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The Simplest Fix to Improve Corn Yields

September 29, 2011
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Director of Content Development, Machinery Pete

This spring, rethink if you need to pick up the pace or ease back on the throttle.

In Episode 1 of "Corn College TV," Season 2, Ken Ferrie explains how monitoring your planting speed can be the simplest way to improve planter performance.
"With the planting pass, there are so many factors to worry about, from setting the equipment to watching the planter monitors all the way to the closing wheels," Ferrie says. "But of all these things, I see the most issues with planter speed. I understand that farmers get nervous and want to get going, especially when it’s late."
Ferrie says that farmers need to plant at 4.5 mph to 5 mph.
"If you can’t get done running at that speed, you need to size up your equipment," he says. "Truly, you need to get done on time, but you need to do it right."
Even as planters are better at singulating seed at higher speeds than they were before, faster planter speeds lead to row unit bounce, lack of depth control and other planter performance problems.
"Depth control is more critical than seed spacing," Ferrie says. "And it all comes back to planter speed. We can take an ideal seedbed with too fast of a speed and get in trouble. Down pressure does not fix planting too fast."
Watch side-by-side comparisons of planter performance at different speeds in Episode 1 of "Corn College TV," Season 2:


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