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Planting Tip #6: Check Your Down Pressure

April 5, 2011
By: Dan Anderson, Farm Journal Columnist

Dan Anderson, “In the Shop” blogger and Farm Journal columnist, has taken part in nearly 40 planting season as a farmer or equipment dealership mechanic.

He advises that you shouldn’t let the excitement of getting in the field for the first time each spring provoke planting mistakes that jeopardize yields from the get-go.
 
Here’s today’s first-day planting mistake. (Check back for the next few days to find his full top 10 list of planting mistakes.)
 
Excess down pressure on row unit gauge wheels packs the soil on either side of the seed furrow. Excess down pressure on closing wheels packs the soil over seeds.
 
With the planter lowered and in planting position, you should be able to turn a gauge wheel or closing wheel a quarter-turn without major effort.

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RELATED TOPICS: Corn, Machinery, Agronomy, Crops, Planters

 
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COMMENTS (2 Comments)

C - KIRKWOOD, PA
My planter has 4 settings. If I put it on 3 it is barely enough. You can usually spin the gg wheels. The next setting is max and usually is a little too much. What do I do ? ( jumps from 250 to 400 down pressure ) Plus the box varies 75 #. Short of having automatic air bags what do you do ?
6:43 PM Apr 5th
 
C - KIRKWOOD, PA
My planter has 4 settings. If I put it on 3 it is barely enough. You can usually spin the gg wheels. The next setting is max and usually is a little too much. What do I do ? ( jumps from 250 to 400 down pressure ) Plus the box varies 75 #. Short of having automatic air bags what do you do ?
6:43 PM Apr 5th
 



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