Aiming For Planting Perfection In Varying Soil Types

Maintaining openers in tip-top shape, a deeper planting depth and seed meters help Kansas no-tillers achieve even emergence of corn.

When Bryan Poppelreiter pulls his no-till planter into the field, he understands that absolute planting perfection probably isn't going to happen. But that doesn't mean he won't shoot for a picket-fence stand that pops out of the soil evenly up and down, as well as side to side.

One of the planting challenges Poppelreiter faces on the farm he operates with his father, John, near Maple Hill, Kan., is that while most of the soil is a light, sandy loam, he also plants into heavy black gumbo in an irrigated 50-50, corn-soybean operation.

“We need a system that works well in both environments,” Bryan says. “From an efficiency standpoint, we want to handle those fields the same.”

Seeding Consistency

The Poppelreiters’ John Deere 1770NT planter is configured for 16, 30-inch rows. The flexible frame and air bags on the row units aid in seed placement depth consistency, Bryan notes. In addition, Martin floating row cleaners and Schlagel Posi-Close planter wheels help get the seed in the right spot.

“On bean ground, the Martins barely run in the ground, but we think they’re helpful planting into the higher-residue situation of corn stalks,” Bryan says. “The closing wheels help keep the ground from crusting over by crumbling the soil into the row, as well as establishing seed-to-soil contact.

“They really shine when we get a rain after planting. We keep them set on the lightest pressure and that works well.”

The planter is also equipped with a Precision Planting eSet Vacuum Disc…

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Mark Parker

Contributing Editor

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