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Planting corn too shallow can lead to sidewall compaction

Tips to Reduce Sidewall Compaction
(courtesy Paul Jasa)

1) If possible, wait for drier soil conditions before planting.

2) Reduce downpressure in wet conditions to avoid compaction.

3) Plant corn at least two inches deep and fracture the sidewall while closing the seed-vee.

4) Evaluate seed-to-soil contact at seeding depth. Resist the temptation to increase downpressure to close the seed-vee.

5) Leave residue over the row to reduce the seed zone from drying out and the soil from shrinking.

6) Build soil structure using no-till, manure or cover crops. Soil with good aggregation is less likely to smear or compact.

7) Level the planter front-to-rear, or even operate it slightly tail down, to improve seed-to-soil contact and closing the seed-vee.

8) Use an attachment to till and loosen some soil for closing the seed-vee.

9) Till in the sidewall with spoked closing wheels (need seed firmers for seed-to-soil contact).

10) Use one spoked closing wheel and one standard wheel to close the seed-vee and firm the soil.

11) If possible, stagger the angled closing wheels, one in front of the other, to reduce the seed-vee from opening back up as the soil dries. (If using one spoked wheel, place it in front).

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