RACINE, Wis. — "The planter is the most important piece of
equipment on your farm, hands down,” says Bill Hoeg, Case IH planter sales and
marketing manager in North America. “If planting isn’t optimized – if the seed
isn’t planted in a way that maximizes yield potential – that immediately impacts
your profitability and should be the No. 1 consideration when purchasing a new
planter. No. 2 is planter reliability: You can’t afford to have your planter
slow you down during your limited planting window.”
Hoeg cites six
agronomic principles of optimized planting growers should consider when buying a
new planter: proper seed depth; uniform seed depth across the planter and
throughout the field; good soil-to-seed contact; uniform soil pressure all
around the seed; accurate seed population; and accurate in-row seed
He says a lot of
planter manufacturers focus only on in-row seed spacing and accurate
populations, “because quite honestly, accurate population and in-row seed
spacing are the easiest to impact. But those are only two factors. A planter
should be able to deliver on all six agronomic principles right out of the box.
It shouldn’t require hundreds of dollars of additional equipment on each row to
improve planter performance,” Hoeg advises. “Don’t get caught up in the
“Agronomically, it’s not complicated. If you plant at the
right depth, seed will emerge faster. Plant at a uniform depth, and it’ll all
come up together. That gives you the best opportunity to maximize yields. Good
soil-to-seed contact provides the best environment for seed to germinate.
Uniform seed pressure is the hardest to affect, but you want to influence soil pressure on all sides of the
seed to maximize moisture conductivity to the seed,” he adds.
When it comes to
seed population and accurate seed spacing, Hoeg says every planter has operating
rules. “As long as you stay within those rules, you can get respectable results.
I suggest the Early Riser® planter does a better job, because we have
a wider working range within each of those rules. We have a pull-gauge wheel,
which allows the row unit to operate much more smoothly in rough fields. We also
have the largest diameter seed disk. A bigger disk doesn’t have to turn as fast,
so we can remain its optimum operating range even in adverse conditions.
Therefore, we can plant a wider range of populations and seed size more
accurately at faster speeds.”
Time, Minimum Maintenance
to Hoeg, a planter should also be designed to maximize time spent in the field.
“The more time you’re forced to spend handling daily maintenance and making
adjustments, the less time you’ll have to plant.
“And once you’re
in the field, how many adjustments will you have to make every day to keep your
planter operating at its best? Are the seed meter and vacuum/air systems
sensitive to humidity changes, adverse ground conditions or different seed
sizes? If there are four different seed plates you have to change just to handle
corn hybrids, that’s going to slow you down,” he notes.
Location and Farming Practices
Hoeg says the size and type of operation are also key
factors. “If you have livestock to care for in addition to cash crops, you may
need to size the planter differently, because there are fewer hours in the day
available for planting. A lot also depends on the type of crop being planted.
With some crops, you can’t use a 90-foot planter, like with cotton, so you’ll
need to cover more acres with a smaller planter. Transport width may also be a
determining factor for growers who have multiple farms and different locations –
or for those who simply have to deal with a narrow bridge nearby.”
considerations are based on individual farming practices. “What inputs do you
want to use, how do you want to apply them and in what types of soil? How
much time do you have to get it all done? What
system do you want to use to fill the planter so you can minimize non-planting
time? Are there going to be multiple operators running the planter? If so, ease
of use becomes even more important.
“Even if you have big square fields, and there aren’t any
waterways or other obstructions that cause you to plant in irregular rows, you
will want to take advantage of the advanced systems that bigger planters offer,”
Hoeg continues. “You’ll likely want AFS (Case IH Advanced Farming
Systems®), row shut-offs, driving guides
and mapping capabilities to help you utilize every square inch of ground.
Irregularly shaped fields with waterways and terraces only enhance the need for
these advanced systems. There are all kinds of nuances that factor into which
planter model and options you need. That’s why Case IH
offers different models, configurations, options and capabilities, from 15-foot
to 90-foot Early Riser planters,” he concludes.
For more information about Early
Riser planters, including demonstrations on how to create an ideal seed trench,
how to achieve early, even emergence, and the benefits of pull- vs. push-gauge
wheels, call your local Case IH dealer or visit www.CaseIH.com.
Case IH is a global leader in agricultural equipment, committed to collaborating with its customers to develop the most powerful, productive, reliable equipment – designed to meet today’s agricultural challenges. Challenges like feeding an expanding global population on less land, meeting ever-changing government regulations and managing input costs. With headquarters in the United States, Case IH has a network of dealers and distributors that operates in over 160 countries. Case IH provides agricultural equipment systems, flexible financial service offerings and parts and service support for professional farmers and commercial operators through a dedicated network of professional dealers and distributors. Productivity enhancing products include tractors; combines and harvesters; hay and forage equipment; tillage tools; planting and seeding systems; sprayers and applicators; site-specific farming tools and utility vehicles. Case IH is a brand of CNH (NYSE: CNH), a majority-owned subsidiary of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. (FI.MI).