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Achieving Photocopy Plants: The Importance of Proper Planting Depth

Soil temperature and moisture level are major factors in determining the proper planting depth.
Soil temperature and moisture level are major factors in determining the proper planting depth.

Today, we continue our Be Ready blog series looking at the six agronomic drivers that impact photocopy plants; this installment focuses on proper seed depth.

Each farmer has his or her own rule of thumb for determining planting depths for different crops, but is there really a “magic number” when it comes to seed planting depth?

What is your rule of thumb for determining planting depth?

“Soil temperature and planting to moisture are important,” says Bill Hoeg, Case IH Planter Marketing Manager. “A half-inch variation in soil depth can represent a 10 degree soil temperature difference, which is critical, especially early in the season. Of course, if you don’t plant in moisture, the seed won’t germinate. A corn seed requires 2.5 times its weight in water to germinate. Therefore, if you miss the moisture, the plant is slow in emerging.”

In fact, soil temperature and moisture are two of the most important factors in seed germination, emergence and ultimately, uniform plant stands. The type of seed you’re planting also determines proper planting depth. Corn Plants at different stages 228x153 Achieving Photocopy Plants: The Importance of Proper Planting Depth

“When each seed is planted to the same depth, those seeds are going to emerge within eight hours of each other,” says Hoeg. “When emergence is timed this perfectly, it lessens the chance that a plant is not going to reach its full potential, thus becoming a weed. This is particularly important when planting corn.”

How can you get more accurate seed placement at the proper depth? Using the Case IH Early Riser® 5 series planter can help:

  • The planter’s precise seed depth control means you can know exactly how deep each seed is going to be planted.
  • The zero indexed row units assure that each row unit is planting at the same depth.
  • The elimination of bulk soil in the bottom of the trench assures that seeds are being dropped to the same depth.
  • The 1/8-inch depth adjustment allows for fine-tuning to moisture and temperature.
  • The pulled equalizing gauge wheels are much more stable and minimize row unit vertical movement. The narrow leading edge disk openers penetrate consistently to the same depth, even in different soil types in the same field.
  • Uniform soil pressure around the seed means the seed will not move or sink when it rains, unlike in loose soil.

PICT0054 228x304 Achieving Photocopy Plants: The Importance of Proper Planting Depth

The Early Riser planter also creates the only true “V” seed trench with a narrow leading edge offset disk opener. The opener penetrates the toughest soils, cutting through soil and residue, and eliminating the need for row coulters that can inhibit consistent depth.

The new AFS AccuStat seed sensing system helps farmers monitor and map detailed seed spacing information, including seed singulation, skips, multiples and the spacing coefficient of variation (CV), live on the AFS Pro 700 control center. This enables spacing and population corrections to be made faster.

Find out more:
To learn more about agronomic considerations at planting and photocopy plants, click here to request a new Agronomic Design Insights report on seed placement accuracy.

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