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Uniform Seeding Depth Keys Even Emergence

Matching the
right corn hybrid with the right field is a key factor in garnering bumper
yields at harvest. Once the seed is in the planter, though, it’s crucial to
plant at uniform seeding depth to key even emergence.

Justin Durdan, a
Streator, Illinois, farmer, is using a product called 
DeltaForce
from Precision Planting that helps ensure uniform seeding depth across the
field.

Normally,
planting depth can vary. A set 2-inch planting depth can morph into a 1.5-inch
depth if the planter encounters a compacted area. Meanwhile, soft areas could
result in a 2.5 inch seed placement.

That’s
where DeltaForce comes in by monitoring
row unit weight and ground contact. It then instantly and
automatically adjusts to maintain the depth a farmer sets.

Precision
Planting officials say DeltaForce works with its 20/20 SeedSenseproduct
to replace the springs or air bags on a planter. It includes hydraulic
cylinders, plus a weigh pin that sends data to the firm’s SeedSense product.
This in turn controls the cylinders and downforce. Precisions Planting’s FieldViewproduct can be added so farmers can see high-resolution maps of
downforce, applied downforce, and ground contact on an iPad.

DeltaForce
is available for most John Deere, Case IH and Kinze planters.

“Uniform seed
downpressure is huge,” says Durdan, who tested the system in 2013. “Sometimes,
a loaded center-fill planter can create compaction directly behind the tractor
and planter. This could create a lot of yield drag. Corn plants need to emerge
between 24 to 48 hours together.”

University of
Minnesota research backs this up. Yields for stands where every other plant is
delayed one leaf stage tallied 94% of yields in fields with uniform stands. A
two-leaf delay knocked down yields to 83% of uniform field yields.

Durdan says this
tool enabled him to plant a day earlier during a soggy 2013 spring.

“I did not have
that compacted layer I would have had with standard downpressure,” he says.
“Being able to plant a day earlier was huge, because we would have been delayed
several days without it. Out of everything we have, this product was the best
we used. We see a yield advantage with it.”

 

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