Seed Firmer Reads Organic Matter While You Plant

Precision Planting’s SmartFirmer combines seed firming with a high-resolution sensor to create soil maps on the go and variable-rate populations and hybrids based on organic matter.

No-Tillers know that the success of their season relies primarily on that moment when the seed meets the soil. A planting trip that results in a strong, even emergence across the field sets the stage for higher yields come harvest.

Soon, growers will have another piece of technology available to help perfect their planting.

This year, Precision Planting will beta test its new SmartFirmer, a Keeton seed firmer with the ability to sense residue, moisture and soil organic matter (SOM) in-furrow, resulting in high-definition soil maps created on the go during planting.

The technology will also allow growers to adjust their seeding rate and hybrid on the go by using SOM readings.

Monitoring Moisture

One of the primary objectives of the SmartFirmer is to provide actionable feedback to farmers to help them improve the planting process, says product manager Dale Koch. In-furrow soil moisture is one of those readings.

The product senses both the uniformity of soil moisture and whether there’s sufficient soil moisture available for germination, which is based on a metric the company developed to tell how much water the seed is going to take up in a given period of time.

This metric provides a more accurate reading for seed germination than just reading the percent of soil moisture in a field, Koch says, because soil type heavily influences whether a seed can access water in a soil.


HIGH-TECH FIRMING. In addition to being a traditional seed firmer, the SmartFirmer can sense in-furrow soil moisture, residue and

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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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