5 Top Notch Tips for Better No-Till Planting, Seed Placement

Striving for uniformity ‘every day of the year’ is the best approach to no-tilling crops and optimizing yields, says ag engineer Paul Jasa.

Pictured Above: PRESS ON. In most situations, no-tillers can be successful planting a crop without coulters on their planter — even in a tall cover crop — with sharp, properly maintained disc openers, says Nebraska Extension ag engineer Paul Jasa. This no-till planter has weights on the row units and water in the fertilizer tanks for the down-pressure springs to transfer weight to the row units, ensuring residue cutting and soil penetration to the desired seeding depth

With planting season not as far away as it might seem, editors at No-Till Farmer recently talked with Nebraska Extension ag engineer Paul Jasa about a range of topics related to no-tilling corn.

From ensuring proper seeding depth and spacing, to choosing the right planter and seeder attachments, to the location of the new rows, Jasa explained what steps no-tillers may want to consider to achieve better and more consistent. Here are the highlights of this discussion.

1. For less experienced no-tillers, what are some keys to making no-till planting and seeding work?

When it comes to air seeders, planters or drills, we’re going to meter the seed. Then there are four crucial steps for no-till. First is cutting or handling the residue. The second is going to be penetrating the soil to the desired seeding depth. The third is establishing seed-to-soil contact, and fourth is closing the seed trench.

Steps 5, 6, 7 and 8 might be fertilizer, insecticide, herbicide and fungicide, but if I fail at those first four, I’m not…

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John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein is senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

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