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March 2012 Archive for Ask an Agronomist

RSS By: Farm Journal Agronomists, Farm Journal

Have your agronomic questions answered by a Farm Journal agronomist. E-mail us directly at, and we’ll respond on this blog to provide an interactive dialogue.

How important is planting speed?

Mar 23, 2012

Question: How important is planting speed?





How To Identify Jointing State

Mar 21, 2012


Question: When is the wheat in jointing stage? We don't know what it looks like to apply liquid nitrogen. What are the height and the description of what it looks like? If we use stream jet nozzles on the sprayer to apply the liquid nitrogen, will that work?
Answer: High-yield wheat expert Phil Needham provides a video tutorial on how to evaluate your wheat crop at jointing stage.


How Important Is Tillage When It Comes to Bushels in the Bin?

Mar 09, 2012

Question: How Important is the Speed of Your Planter When It Comes to Bushels in the Bin?



Where Can I Get the Planter Calibration Tool?

Mar 05, 2012

Question: Where can I get the planter calibration tool?

Answer: A planter calibration tool that farmers have been asking us about at the Corn College Planter Clinics can be found at this link:

Now is a good time to be prepping your planter—if you haven’t started the process already. We’re finishing up our planter clinics this week, and have had a lot of good participation from farmers. Our hope is that growers will take this information home and put it to work on their farms.

There’s definitely a pay-off in crop performance. A split-planter study by Pioneer Hi-Bred (Doerge and Hall, 2000) shows an average yield improvement of 4.2 bushels per acre when a planter is properly prepped for the field. The keys are checking each facet of the planter and making adjustments before and during the planting season from the hitchpin to the closing wheels. That means you need to inspect everything involved with the seed transmission: chains, sprockets, bearings, idlers and clutch assembly, including all of the components involved in seed metering, as well as the meter itself.

Other factors farmers need to evaluate prior to and during planting include the parallel arms, row cleaners, no-till coulters, gauge wheels, disk openers, seed tubes, closing wheels and seed placement.

Learn more about the Corn College Planter Clinics.

More on prepping your planter.


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