Do you use leading coulters on your no-tiller planter? Why or why not?

A: Years ago, we pulled our coulters off the front of our planters on the advice of University of Nebraska ag engineer Paul Jasa at the National No-Tillage Conference. We also use no row cleaners and rely on the disc openers to slice through our residue.

I would never go back to using opening coulters, because the problems we had with hairpinning were greatly reduced after removing them. Ground disturbance is minimal. Most of the time, you can’t visually tell where we have planted in the field without close observation. Our in-row weed problems were greatly reduced and residue remains on the ground undisturbed, helping to keep the ground cooler in the summer.

— John Stigge, Washington, Kan.


A: I removed the leading coulters from my planter at least 10 years ago. Among the reasons was improved residue flow through the planter, having too much stuff hanging on the planter and a lack of access for maintenance adjustment. But the most important reason was the uneven depth placement of the seed, with some seeds going deeper and some shallower.

— Mike Werling, Decatur, Ind.

A: We use sharp Planter-Pro plow-type coulters with our row cleaners. The Martin row cleaners operate on either side of the coulter, mounted on spring-loaded trailing arms. This system works well in our high-residue, no-till planting conditions into cover crops. We’ve found a sharp coulter easily cuts the planting furrow ahead of the double-disc openers. We use Precision Planting’s DeltaForce system to control down pressure on…

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