Wheat School: Bringing precision to controlled spill devices

Precision Planting’s Eastern Canada Manager Shawn Livingston

What happens when you precision plant wheat? There’s a growing body of evidence indicating that better seed singulation, metering and depth control has the potential to improve uniformity of emergence, growth and crop canopy. That precise approach can also add up to higher yield potential and more grain in the bin.

But many growers have yet to employ precision technology when seeding the grain crop, opting to stick with traditional seed drills — often referred to as controlled spill devices that lack the ability to singulate seed.

On this episode of the RealAgriculture Wheat School, Shawn Livingston of Precision Planting discusses how drills are changing and how they can evolve from controlled spill devices to controlled seeding machines.

Livingston feels technology like downforce control can help minimize the negative impact challenging fall soil conditions can have on seed by allowing the system to close properly and promote seed establishment. There’s also potential for variable rate seeding to play a critical role in reducing competition in over-populated areas of the field that contribute to lodging.

Moving forward, Livingston says a key focus will be getting better seed information back to the drill operator, including how meters are performing and how they are delivering seed to the ground. “I think we are just at the tip of the iceberg” in what precision can do to make drills better.

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