Pat Duncanson switched from 4-inch gauge wheels to 3-inch gauge wheels on his planter this year. The change came because he saw a problem with the 20-inch rows not having as much room for trash flow in between the rows. This was the gauge wheels to bounce when they hit the residue while planting, causing uneven emergence.
“We had seen some issues in the spring of 2009 that told us we were having a problem with the gauge wheel not having good contact next to the disc opener,” the Mapleton, Minnesota native says. The planter monitor was telling him there was good down pressure across the width of the wheel, but there was still an issue. “We surmised we were getting residue in the way. We weren’t getting good soil contact by the disc opener.”
With the narrow gauge wheels, Duncanson says he had better depth control planting in high residue conditions this year. The narrow gauge wheels gave more down pressure, which allowed for a better forming seed vee and more even emergence.
“Until the narrow wheels cause a problem, we will stay with them,” he says.