Spring is an exciting time; a fresh chance to capitalize on the successes from last year and correct any shortcomings you may have experienced. Many people claim that the planter pass is the most important pass of the season. It sets the tone for the year and is a major factor in the yield potential equation. With that in mind, here are a few ideas on how to improve the coming season’s planter pass. Some are simple, some are more complex, but all are important.
Seed Monitoring and Hybrid Tracking
Singulation and seed spacing are important in the quest for that picket fence stand. Do you know how well your meters are working? Can you tell on your current monitor if one row is lacking in singulation or spacing a few percent? Just a 3% loss in singulation means about 1,000 seeds per acre are skips or doubles in that faulty row. That’s a lot of yield you’ll be missing out on in the fall.
Do you know exactly what each hybrid you planted last year did yield-wise? Having a monitor that can keep track of that for you is very valuable in decision making. We have a lot of monitor options (new and used) to help guide your decision making and help quickly diagnose issues to keep your planter running at its best.
It’s no secret that the BT stalks and roots of today’s hybrids are taking longer to break down and are harder for a combine to process. This makes it more difficult to keep a furrow clean, inside and on top. Ideally, a row cleaner will only move the trash, and not any soil. That means that you have minimized the risk of rain washing straight down the row (have you noticed the spring rains the last few years?) and maximized the potential for uniform soil temperatures. This is why we suggest using floating (never fixed placement) row cleaners. We also have the option to put air cylinders on each of the row cleaners, so you can adjust them from the cab. This has been one of the most popular planter improvements we’ve helped growers out with over the last few years. Bonus: it’s more cost friendly than you might think.
Pick up your favorite farm magazine and chances are you’ll find studies across Iowa and the rest of the Midwest on early root development and plant health. Summary: it’s even more important than we previously thought in terms of yield potential. One of the best ways to promote this is with liquid fertilizer. Speak with your agronomist and come up with a plan that best fits your operation. We have many different tank options (planter and tractor mounted), placement options (2×2, in-furrow, etc), pump options (ground drive, hydraulic, PTO, etc) and more. The moral of the story is we can customize a setup that works best for you.
There are many ways to improve planter performance, and those listed above are just a few. Don’t overlook your basic mechanical maintenance! Please stop by or give us a call, we’d be happy to help you make your 2019 crop be the best one yet.