Growers continually balance eight key agronomic needs: timeliness, crop residue management, soil tilth, seed bed conditions, seed placement accuracy, plant food availability, crop protection and harvest quality. This post is the first in a series that offers insights on some of these specific needs. This first post addresses seed placement accuracy.
All growers would love to have photocopy plants, but we all know that’s tough to do. Iowa State University Extension Field Agronomist Mark Licht says that farmers face two challenges in this area. The first is uniformity of emergence.
What challenges do you face to get uniform emergence?
“If you’re planting too shallow, you’ll get pretty quick and fast emergence, which has an effect on root development. On the other side of it is, if you plant too deep, your emergence tends to take a little longer and you can always end up with slower seedling vigor.”
The second related issue Licht says producers struggle with is planting to the correct depth.
“If we’re not uniform in depth of seed placement, we really can have up to a five-day window on emergence and sometimes even seven days if we’re dealing with cooler, wetter soils.”
Case IH Early Riser® 5 series planters, which are built with Agronomic Design, combat these challenges. The Early Riser planter row unit can help with accurate and consistent seed depth, and improve upon emergence by up to three days earlier than other row units.
“Our off-set double disc openers slice through residue and can be fine-tuned down to one-eighth-inch increments to make sure that seed depth is exactly where you need it,” says Chris Lursen, Case IH Training Manager.
Lursen adds that every little bit of residue and soil will be moved out of the seed trench to ensure proper placement and depth.
“Most planters form a seed trench in the shape of a “W.” The Case IH furrow-forming point wipes away the middle peak of that “W” to form a true “V.” That middle peak that we wiped out can affect seed depth by a quarter of an inch.” You can see how this works in this video.
Early Riser planters also are zero indexed, so you’re guaranteed that each row unit is planting at the same depth across the width of the machine. Licht says if conditions aren’t right, farmers could lose big.
“Typically speaking, plant-to-plant spacing and seeding depth, if it’s bad enough, it can be probably upwards of 25 percent yield loss,” says Licht.
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