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Get Seed Placed Properly

Planter adjustments and proper use of attachments are critical to uniform no-till seedling emergence and maximum yields.

Whether your no-till planter is ready to go this spring depends on whether you have the right attachments or make the proper adjustments to get seed placed uniformly at the correct depth and population. The goal is good soil-to-seed contact and minimal sidewall compaction.

This can seem like a daunting task, but it’s easy if you use common sense and remember that your no-till planter is adjustable so you can re-tool it to work in many conditions.

Row Preparation

Row cleaners are critical for successful no-tilling. By removing trash, row cleaners allow the planter to run more smoothly and accurately, and provide a seedbed that warms up faster.

I can’t emphasize how critical it is to move trash so the planting units don’t bounce and trash is not hairpinned into the seed trench. Overcome these two problems and the planting unit will do its job more effectively. The cleaned area will warm up faster and improve seedling growth.

Set the no-till coulter in front of the row at the same depth as the seed opener. The coulter will provide relief to the openers by gently opening a slot and clearing remaining trash so the opener can easily open a slot.

However, minimize the coulter width and use at least a 13-wave coulter to reduce the amount of soil you remove from the seed area. An aggressive coulter will fling soil out of the seed trench, reducing the ability of your planter to close the seed trench correctly.

Planting speed is…

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Leverich_jim

Jim Leverich

Jim Leverich no-tills near Sparta, Wis., and serves as an onfarm research coordinator for the University of Wisconsin.

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