Rebuilding Your No-Till Planter to Achieve 99% Corn Ear Potential

Here are 8 essential planter features Rich Schlipf believes are wise investments for improving corn stands and yields.

When you start talking about ways to incrementally increase corn yields, Rich Schlipf knows there are numerous no-till planter equipment options and add-on technologies to help farmers maximize emergence and uniformity in growth.

Schlipf is a farmer in north-central Indiana and also owner of Schlipf Precision Ag, a Precision Planting equipment dealer in Milford, Ind., that also offers complete planter rebuilds, inspections, field analysis and precision application services.

His goal is to have every corn seed produce a stalk, every stalk to produce an ear and to have every ear be a carbon copy of its neighbor. He also wants every seed to germinate within 24 hours of each other — ear potential of 99% — he says.

Later-emerging plants that are one leaf collar behind result in one half the size of a normal ear. Stalks two leaf collars behind can result in no ears. For those late-emerging plants, “you’ve basically fed the plant all year and you have nothing to show for it, and that’s very costly,” Schlipf told attendees at the 2017 National No-Tillage Conference.

Here are eight of Schlipf’s most important no-till planter recommendations, assuming farmers already have their machines in top mechanical condition. 

1 Floating Row Cleaners 

Schlipf believes in always using row cleaners because they help expose dark soil that will take on warm sunlight. “Our goal is to plant our seed at a consistent depth, so we need even soil moisture and temperature,” he says.

There can be downsides to adding row cleaners…

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Mark mcneely1

Mark McNeely

Mark McNeely is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. His previous experience includes 25 years in industrial engine journalism and marketing. Mark holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.

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