working order and yield isn’t lost right out of the starting gate.

1. Parallel Arms

It may not seem like the parallel arms would have a big impact on planter performance, but that’s far from the truth, Dum says.

 “Parallel arms are one of the first things that holds that row unit true,” he says. “If we have bad parallel arms, we start rolling the row unit to the side, changing the seed depth and how that whole unit will work.”

He gave an example of a no-till customer who thought he had bad parallel-arm bushings on his six-row planter. The customer replaced the bushings and tightened the parallel arms on just three rows, thinking the others were fine.

After the no-tiller…

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Laura allen

Laura Barrera

Laura Barrera is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. Prior to joining No-Till Farmer, she served as an assistant editor for a greenhouse publication. Barrera holds a B.A. in magazine journalism from Ball State University.

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