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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 Well Do Seed Firmers Work?

Aug 31, 2010

Question: I have a quick question about using seed firmers. They say you don't need them, and I sometimes think they affect the seed spacing somewhat. Was just wondering what your feeling is on this?

Answer: The job of a seed firmer is to help achieve uniform planting depth and good seed-to-soil contact. There are two important things to keep in mind when running seed firmers. The first is to be sure your planter is running level. You can check this by placing a level on the main tool bar and have someone walk along the planter while you are planting in the field to ensure the bubble stays in the level position. You can adjust planter levelness by raising or lowering your hitch height. If your planter is not running level, you could have problems with seed firmers. The second thing is to pay attention to moisture conditions if you are also running an in-furrow fertilizer with your seed firmer. You do not want soil to build up on the firmer; in fit soil conditions this should not be a problem. However, they do make a low-profile seed firmer to help with this issue. As long as the planter is running level in the field and wet conditions and in-furrow fertilizer are not causing soil to build up on the firmer, then we have been very successful running seed firmers. We have seen a good improvement in the uniformity of planting depth. Remember, a one-fourth inch variation in planting depth can often be the difference between a good ear and a non-harvestable ear.
The planting process for corn is an important factor contributing to the quality of the crop you’ll see at harvest.
This blog is provided as an interactive way for you to have your questions answered by our Farm Journal Agronomists. E-mail your nitrogen, soil fertility, soil density, planter set up, scouting, and other questions to
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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

You've got to be kidding me?it's so trsanparnetly clear now!
7:26 PM Oct 31st

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