Corn School: Grading planter performance

The proof is in the plant stand when it comes to evaluating how a corn planter performed in spring.

This episode of RealAgriculture’s Corn School is all about grading planter performance, as we head to a field near Homewood, Man., with Breanne Rey of PRIDE Seeds and planter expert Andrew Kippen of North Valley Precision Planting.

“Right now we’re looking for even emergence. You want to see that picket fence stand, no skips or doubles. One of the big things we’re checking is depth,” explains Rey. “You want to have good, even depth so that you have uniform emergence, so those nodal roots can develop properly, and your corn is going to stand strong for the rest of the season.”

Kippen says one of the most common mistakes he sees is not accounting for differences between rows.

“A lot of people don’t realize that these depth handles can be different from this row to that row. We actually have to go in the field, dig, truth it, and make sure that we have it set right. So if we target two inches, all rows are two inches,” he says.

Of course, worn out parts — gauge wheels, gauge wheel arms, closing wheels, and more — will affect depth and placement. Different closing wheel designs can also change the amount of soil on top of the seed, notes Kippen, referring to two different designs in the video below.

Watch the video below for more with Breanne Rey and Andrew Kippen on evaluating planter performance by getting out into the field and checking on seed placement and emergence:

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